My tutor told me, as he his tutor once, that ‘all good drawing is the drawing of preferable errors.’ No doubt an encouraging view to be spreading around artists who are still adolescent in their careers; concerns; development of style and in skill. But simply on a level of truth-value, I think it is correct and transferable to a range if mediums. As I look towards a possible career as an art critic, I am always aware and cautious of the opinions I am forming and often wonder if I’ll ever see a work I consider to be ‘perfect.’ Is this a futile search?
I often get very enthusiastic by beauty I see in works but frequently the way I feel about photographs of me. A current favourite when looked upon too often, or even just out of the blue, and I’ll question how much I really like it. How good a representation it is. My belief about its beauty might fade. This article isn’t about art going stale. It’s the idea that ‘mistakes’ – a feature that catches you eye inconveniently at first, may be the vivacity necessary. The idea that no artist is a God, and so our quest for perfection in an artwork is unjust.
I can often get so involved in surveying a work; I can become detached from the hands that made it. I can forget that before me is a painting of a person, not the person itself. And that it is right and good for the artist not to hide the media, but to reveal the joy they discovered in utilising it. Letting the media shape the artist can have a greater reward than aggressively seeking to control the paint, morphing it out of its distinct character.
I think it is generally fair to say that post-modernism has made our society too critical and cynical about most things, considering particularly religion, and art. This certainly embellishes the connection between being an artist, and confidence. Artists, it seems to me, are either very sure characters or very broken characters. Creative processes are long and rarely straightforward. An exhibition, which I would be very interested in seeing, at The South London Gallery is: ‘Art Bin’ by Michael Landy. A fascinating recognition of, and comment on this concept. He is asking the public to fill a 600m3 bin with discarded art. It reminds me of a voluntary all-inclusive regeneration of the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937, when in Munich, the Nazi regime forced unappreciated art works from modern avant-garde movements such as Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism and Expression to have their works displayed to be criticised, laughed at, and then destroyed publicly. Landy’s approach is far more welcoming; especially as it calls for works the artists dismiss themselves, and so he surmises that the exhibition will be ‘a monument to creative failure.’ Not wholly objectively will this remark be made however, because not any and all work have the ability to be binned, instead Landy will decide which pieces are best…or affectively worse.
What the comment on the choice will be I am uncertain of? It strikes me as comparable to the early rounds of x-factor, where particularly entertaining but atrocious performers are kept on in order to tickle the audience’s fancy.