Painting Never Died:
Lately I’ve been reading about the past claim that painting is dead. This bold charge still makes its rounds today on online forums and art blogs-- and will most likely continue to do so. However, while it is true-- specifically in the last few decades-- that the relevance of painting as a means of expression has been called into question-- it is also true that powerful works of art involving paintings continue to come into light. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the advent of the Internet has fueled the dominance of painting further within the art world as a whole-- and within the opinion of the public in general concerning art.
I say this because when one browses for art online it is more common-- at least in my experience-- to find images of paintings than say art photography, conceptual art, or even performance art for that matter. Even though the Internet has provided an easy platform for gaining exposure where art photography, performance art, and conceptual art is concerned it seems clear to me that the general public-- based on popular art viewed online-- is more apt to view images of paintings than any other form of art that is uploaded online. In other words, painting as a form of art is alive and well!
I will go further still-- images of paintings tend to dominate the realm of online art competitions. Since 2006 I’ve been involved in establishing over a dozen online art competitions. Those online ventures involved jurors from the Tate Modern Museum, San Francisco MOMA, Whitney Museum and other prestigious art museums and galleries. My experience dictates that art jurors tend to give high marks to images of paintings when compared to any other art medium. In fact, images of conceptual pieces and performance art are rarely considered-- which is odd when you think of the fact that the Internet provides the best tools for displaying those specific forms of art.
In closing, the popularity of painting as a means of artistic expression should not be denied. To suggest that “painting is dead” or that painting is somehow “old hat” or not “valid” today is naïve when the impact of painting is clear online. No, I’m not suggesting that painting is a more “pure” form of art or any of that rubbish-- I’m just pointing out that painting never died. Furthermore, painting has not been replaced as far as relevance is concerned-- at least in the collective thoughts of the general public. What say you?
Take care, Stay true,