Friday, 25 March 2011

UnMasterclass 12 and 13

A double hit this week as last weeks UnMasterclass failed to upload, so the programmers re-scheduled to make this double bill.
Today we had a group crit in the studio and I chose to put UnMasterclass up for discussion, which prompted a few items of thought that are aired here.
Firstly it was raised about the potential for it being seen as either an amateur or a send-up of the amateur by viewers. I cannot of course control what the viewer thinks, but it is my intention to do or be neither. My intention here is not to teach or to pass on any form of expertise with the UnMasterclass, more to raise how painting can be learnt and how it has the potential to be un-learnt. Almost my sole way of learning painting was from looking at paintings in galleries and working out how they had been constructed. I am interested how, in the age of the internet and ipod shuffle, painting as a technique is increasingly being passed on to painters through reproductions as opposed to in the flesh. I am simply showing, no more, no less.
It was also raised about how the paintings are neither too good or rubbish enough to truly raise a position. My answer is I try my best, but within the limits I have set myself. They must be quick, they must be small, they must be done in one go. All of these things will mean that I can only fail to be faithful to the original. Curiously as we talked I realised that maybe the most successful UnMasterclass so far is the copy of Fontana. With this I truly misrepresent and misunderstand the original painting and perhaps most potently reveal the flaws of the reproduction over the original. It is also the UnMasterclass which I like least on a personal taste level.
It was also said how watching the films was strangely compulsive. I say strangely as I cannot imagine anyone watching an UnMasterclass all the way through having been the creator. But comments today suggested that there may be a sense of anticipation in waiting to see what happens at the end, to see what I end up painting. I see this almost like 10 minutes of the Jaws theme without the punchline of the shark attack, more like it swimming off into the horizon. But others appear to think otherwise, which is pleasing.
We also talked about how the work should be shown, other than on the web. To me it makes most sense to be seen on the internet, it is open to interpretation and open to any audience; democratic in many ways. However although I have no other answers for display, it would be a good challenge to try to present it in another setting, in many ways the gallery becomes the hardest place for display. In the studio I should it both visible on the laptop and projected on the wall, it looked pretty good on the wall, no rational thinking as to why.
We talked of other thing
So if you have managed to read this far then please fit the 2 posts  for this week, last weeks version  of Sittow's Katherine of Aragon is viewable here and this weeks UnMasterclass is the failed attempt of painting Turner's masterpiece (every quality of the original has been sucked from this one, so please go to Tate Britain instead) is here
Of course if a gallery is open and is near you, then pop your coat on and go and see some art there instead.

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