Tuesday, March 17, 2009

**** (Jungle Law)

The title above is my favorite Love and Rockets song- in which the singer ranks on a music critic. In the art movement I'm a part of, there are lots of art writers but a big lack of critics covering it. This has been good in some ways because I think in a way it has allowed the scene to incubate pretty safely and allowed for the imagination to roam free without too much fear of getting critically hammered. (I should add in the early days any good Lowbrow artist worth his salt could care less about what an art critic thought). On the other hand, and I've said this before, a lot of garbage gets through that gets labeled as "Pop Surrealism" when it isn't, or is just a poor derivative of it. This means critics who deign to cast a glance at it can get sloppy and just think this whole scene is about "bloodied little girls and headless teddy bears"*, ignoring the (and forgive me for using this word) important artists who are making some pretty spectacular work. It's lazy and annoying, but at the same time I also see why that belief has come about. I have to say...as someone who's been watching this scene from earlier than most, it's amazing what it's become, and it's been interesting to watch new people come on the scene who have helped changed the definition of what this "movement" is. Frankly...I do feel a sense of unease amongst many of the artists identified with this genre- and a rumbling that indicates some would rather splinter off (because of the "lumping" aspect). Part of this is because there are no outside voices to put a label on what is or isn't a component on what this scene is about. Any art blog or magazine that caters to this scene gives equal coverage to Pop Surrealism as well as Street Art (and frankly that kinda baffles me). But it's how this scene is morphing, regardless. I'm not really sure what I feel about it. I try to look at it from multiple ways. For the gallery- I stick to what I love and feel passionate about, which is technically well executed, imaginative figurative work. As someone who looks at this scene in with a historian's eye...I know change is inevitable and I can't wait to see what happens next as this scene unravels and reweaves itself.

* I actually did hear this from someone once.