Monday, June 30, 2008

Updated: This month's issue of Art NZ magazine

...features a myopic review/survey of the Auckland art scene.

Myopic, because the writer has this utopic idea of what art is, and believes in the grand narrative of New Zealand art (and so there is a tinge of nationalism, too).

The writer also puts forth sweeping statements about the artists themselves rather than their art. Somehow these personal statements are based on the art; I guess that makes them doubly removed, so to speak.

The writer has a strange sense of what constitutes a 'cutting edge' art scene and a 'conservative' art scene.

But the most annoying error is his closing statement. He purports that the future of New Zealand painting rests on a particular young artist whom I will not name because he/she is a friend and I do not want to cause further embarrassment! To even think that the future of anything rests on any one person's shoulders is not only stupid lah weyyy, it also buys into that whole cult of the artist which is so unproductive.

Unfortunately, I am unable to quote anything from the article because

1. I bought it so that I could rip it up

2. My friend took it off my hands instead, so it's not within my immediate reach

I want to be fair, though. There was one phrase the writer coined that got me thinking quite a bit. He wrote that elegance is secondhand taste. I still haven't decided if that is true or not. What do you think? Or are you thinking, what the hell doessat mean?

No wonder I don't read art magazines anymore.

Back to the coal face...