Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"BANKSY" - Genius, Vandal, or who really gives a s#!t...

It has been suggested to me that I stay away from saying anything controversial and more importantly, negative on this Blog. Some of you know that I have been dealing with this issue for a while - "If you want to make money in this world, be quiet and stay positive"...yawn. OK, I can keep it positive...but stay quiet?

BANKSY is an "unknown graffiti artist" from the UK whose work sells for thousands of dollars. Some consider him a genius, others consider him an outlaw and a vandal. Most intelligent people, and the police, really don't seem to care either way. I'm not going to post links here, if you want more information on him you can Google it like I did.

I'm not writing this blog post because I hate Banksy, actually, I don't really care either, unless I hear about how much money he makes for this crap. I'm writing it because I hate bullshit and when the BS alarm starts going off, I can't help but say something.

Let's start with the first sentence..."unknown graffiti artist". "Unknown?" Yeah, sure. Just the media making something out of nothing. If he is unknown how does he get paid? You cant even get a PayPal account without an email address. And what about taxes? At $75,000 a painting you can bet the IRS knows exactly who he is. The old saying "If you want accurate information, follow the trail of money. Didn't he direct something and write a book? Unknown, give me a break. A lot of people have to know who he is.

My favorite use of the word "artist" is "Graffiti Artist", which is just slightly more insulting then "Performance Artist" and both followed closely by "Installation Artist". Graffiti is not art, it's vandalism. No discussion necessary. The surface usually does not belong to you. It would be like me grabbing  someone else's canvas, without permission, putting a painting over theirs, and calling it "better art"...Did the architect who built the building ask to have something added to it? What if Banksy spray painted Saint Patrick's Cathedral or the front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art...would they leave it there and call it art? I doubt it. You know what you call graffiti art when it is done by someone who is really talented? - A mural.

I have said this before but I  don't like to use the word artist in regards to myself. To me it is a compliment, not a job description. It's like the word genius. No one would say, "I'm a professional genius!" unless you are Wiley E. Coyote.

If J.C. Leyendecker came over to my house and said "I'm going to give you my art" (Think about that sentence folks) Of course I would love to have an original Leyendecker!..but I wouldn't want it painted on my front door.

Lets take a look at his genius...not really. To the right is a recent work. He bought the landscape painting at a garage sale and added a Nazi in Uniform to it...It's expected to sell at auction for $75.000. First of all, like the painting or not, maybe the painter of that landscape was proud of it? I have no idea who did it. Who the hell is he to add to it? If he did that to one of my paintings I'd hit him with a brick. And genius!?..It's a tired and obvious idea, so overdone it's not even shocking anymore...and the above graffiti of a dog peeing on a wall...appealing maybe to wealthy Howard Stern Fans, and that's about it. I actually have far more respect for the above painting before it was damaged, because I know that it is not easy to paint them. Maybe Banksy should try painting a realistic landscape. I'd bet him the 75 grand he can't do it...except, I don't have the 75 grand. Besides it's like betting that a chimpanzee can't actually pilot the space shuttle...you already know the answer.

 Lastly, for anyone thinking these are well done. Most graffiti art, made by those who are considered the "best" at it, is done with stencils which are traced beforehand. I've never met a graffiti artist who knew how to draw well on a professional level. Most involves some form of copying or tracing. Just as an example, If I were do do a portrait of John Travolta, and Samuel L. Jackson from Pulp Fiction, I would need a minimum of six hours for each head alone. To paint it on a wall would take days not minutes.

For those of you who want to see public art displayed on the sides of buildings, here is some of the work of my friend Garin Baker, who I personally think is the greatest mural painter in history...and one of the finest living painters in general. He gets invited all over the world to do this and should be ten times as famous as Banksy. Look at how many articles CNN has done on Banksy...and how many on Garin?

 Yeah, that is on the side of a building! For more of Garin's mural work visit: www.carriageart.com
His personal site is: http://garinbakerart.com/

He also has a Blog I follow: http://garinbakerart.blogspot.com/



I actually have no problem with Banksy, or anyone else who wants to make graffiti art. All I ask is that they buy the buildings first, and keep the "art" limited to the ones that they own...that way, I can avoid the streets they are on...

It is also interesting to add that the Police aren't even looking for him - they just don't care...neither should we.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Now Represented by The Berkley Gallery in Warrenton, VA

Just in case some of you may have been wondering where I am the last few weeks...I have been busy in a great way! I was invited into the Berkley Gallery in Warrenton, VA.

I decided to drop the paintings off rather then ship them. It is much safer. The town is really cute...it feels like Boston without the snow and ice...I passed through the town of Gettysburg, PA on the way out. I had never been there and just wanted to check it out...I had heard that there was a famous historical site there but I got lost looking for it...I had the wrong address.




Here are some shots of the street it is on. I can't wait to see this town around Christmas time. It's in Historic Warrenton, VA if anyone want's to Google it.

The gallery also represents a bunch of other great painters. Two of my favorites are Michael Godfrey whose trees in snow are just fantastic! And Victor Nizovtsov whose whimsical works are large, colorful, imaginative, and stunningly well painted. He painted the mermaid and the jester in the photo under the snow scene.


 

I went into the gallery with the intention of dropping off four Minnies and two larger paintings. I brought with all of the new paintings I had just so Tom, the owner, could pick what he wanted.
He took everything I had! Nine minnies, one wave and two 10 x 20,s. I took it as an amazing compliment! He actually said "try getting out of here with them"...He's also  a really nice guy and extremely professional...I felt the need to add that because I have worked with some gallery owners who...well... aren't either one.  Currently I am am working with a fantastic group of galleries!

Here are some shots of the paintings I dropped off at the gallery:



"Apples & Rainier Cherries" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel

"Eggshells" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel

"Pear and Black Grapes" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
"Coconut & Limes XIV" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
 

"Pals I" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel

 

A Variety Of Apples III 10 x 20 Oil On Panel

BERKLEY GALLERY
40 Main Street
Warrenton, VA 20186
  540) 341-7367



Saturday, October 5, 2013