Monday, April 9, 2007

The death of inspiration

Wow. With the click of a single image inspiration has been thrown right out the window and utter confusion has stepped in to fill the void over what could have ever possessed Cecily Brown, one of my greatest inspirations, to give up on being the incredible entity she once was.

Now I know this is entirely subjective and many might think the monstrosity above to be a shining example of "high art". Yet to me, an artist who was first inspired by Brown's early work as a sophomore in college in 2002 and was so taken by the seductive complexity, clever sexual puns and in your face provocation of her creations that to gaze upon the work above with its sloppy execution, muddy palette, and predictable and overdone subject matter I feel like the child realizing for the first time Santa Claus is a figment of the imagination. And that just sucks.

We've seen it before. The legendary tales of Picasso's utter arrogance, signing a blank piece of paper and telling creditors that should suffice. And the awful stick figures...artists giving up for all intensive purposes because they lost sight of their craft and only saw dollar signs in the value of their names and not the work they produced. Of course Picasso took several decades to get to that point.

So what's Brown's excuse? Already had her fill of being "revolutionary"? Her work only really broke out into the art scene less than a decade that all it takes? Nearly 10 years and enough collectors with deep enough pockets and you lose sight of why you painted in the first place? A master in her own mind. Hit the pinnacle before she's even given it much of a chance.

There is no excuse....

There is such a thing as "selling out" in the art world. And I don't mean painting what the masses, Forbes, and Art in America deem to be hot commodities. I mean becoming so self-involved and diluted you actually believe anything you create should be revered and will be the talk of Sotheby's. Oh...and thanks Gagosian Gallery for being so pretentious that you actually snatched up the above piece like it's something to truly be proud of. The celebration of mediocrity. Maybe for a lesser artist that piece would be an accomplishment, but it should atleast be aknowledged that Brown has taken several steps back in the artistic journey.

That should not be celebrated. It should be pittied.

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