Sunday, July 5, 2009

Style



Until a few years ago I believed that an artist should have one style. This was proof of something called authenticity, which I believed was the basis of good art. I believed in authenticity because I was quite serious, and because I had a puritanical streak, and because it was the cultural norm at the time.

This meant that art had also to be difficult, both technically and in terms of comprehensibility.

In the last few years my attitude has changed, however. It's not that m previous beliefs are invalid, it's more that I see the easy possibility of them existing alongside other beliefs- an artist can be playful, slight and entertaining or populist one day, serious and elevated the next.

This is by way of an explanation of the variety of styles and approaches I am using. They each allow me to express different things, and the one does not cancel out the other.

These statements may seem depressingly obvious, but it should be born in mind that until Post-modernism really set in - and in Scotland, where I trained, this was not until the late 90s- artists were expected to restrict themselves to one medium, one subject, so that if an abstract expressionist painter in acrylics decided to produce a figurative lithograph this was viewed with some suspicion. I suspect that some of the suspicion was led by marketing concerns- it's much harder to market an artist whose work varies enormously.

But given how little art most artists sell, and I include myself- worrying about providing a consistent product seems extremely vain, to say the least.

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