Response to <u>Hockney the Hackneyed</u>

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Response to <u>Hockney the Hackneyed</u>

From Thomas Hauge

Published before 2005


Hi, Fred,

Thanks for the links - and no need to spend time on expounding further. I arrived at ARC when searching the web for Bougereau (after reading Boris Vallejo citing Bougereau as an influence) - but I continued to hit the site regularly because those articles were the first I read.

Then, as now, I may not quite agree with the strong language, but I certainly agree with your position. I am still not quite sure that Hockney wants his theory to be used to denigrate the Old Masters (he repeatedly says so), but it is probably inevitable that it will be (mis)used for that purpose. The discussion group mail you so kindly forwarded gives a very precise analysis of the reasons for this denigration.

Ultimately, of course, only Hockney himself knows what his intentions are. I am not blind to the fact that modern art, lacking any tradition or means of objective quality assessment, makes being a sensation very important. As to his theory in itself, I am now far less convinced that I was. And despite my fascination with the theory, this is a welcome change. Apart from describing "lens-based" art in his book, Hockney draws from it some disturbing conclusions about the role of realist art in society, claiming that since it has been used in authoritarian propaganda, it is tied to, perhaps even leads to, fascism.

To me, it is the other way around. Modernist art depends on ordinary people letting themselves be told by a self-appointed elite to distrust their own judgment, and consider the elite's preferences a better, truer art - even if it is frankly impossible for ordinary people to see why. Substitute ideology for art and you have the recipe for fascism. The importance of the ARC extends beyond art - it encourages everyone to trust his or her own judgment.

Not that I think of the ARC as a political animal, though. My reason for going to the ARC is, and will remain, that it is a place where one can enjoy refreshing views and great art - LOTS of great art!

Thanks for giving me so much of your time. I'll fade into the background again - you've given many new thoughts and ideas to reflect on. ;o)

Regards,

Thomas