“A little rebellion is a good thing.” Thomas Jefferson (From Goodreads.com)
A peak through the major arts publications is not very exciting. 2014 so far in the art world looks like more of the same. Installation art is still at the forefront of what many galleries in the major art centers are showing. Some paintings can be seen but most look like De Kooning retreads. Trolling around hoping for something to create a spark of excitement turns up a big fat zero. Where are today’s groundbreakers? They are out there. Have they been shut out by the establishment in the same way artists were in the time of the Impressionists?
The BBC introduced a documentary a few years ago with the title, “The Impressionists and Revolution.” Waldemar Januszczak shares a look at how the Impressionists changed the art world during their time. Monet and his painting buddies, Renoir, Pissarro, and Bazille faced a cold reception from the established art world of the time. But did they slink away into oblivion? No! They created their own establishment. They set up their own Salon to rival the main Salon venue of “acceptable” art at the time. In doing so, Monet and friends paved the way for Van Gogh, Cezanne, and many more who followed.
It took courage, determination and fortitude to do what the Impressionists did. They swam upstream against the flow. But they made it. They broke the art dam at the time. They shook things up. Judging by what’s out there today, it may be time for some shaking. How that happens is another question. Some banding together may be in order. Artists band together and start shaking! A little Jerry Lee Lewis music may be needed to get the ball rolling. May we soon see a “Whole lotta shakin goin on!”
Here’s Jerry Lee firing it up: