Saturday, March 3, 2018

You shall know us by our noses!

I love Mira Schor's writing and I really enjoyed her recent essay, Reviewing the reviews of “Songs for Sabotage,” with some help from Leon Golub. Especially her honesty about inter-generational cattiness, or jealousy of the young.
But what really stuck with me was her mention of ‘Trite Tropes’ where she seems to be talking about a particular kind of painting. She describes it like this;

In such paintings, figurative and narrative, many of which emerge from BFA and some MFA painting programs in the US, in direct contradistinction to what one feels is straining for individualism, for some reason everyone always seems to look alike, people even all having the same nose, from artist to artist.”

Later she describes seeing an image that has just such a nose.  This particular painting also has,

 “… a highly established faux naive outsider artist style of representation.”

 She describes how she and her colleagues always cull such art from slide juries. Interestingly, she indicates that this kind of art would have some value;

“… if markers of redeeming self-criticality and meta-stylistic content were present. “

On the one hand, I think I know what she means (Is it an Alex-Katz-style nose?). On the other, I’m quite attracted to this kind of painting. It may even be possible, I'm slightly ashamed to admit it,  that this is the kind of painting I do. I certainly don’t have any redeeming self-criticality or meta-stylistic content. Also, my mediocre drawing skills often result in a faux naïve outsider artist style of representation. But then I’m also not making any claims that my paintings have any value as such. Well, they have value to me, but not to anyone else, and certainly not in an Art Establishment context.

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