Fake Rocks and Fake Art

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Fake Rocks and Fake Art

From Gerald King

Published before 2005


Timothy Tyler wrote: Richard, I do agree with some of what you say & this is important - if you don't know what you're doing a PC won't save you.

It may not save you from doubting your own artistic accomplishments, but it can lead to fame and fortune and the exalted label of 'Master'. Many artists of the late 19th and 20th centuries, who could neither draw nor paint competently, are exalted today by world art authorities as geniuses who were ahead of their time. They didn't know what they were doing, but intellectuals found their lack of drawing and painting skills and their rejection of traditional art as a breakthrough in the evolution of art. Today, having taken over all of the traditional art institutions, they promote mediocrity and hokum as legitimate art. They build monuments and museums to honor the new stuff and use every opportunity to disparage and deny competent training to those born with real artistic talent and a passion to make art. In our affluent society, opportunities abound to promote mediocrity and art recreation for the masses. Museums collect only art and artists who have been arbitrarily designated by entrenched elites who ruthlessly weed out anyone who questions their omnipotence. Artists selected by these art powers, often can neither draw nor paint any better than children. Drawing is but a minor criteria in evaluating new art. What is important to the new art is its rejection of tradition, its ability to move the masses (usually by shock or disgust), its creator's or artist's intimate connections to money and art authorities, and its artist's embrace of new media.

Digital art is a sure fire new medium. We can count on today's arts authorities to embrace someone working in this medium to be a new master. We can count on them to collect some digital art and present it to the world as being of museum quality. We can be assured that it will fit the criteria used to define other new art in the new museums.

Digital artists need not learn to draw or paint in traditional ways in order to compete in future art forums. As a matter of fact, we may be told by future art educators that learning to draw and paint like the old masters may impede mastering the medium of digital art and stifle their creativity. I do not mean to disparage those who are presently experimenting with new technologies, nor those who use the computer in making their art. I am concerned with young artistic talent being enticed into a world of image making that excludes the need to learn how to draw. Just as millions of talents in the twentieth century were denied opportunities to develop real painting and drawing skills, I fear future young people will be lulled into a belief that their digital creations reveal artistic achievement, when in fact, it keeps them from gaining the vision and skills needed to make fine art.

The Poo-Bahs in the art world will use this youthful curiosity to promote more mediocrity and hokum. The colleges and universities are already purging their programs of traditional drawing and painting courses and encouraging art students to play with the computer.

Of course, artists in the past have always thrived on the introduction of new mediums, technologies, and systems of image making. However, that was before the takeover of art and art education by intellectual opportunists hell bent on getting their names enshrined on the wall of an art museum as an authority or patrons of the arts. The prestige once the province of aristocracy has given way to the prestige of art connoisseurship. "Don't you just love Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein?" "Women come and go speaking of Michelangelo." "No no! speaking of Anselm Kiefer."

And so we move into a new millennium whereby the fine artist is confronted with another diversion. Though most will follow the path that makes their task harder or even impossible, many will survive and thrive. This is the way it has always been.

Gerald King