Thursday, March 19, 2015

Picasso, Malevich, Hockney, Brushes, Lion of Ninivé,

Dear Helene,

I feel great respect for Picasso and Malevich with my head, but I do not love them with my heart. Of course, this is entirely personal! We had a large Malevich and Russian avant-garde exposition in the Stedelijk Museum last year. I was surprised to see how Malevich has hurried through many directions apparently in great haste, only to find depth in his later abstract, angled work that has become so well-known and influencial. As if he knew were he was going and didn't want to waste energy at intermediate steps. It may have been a distorted impression due to the selection, but I doubt it. In some of Picasso's work I see haste as well. Please forgive my candid opinion! Anyway, it can hardly be a sin to be a little bit in a hurry, if you cover so much distance!

That's good news, if the destroyed statues were plaster. Let's hope the originals are safe behind bars in London and Bagdad. I'd love to see them, one day.. in London.. Perhaps.. Especially the wounded lion. I wonder if the artist intended it to be beauty and nature attacked by brutal force, or if the symbolism was bestowed on it accidentally in the act of destruction. Not that it needs a meaning.

Picasso, self portrait

Enlarged Digital painting by Brushes-monopolist David Hockney
Digital raster by Brushes-monopolist David Hockney

Hockney, yes and no. I haven't seen him experiment with the digital medium at all. You will find none of the new techniques and expressions in his work. He started to paint digital around 2009, not an early adopter, and has been painting with Steve Spang's wonderful program Brushes ever since, apparently being the only painter in the world who has access to the enlargement software that originally came with that program, the discontinuation of which around 2012 has forced a whole generation of digital painters out of Brushes and start over in ArtRage or Procreate, with the inevitable change of style that comes with a change in software. Their work since then trapped in Brushes at the size of a postcard, unfit to print or exhibit. It is raster, a straight extension of his non-digital painting. But of course, there was the step of going digital at all. He was the first well-known painter who showed that digital painting can be art at a time nobody thought it could.     


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