2019 in review

2019 started at a very low point. Having just survived 2018 I resolved to keep working as much as I could and my art and music have taken a turn upwards.

In 2019 I managed one solo show and frankly I’m amazed I got that done, all things considered. That went particularly well and the people who saw it were immensely moved by the work. The standout comment for me was when someone pulled me aside and told me they could see in the works, a reflection of how they felt when their son had died. It resonated directly with their own grief and offered them a way of articulating that. To a large extent that single conversation has made this worthwhile.

Art SHOULD move people but too often it consists of tired post/modernist approaches, thinly dressed in spurious pseudo intellectual concepts in an attempt to sell or to post rationalise gestural art.

A large problem with most AI art and Data art is that it’s often pretty, often clever but ultimately it leaves you stone cold, giving you a fleeting glimpse of artificial beauty or a dash of understanding that the technology is clever. Does it ever move you tears though? It really should move you.

The work is firmly a set of anti-selfies and the decision to make them appear as simulacra of European expressionist paintings was a very successful choice. the fake worm holed rococo frames were the icing on the cake of this. I used the language of expressionism, new computational painting techniques and rendered them as ‘real’ artefacts. This is, I feel, truly 21st century art.

The next generation will be something really special in terms of tech and technique. Keep watching.

During the year I have had a number of exchanges with galleries and dealers who have questioned the reality of the works given they are both computational and digital in nature. These dealers often don’t really understand art, they understand the commoditisation and commerce of art and how to sell fancy wallpaper add-ons to people with more money than sense. It’s also particularly fascinating that they seem simply to be unable to categorise work done in these newer media. One has to remember that the vast majority of dealers don’t care about the work particularly, only about its saleable value. It’s tiring dealing with these people.

Next year I hope to do more exhibitions as I now feel fitter than I did. I would love to get support from somewhere but that’s the hardest thing to get. In my state as I have written elsewhere, people run away they don’t support you, so I am resigned to doing this alone.

I have started taking more photos of landscapes and environs, my plan is to pull together a 2021 calendar for sale from around April.

St Ives 2019

In terms of the music, I spent 2019 writing and hopefully getting better. I think I have produced my strongest works this year. The stuff I have in pipeline for 2020 is even stronger. I really ought to do a patreon to raise some money for a live art performance or two.

I hope that I am still around in 2021 and that 2020 goes well. In particular I hope more people see my work and value it and feel it.

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