Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Edward drops a bomb?

"What's not being discussed here much, but perhaps it's time to do so, is the fact that formal proficiency in and of itself (as subjective as that remains) is rather dull in most artists' hands. It's simply not enough anymore for many art viewers. It would be nice if there were more of it (most artists can stand to work on their craft), but as a goal unto itself it strikes me as anachronistic. "

I guess that there aren't many artists reading this blog but even if you are not, what do you think? Is learning your craft an appropriate goal? Would learning your craft make you a better artist? Why is it anachronistic? I think that I most agree with Joanne Mattera's comment ( She works with encaustic so craft is very important but it's no less important with using other materials..

"I'm not suggesting that artists work inside a tight technical box, but at least understand the parameters of the box so that you can decide where and how to push its boundaries. Art schools don't "techniques and materials" any more. How many painters really know how to stretch a canvas, even? This is not about a return to the "good old days" but about integrating some technical applications into the stream of contemporary practice."

The whole thread is well worth reading.

But this, to me, validates the theory that artists need to learn their craft and the public needs to learn how to appreciate it:
Jeff Koons (and his whole career)
This went for $23 million, beating out last Spring's winner, Damien Hirst, highest auction price of a living aritst. Larry Gagosian, Koon's dealer, bought it. Koons has made a very nice living of selling work that somebody else made, manipulating the art market and generating a whole lot of PR for a tiny piece of junk. What's even sadder is that I've heard him spoken of in admiring terms, completely ignoring that not only does he not know his craft, much less produce art but he's completely ignorant of ethics. But then, so are those who admire him.

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