Dave and I love trolling as much as the next person, but frankly we’re getting bored of the same old debate topics that are so popular in our little art community. We have a proposition for you: let’s find new stuff to argue about for 2012! The current contentions are stale enough to use for fondue.
Witness Exhibit A:
Contention: Should artists attend a mainstream post-secondary fine art institution or a 19th c. style atelier/academy?
This contention already had cataracts and a creaky hip when I became aware of it in 2004, and yet it still makes the occasional, baleful appearance when a newbie to classical realism shows up to the party. The redundancy of this argument is underscored by the fact that both educational paths will lead you to the exact same seedy apartment with a cupboard full of Ramen noodles and saltines. Also, if you did attend an accredited institution for fine art and not an atelier, stop complaining that they wasted your time. And if you attended an atelier, stop complaining that they wasted your time.
Contention: Should painters work only from life, or is photography not entirely shameful?
I’m sure this has been around since the 1800s. I’m not going to say too much about this one, except that there are stunning works of art made from photo references, and appalling works of art made from life studies; and that Leighton and Tadema and all those talented jerks used photos; and that most artists can’t afford full-time models; and that any painter from the Renaissance would have given his left optical nerve to have photo references to help them plan their paintings; and that if you make the process of making art, the art itself, than you are in fact a POST-MODERNIST. No, indeed, I will not say anything about my stance on that argument.
These are just two examples and my blood pressure is strangely elevated, so I think I’ll try to skip briefly over some more examples. There’s the Fine Art vs Illustration debate, which is as relentless as an underground oil fire, not to mention the abstract art vs realist art one, which is really just for varsity level debaters. For the sake of brevity I'm going to end my list here, but I formally invite all readers to add to my list of contentions in the comments section.
I think in the new year we should be magnanimous and let old bygones be bygones. Let’s turn a leaf, art community; let’s leave old arguments behind us. Instead, I would like to proffer a brand new shiny argument for us all to enjoy in 2012:
Should we North Americans give up fine art since the Russians are handing our asses to us anyways?
(Click here to see what some teenage Russians are painting in the academies over there)
If you must continue the old debates, may we suggest that henceforth these arguments be settled in Thuderdome. Two artists enter, one artist leaves.