Somebody once said that painting was a compromise. That has to rate as the understatement of all time; painting is not a compromise – it has become, at least on a personal level, an absolutely bankrupt ideal.
Whatever ideals or concepts are considered for the subject of a painting, or for that matter any art practise, it has become clear to this point in time that they will not be achieved. As soon as the first mark is made, no matter what care is taken, the idea is unrealisable. That first mark is a compromise, but from that point on the entire exercise becomes another failure.
I love that old romantic notion that you so often get shoved in your face when at some exhibition of one of the old great and goods – you know where they’re on their deathbed and the last words are along the line of ‘now I am beginning to understand’ – I think the technical term for that is ‘bullshit’.
The need that I have to make a painting that is not a failure is obsessional – there is no way that I can see myself not continuing in it. But with an escalating record of failure behind me it certainly does not make it any easier.
The aims of Art, at least in the terms that I personally define them, are worthwhile – but I feel, ultimately unobtainable.
I defy any artist out there to say that they have created what they set out to achieve. They’re either lying, or not trying hard enough.
Or they’re making wall decorations.
“You’ll be wanting a happy ending then.” 2000