The artist’s gaze acknowledges existence and when marked by the artist’s touch, the anonymity of being acquires the particularity of the presence of life.
The art of drawing from life has been pretty much out of fashion with our postmodern art world, snubbed as an academic exercise or an outdated skill that could be dispensed with and replaced with the all-consuming instant photo snapshot or computer graphics.
The very meaning of the act of drawing from life is snobbishly made to look obsolete and its significance replaced with the instant abstraction of artistic decision-making.
The art world today champions polished — literally and figuratively speaking — manufactured art objects to satisfy the voracious appetite of its market economy; favors theoretical research processes as embodiment of art’s meaning in today’s world.
Running at a fierce speed to maintain its investment-worthy status by being fully engaged in the politics of market economy, today’s art has explicitly distanced itself from its life- experiencing beginnings and modes of expression: it prefers to operate on an intellectual level well removed from the natural humbleness of day to day life.
In our contemporary art spectacle of signs, codes and meta-everything hyperreality, the return to drawing from life is a frightening proposition — it tells us that our contemporary world of art forgot what life is really like.
On exiting this exhibition and thinking about George’s work, I remembered Foucault’s famous statement…”I dream of the intellectual destroyer of evidence and universalities, the one who, in the inertias and constraints of the present, locates and marks the weak spots, the openings, the lines of power, who incessantly displaces himself, doesn’t know exactly where he is heading nor what he’ll think tomorrow because he is too attentive to the present.”
| Ilza holds the deep conviction that there is nothing more damaging than indifference and that only a critique, based on peer to peer assessment of contemporary art practices, is the way to broaden and encourage the creative thought and new original artistic ideas — fostering a better understanding of contemporary visual art and the role of the artist as a creator of cultural values.|
Ilza Burchett is an internationally exhibiting artist, now based in Hanoi, Vietnam.