It is strange the difference between intention of the artist and interpretation of the artist's work; and further to this the response of a painter and a non painter to UnMasterclass. A friend of mine who is an artist emailed me in the week about something and as an aside at the end closed it with "also watched the first of your unmasterclass video, (albeit without sound -no speakers) looks to me like you are keen to show off your painting style and methods, which for someone like me without any in roads to painting, was interesting to watch." It was strange to read; not only does UnMasterclass (from my perspective) seek to show off my painting style (I am replicating a famous work of art in a very short space of time) or to show off my methods (in many ways UnMasterclass in sending up the programmes of Bob Foss and the like).
However I started to think about it a little more. Was my friend right, just from the wrong perspective? Among the reasons UnMasterclass was started was to comment on how in the present age we increasingly look to the internet to garner information, and in this age there is a trend to turn to the internet to 'research' painters and paintings. So the reproduction becomes to have more currency. And in this currency the old adage of how a painters learns from painting is beginning to be lost. And much like many painters who saw Mondrian in reproduction sought to make perfectly straight lines in their painting as a result (it has always amazed my how painterly Mondrian is) in the past, now all sorts of results are happening from learning from Bob Foss, reproductions on the internet and so on. I am somewhat nostalgic for this past of learning from the paintings themselves and so UnMasterclass began. To show the lack of understanding of a painting that can be gained from not seeing the original. But maybe to a non-painter who has no interest in learning from paintings, then UnMasterclass can be interesting from the point of view of showing off paintings style and methods. I pray to god all painters do not share my friends view.
This week a beautifully subtle Henri Fantin-Latour painting is unaccountably re-rendered as a faux expressionist un-masterpiece. Unfortunately the original painting is in a private collection so I guess in this case we can only stand in front of reproductions of it, So go watch this UnMasterclass here at the blog for the first time or probably better to go to http://vimeo.com/20657419 or alternatively go to a real gallery and see a proper painting.