In response to some early debate on Sharkforum Chicago I played around with multiple identities and created my own ‘Fake’ gallery which showed various ‘personas’ artworks in different styles – all mine ( a bit like an artistic Pessoa 🙂
The Fake Artist and the Fake Gallery
Here a further response to the Mark Staff Brandl article on sharkforum.org
This article really hits home from the perspective of an ‘ex’ artist, future artist struggling to deal with the multiplicity of styles and cliques now infecting the British ‘Body Artistic’. I was a party to the initial infection of ‘oblique strategy’ art through a couple of interviews for Goldsmith’s College of Art here in the late 1980?s ( ironically just before the Brit-Art boom).
I was discarded as being too ‘traditional’ at these interviews and responded by disappearing literally to the countryside where I grew up to complete the supposed ‘reactionary’ art I was accused of. I ceased exhibiting soon after and have led a merry dance around the genres ever since and in fact came across r.d.roth of sharkforum in that dance.
It seemed then and it seems now that a a badly misunderstood ‘mission statement’ based on an outpouring of cobbled together cod philosophy (especially French) actually mattered more than an ability to develop or complete a substantial body of work. This trend has thrived like a virus especially in regard to art-training which has shed all pretence to accomodate ‘skills’ in favour of ‘networking’ and ‘business acumen’.
As an example of how far this trend predominates I recently had a show where I instinctively felt that my actual ‘work’ ( traditional landscape drawings influenced by Paul Nash ) were irrelevant to my audience and in a fit of pique I started drawing on the day of the show a series of sarcastic and irreverant cartoons about the art-world in Nottingham on basis if you can’t beat them join them! I immediately gained attention, some small renumeration and a possible future show……
I feel that I have stumbled into that world the article describes of small pecks at the rhino’s hide in search of my own artistic salvation. I increasingly over last decade and a half admired ‘polymath’ souls such as Butch Hancock (musician/photographer) and anybody operating well away from the main stream especially so-called ‘outsider art’ as they seemed immune to this ‘tainted generation’s’ stylistic morass.
It seems to me that artists have two choices…travel to Rome and adopt the clothes of the conquerer’s and become ‘curators’ or walk to the furthest edges and break down fences that border the still wild and unexplored possibly with multiple personas….Pessoa comes to mind and in his spirit I have invented any number of ‘Fake’ musicians and artists recently….indeed to the point where I declared myself a ‘Fake Gallery‘and declared my various ‘styles’ separate personas…
Only in fakery did I become real…