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The "self taught" artist... PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 February 2012 19:07
Here's a great topic to get back into the swing of blogging: The self taught artist.  I came across this bio for an upcoming show and it really irritated me.  I have seen this bio over and over again by those exclaiming to be self taught artists.  You can simply copy and paste whatever your name is here and it will work for you to be "great" in the eyes of a jaded art world: Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 (NAME DELETED) is a self taught artist and creates works without preconceived notions of "how it must be done"; using (his or her) own techniques. (He or She) works in many media: acrylic, watercolor, collage, pastel, assemblage.  Found objects, such as bones, teeth, concrete, and other pieces of street trash find homes in (his or her) art. There is no object (he or she) can resist bringing to her studio, where it waits...a silent muse...for (his or her) next art piece. (Name deleted) calls (his or her) art "raw and visionary."   If said artist were trained, they would know full well that their artwork is not visionary or raw, but simply a junk aesthetic stemming from post-modern artist who were... guess what... TRAINED! The fact that we elevate such artists to a status with which they believe they should be able to compete with artists who have trained their entire lives, honing their skills and talents through the gauntlet of critique and history is beyond me.  When I see works from these types of artists, my trained eye will immediately pinpoint the simple flaw in their design, flaws that would have been overcome if these types would get their head out of the sand and simply listen to the point of view of experience.   Many artists throughout the twentieth century began this trend with their elevation of a naive aesthetic.  The surrealists looked to psychology and insanity to develop methods that would pull out their raw vision, expressionists such as Dubuffet also looked to the art of children and the insane to break away from the figurative aesthetic toward Greenberg's visions of a painting.  These artists opened up what art could be and helped to allow other visions to succeed as art began to question more and more throughout post-modernism away from aesthetic.  When I hear these self taught artists boldly claiming their status, I feel it puts a blemish on the vision of these individuals which gave them the right to produce art.  This is not to say that there is a correct way that things should be done and experimentation must be acknowledged, however, techniques and training are there for a reason, otherwise, the artist is no better than a child tossing things together with the hope that they stick.