18 July 2007

Hirst Emin good, Vettriano bad

Like most people I can be a little conservative when it comes to art, like most the people. I like what I like and for me a pickled shark should be displayed in specialist food store not an art gallery. As for Tracy Emin and her bed, I say skid marks are the sign of poor wiping skills and not artistic talent. Elahe Heidari’s work does far more for me than anything created by Emin or Damian Hirst.

There is an awful lot of “Emperor’s New Clothes” about the art world. There is also a lot of snottiness towards the “conventional” This means that Emin and Hirst are praised to the high heavens while artist, Jack Vettriano, is derided for being “populist” and “unchallenging” artist. I fail to see what his work has to do with supporting the rights and power of the people or even representing the popular view but I will let that pass. There is nothing wrong, per se, with his work but it leaves me stone cold. His painting “the Singing Butler” is Britain’s most reproduced artwork but I wouldn’t give a print of it wall space.

Seven of Vetriano’s paintings that have hung for a decade in Sir Terence Conran's Bluebird restaurant in London are to be auctioned in Scotland next month and are expected to reach over £1m. One painting, Bluebird at Bonneville, is alone expected to sell for up to £600,000. The image captures the scene of the ninth and final land-speed record broken by Sir Malcolm Campbell on the Utah salt flats in 1935.

I say like what you like even if all of your taste is in your mouth (I thank Jen for introducing this expression to me what seems an age ago now). If you want to spend £600k on a Vettriano, then as far as I am concerned your tongue can sense sweet, sour , salty, bitter, umami AND art... I would say the same about that money spend on a Hirst.

Hold on Vettriano is populist and Hirst isn’t? Threewords spring to mind. Fat, Les and Vindaloo. For was it not the case that a certain Mr Hirst was involved in the football song with the name of a hot curry. Oh yes, he was being ironic or is it post modern?. Judge for yourself:


Garth said...

Although I have a huge problem with the fact that Damien Hirst employs others to actually 'do' his work, the product are often aestheticly sound and very beautifyl.
Tracy Emin, on the other hand, really gets my goat - unlike Hirst, she has no inherent talent, no technical artistic skills and a psychopathic ability to justify her vacuousness.
The art establishment is what it has always been - a bunch of elitist wankers.

jams o donnell said...

THat's the art establishment well described Piseces. I can't abide Hirt's work myself but then we don't all need to like the same stuff!

Anonymous said...

Whilst I admire Vettriano's technical abilities as a draftsman and painter, I find his work a bit formulaic and shallow.

All I've seen of Hirst and Emin's work is the stuff that gets shown on TV. I can't say I'm particularly impressed, but I would an opportunity to see a selection "in the flesh" before I make up my mind.

I suspect that Emin's main talent lies in self-promotion.

jams o donnell said...

I think you have the essence of Vettriano. He can capture the body but not the soul.His work is technically okay but lacks that vital spark. I think I'm just prejudiced against Hirst.

Steve Bates said...

"I say like what you like even if all of your taste is in your mouth (I thank Jen for introducing this expression to me what seems an age ago now)." - jams

A cellist colleague of mine had a bicycle accident many years ago; the resulting concussion robbed her of her literal sense of taste. (She uses lots of pepper, just to experience something when she eats.) I used to joke with her that all her taste was in her cello playing.

Apart from what you've posted here, jams, I know nothing of any of the artists you mentioned. I can only agree with you that visual taste, like musical taste, is highly individual. As my late father used to remark in response to such discussions, it's a good thing not all men have the exact same eye for feminine beauty. :)

jams o donnell said...

At the end of the day everyone should just like wht they like. If they like Vettriano then fine, if they want a cowpat mosaic that's fine too!