Recent recognition of life-drawing limitations put me in mind of a pivotal moment in my 1970’s art education.
Taking a brief glance at my drawing of the reclining nude, the tutor passed comment “great, that’s another one“… but before I could say thanks he continued “out”. With youthful curiosity I queried his statement, expecting a correction. But no. Instead he laughed and told me that it was what one of his tutors had once said to him and delighted in a repeat performance “yep, that’s another one out… you see, we are all born with thousands of bad drawings inside of us and when they are all out we may start producing some good ones”. That day yielded two valuable lessons. An ironic introduction to humility and a painful reminder to continually challenge the credibility of my own work.
Never one to naively assume that other artists would naturally fall in line with a similar code, I did however not foresee the possibility that saturated market-driven mediocre work and the rise of rock star artists would result in the not-so-meek inheriting ‘art-world’. As if art-world’s celebratory glut of quantity over quality isn’t enough - with golden-pots Perry retrieving ‘objet-daft’ from the kiln declaring “that’ll do”, public passive acceptance of the ‘celebrity’ and ‘blockbuster’ is taking the product into dangerous territory.
For me, everything I generate is subject to valued judgement before I decide to either twist or stick. Call me crazy or old-fashioned, but thanks to that tutor I’m still not quite ready to call good, good enough.