Jones, Geraldine, Contemporary Review
The technological inventions of the twentieth century have created a society dependent on images. Photographs and illustrations are reproduced in newspapers, books and magazines, while billboard advertising invades our environment. Television, film and videos dominate our lifestyle. It is impossible to avoid the pictorial image and consequently painting is viewed very differently from what it was in past centuries. It has become accessible to all levels of society through the media and art, once an elitist interest, is now part of our popular culture as is shown in the Turner Prize and the attention it receives. There has been much debate whether a video of seated policemen, the winner of the Turner Prize, is really 'art'. The recent exhibition of avant-garde art at the Royal Academy provocatively called 'Sensation' caused outrage to the press and with much of the public.
Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that the public are often given a distorted view of the state of the art in this country due to the 'hype' of the avant-garde. Whilst promoting discussion, the avant-garde attracts attention through its ability to shock, and in doing so is taken up and promoted by the media and by galleries. To them the avant-garde is big business, but whether it is 'good' art, only time will tell. Like all art produced in the past, however, it is a record of and an insight into, the society and times in which it is produced. It is easy to assume that this type of art is the norm, produced by hundreds of British artists, but this is not true.
Most artists are unsuccessful in commercial terms. Only a minority reach the level of success that involves regular private gallery and museum exhibitions and coverage in the international art magazines. Most artists support their work through a second job, but their measure of success is very …
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Publication information: Article title: Drawing Attention. Contributors: Jones, Geraldine - Author. Magazine title: Contemporary Review. Volume: 272. Issue: 1584 Publication date: January 1998. Page number: 34+. © 1999 Contemporary Review Company Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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