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A Call to Arms: A Return to Painting!

Throughout history, what first defines great art is its initial rebellion of current practice. There is a struggle to overthrow the old school of thinking and force upon the world a fresh new perspective of what art can be. The realists overthrew the academy, the impressionists overthrew the realists, the expressionists overthrew the impressionists, and so on. Currently we are in a stale state of plurality. Everything has its place in the artworld. Everything is happening and nothing is happening at the same time. Maybe we’ve just grown too polite. If I see an art piece I don’t care for, do I throw it out the window? No. I know why it exists and understand its relevance and further understand that I don’t have to like it for it to be good. Where is the fire in that?!
Over the past few years (or decades as it may be) conceptual art has taken a large bite out of the respectability of fine art. Any art student can bullshit there way out of producing real work if they have a strong enough concept behind it. Lo and behold, they throw a hissy fit if you argue against the quality of the work or lack thereof. If I were to make claim to a plight, perhaps this is it!
I am a painter. I spend hours, days, months on a painting meticulously going over its composition and detail summarizing its meaning, trying to create a piece that honors the vision I had for it. I am communicating in the language of art and painting. It’s a sacred language created by artists and analyzed and understood by a broader audience… If I speak it correctly. I am a painter because I believe in the material. It’s power, flexibility, and durability is unsurpassed. Painting is real. Paintings breathe. Paintings speak. This is a call to painters who paint from the soul, enriched by the mind -who strive to paint artworks with undeniable content. Be it abstraction, realism, or somewhere in between, if it is serious and speaks of deeper meaning, it is worth creating. Painting is not only stillrelevant, it is now even more relevant. Painters have the unique ability to translate pure thoughts into a visual language without the use of words to convey a deeper meaning that can be felt, even if it cannot be explained. Painters reach beyond speech and written word. Painters create this language and translate it to us. Painting is more than relevant, it is constant.
This is a call to all serious painters. The “intellectuals” of conceptual art are trying to eliminate you. They cannot do what you do and they want you out of the way. They are convincing the media and the galleries and are supported by contemporary museums. They ask, “What is art?” and “Is painting still relevant?” They wish to undermine true artistic ability and pass it off as cliché in an effort to lift themselves. We need to force our dominance and retake the institutions. We need to paint heavy and thick with meaning and passion! We need to return the vigor and fire to the art world and the world abroad! Stretch your minds and raise your voices and triumph! The art world has grown bland and deluded. Rise up in flames! Burn with passion! Dance on the ashes of sterility and blandness. Be bold in every stroke of paint! Rise and burn and create!

Posted by David Paul Downs on 8/28/12 | tags: david downs chicago Art content driven anti-conceptual

you made a de Kooning there in your last few lines, mate

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