Posts Tagged ‘Private view’

Blackpaint 130

May 9, 2010

Private View (cont.)

Eavesdropping on the visitors, one realises what should have been obvious; this is more about interior decorating than it is about art.  There you are, having agonised about your work, wrestling with the tempestuous emotions stirred up, screaming (almost ) with frustration, perhaps just managing to check your shaking hand as it lifts the razor to your ear – and what do you hear? 

 “What about that for the lounge?” 

“No, I don’t think so really – we need something a bit more… green”.

Fair enough.  It’s a compliment, really because they are paying cash to live with your work – or not, in most cases.


What I said about admiring him because he died in poverty; reason is that, to me, it implies he had some integrity about his art, something I haven’t got; I’m a whore, I’ll knock out a green painting for the lounge any time, I suspect; haven’t been asked, so far.  Of course, it could just be he was a miserable, cantankerous bastard who was his own worst enemy, but I prefer to think not.


Watched the Alastair Sooke programme on the above.  I was amused to hear Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club doing “Swing 42” yet again.  Someone at the BBC sound archive is a Reinhardt fan and Django keeps popping up on anything to do with France or art or the occupation of Paris in WW2;  A bit like the Ry Cooder bottleneck soundtrack to “Paris Texas”, every time there’s a desert or US road shot.

There were three staggering generalisations made by Sooke.  First was about “The Piano Lesson”; there was a lot of grey, for Matisse, in this picture, a spike of it poking into the boy’s head.  “It’s about the First World War,” said Sooke, “Matisse was thinking about all those young men sent to the front…”.

Second, there was that beautiful, rich red interior with all the items floating about in the room as if in liquid.  “Matisse has left the hands off the clock,” said Sooke, “He has suspended time…”

Third and last, and maybe fair enough, the book “Jazz”, which Matisse made in bed in the last couple of years of his life; Sooke said in this book, with its brilliant colours, “Matisse was defying death”.

I’d really like to know what evidence he has for any of these assertions; all three were made totally baldly, no “One might think Matisse was..” or anything like that.  Still, if art critics are prepared to take this on, it removes the responsibility from artists so not necessarily a bad thing.

Roger Hilton

This thing about Matisse doing the simplified cut outs when he was ill and bedridden reminded me of Hilton and the childlike images he produced with poster paints after his illness incapacitated him.  Please note I say childlike, not childish; I’m not being disparaging.

Interregnum by Blackpaint

Listening to Cold, Cold Feeling by TBone Walker.

“I got a cold, cold feeling, it’s just like ice around my heart, (*2)

I know I’m gonna quit somebody, every time that feeling starts”.



Blackpaint 125

May 1, 2010

Private View

And again, the anxious wait, the scanning of the faces as they arrive – is this one yet another artist showing, or is it a punter?  They’re spending a lot of time looking at my painting in the corner.. look, she’s leaning forward to read the title and the price – shit, they’ve moved on.  Too much attention being paid to the twee little heads and the ones with the gold leaf on them – they’re clever enough, but not really art; more like novelties, toys really.

The trouble is, mine are too rough to sell in this sort of area; they don’t have the right finish.  The paint on the sides is uneven, not perfectly straight like on those other ones on the square, blocky canvases with the cartoon ladies and men with little arms against those warm pink backgrounds that everyone’s cooing over.

As for the prices, I think they’re all wrong – too high for the present time, everyone’s watching their pennies; I’d have put them on for £100 less…   Well, this isn’t much good, is it?  Everyone shrieking “Hello!!” to each other and standing chattering and drinking wine, not looking; half of them haven’t even looked at any of the work.  I’m in everybody’s way all the time, wherever I stand someone’s trying to get past, or I’m standing in front of something someone wants to see.  Some girl artist, about 20, shouting into her mobile how she’s been here an hour and only sold one little one, for £200 or something.. What’s he charging for that one? How much!? Surely no-one’s going to pay that for that.  And so on…

In the Rough Grass by Blackpaint

Listened to American Trilogy by Elvis.

“O I wish I was in the land of cotton,

Old times there are not forgotten,

Look away, look away, look away,



May Day 2010