“Icarus (be careful what you wish for)” 2005
You know – I’m getting quite comfortable in my slow metamorphosis into a miserable old bastard.
Television is, in general, one of the greatest modern inventions devised to increase personal motivation. Marx reckoned that religion was the opiate of the masses – he didn’t count on the work of John Logie Baird then. I suppose I am fortunate then in that I am one of those lucky individuals that can dip in and out of the drug bag without being sucked into perpetual dependence. The absolute inanity of 90% of the programming does nothing but motivate me to do something less boring – which generally means painting.
People, inside and outside of the insular world of art, wonder at the productivity of artists such as Michelangelo, Picasso and Van Gogh. Where did they get their time and motivation? They found it internally, quite easily, because they weren’t being neutered by an all pervasive popular culture that invaded both the actual living space and non-domestic community space.
I’m glad that I don’t understand any of it. In all honesty I don’t even want to understand any of it. I’m glad that I don’t know why the new TV comedy is funny, I’m glad that the current state of journalism is neither impartial or truly investigative, I’m glad that in general the new popular music seems either derivative of music I listened to in my teens or is totally incomprehensible. In another socially cultural avenue I’m glad that the new fads in fashion are passing me by. I’m glad that television, mainstream cinema and in general most of the news media are doing such a piss-poor job. Because it means I have less justifiable distractions from getting on with painting – and at the age of forty, if I am lucky, I might have half my life left to apply myself with some level of determination to produce some worthwhile work.