I have proactively restrained myself from venturing out on the beverages for the last two Saturdays – A Dick Dastardly & Muttley-esk meddle has been dually earned!!. The reason for this self induced isolation is the very unproductive aftermath that ensues such tom foolery… Or… Have I succumbed to the inevitable onslaught of maturity? Surely not!! This is something I swore an oath never to conform too!
I read somewhere that it eventually dawns on the majority, that they are very similar to the thousands of other people they pass on the street! By this, I mean they are all programmed the same, have the same issues and flaws. I believe this is true for the majority of society, who subconciously conform to the ‘norms’ and be driven by social rules, governmental spin and media/advertising etc. While a driven few accept their flaws, accentuate their gifts & achieve a dream or manage to keep the pursuit of that dream alive (which in some cases is just as valuable). Currently, I seem to be existing somewhere in between – My own personal purgatory or a state of unwitting paradox?… thinking my thoughts about non-conformity/flaws profound, when actually everyone born of my ilk is thinking the same !!
The inspiration for this post came from reading an aricle on Picasso's new exhibitions and 2 Guardian articles (11th July) covering female artists that do/did not conform to the commercial norms of aesthetically pleasing artwork. The new Picassso exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and the Gagosian address the political undercurrents of his work, his later years in the med and provide a microscopic study which illustrates his many different characters: the lover, the icon, the ego, the genuis, the monster. I am very intriged by political undercurrents hidden within artwork, but I am also aware that with enough research, hypothesies and assumptions you can make a case for an apple being an orange!! So shouldn't we cease our penchant for over analysis and view him in totality; as 'brilliant, complexed and flawed'?.
The late Alice Neel’s incorporated individuals flaws within her portraits, she did not induce an 'Emperor’s clothes'-esk feeling to pander to the subject's ego. They are if anything a ‘characteristic accentuation’ of humanistic features (or what advertising and media peddle to society as 'flaws') we all posses and feel compelled to hide.
While, 76 yr old Rose Wylie, produces 7ft stretch canvases working immensely hard to produce a piece of work that looks like she hasn't made any effort at all. Images trail of the edge of canvases, wording is spliced between subjects as if scrawled in haste. What I admire about Rosie (apart from she is having a good innings) is she still refuses to conform to gallery recommendations to scale down or rework her technique. She thrives off being 'an escapist from the Royal College of Art' in order 'to a return to untaughtness and spontaneity'. You may become aware of her work over the year as Sienna & Susannah Miller are using her images in their latest range of clothing.
Message to take away and chew the fat with:
History is littered with artists breaking rules, whether these be visable or hidden messages. 16th Century Netherlandish painters such as 'Bruegel the Elder' for example were thought to have painted hidden religious meanings within their work, messages deemed heretical in nature, during their time. I see our progress being driven by non-conformists, without them who would challenge entrenched/antiquated beliefs? Without such visionaries life would be governed by a few and be very dull! What I am taking from this post is, you have to dare to live, accept your flaws, challenge & question everything & enjoy doing it while chasing your dreams. Granted this may have been a little deep (...Deep Deep Down ... as East 17 would say)... but I enjoyed writing it, I hope you enjoyed reading it!!
PS - Andrea Bocelli's - Dare to Live
The cathartic musings of a CRE8IV mind, living at the EDGE of chaos.