Practical and Political

Painting is a practical art with rules and standards, this applies to almost any profession. As an artist it helps to learn some of the standards which can help you create better work. Painting can also be political but based on the standards at hand. It can also be political with no standards. Aerosol art is governed by rules as much as any other art form. Some artists though start to question the practical rules which a lot of artists have done in the past up until now.

Take for example plotting work which is very practical if you need a consistent look and feel with your work. Plotting can be time consuming and creates the foundation for your work, let’s think of Merda and his work with digital augmentation and aerosol art on walls. Zapalaxy had spent a long time in two different art schools and learnt a lot of practical rules to create his work which eventually became more political.

When I say political I mean not only overtly political such as Zapgalaxy’s poster work but also less tied to the foundations of working to standards applicable to making art to a standard. We do need standards but we also need to express how we feel about the world we live in. Maybe letting the standards drop and simply enjoying the moment is another way of coping in a society that seems more and more controlling.

Lately I was trying to do drawings with oil sticks which was somewhat unsuccessful but satisfying and the lack of standards was the real problem. My aerosol work which is somewhat playful still works mostly due to a mix of standards I learnt in art school and on the streets of Sydney. The idea of weight is very important to my work and the relationships between elements, composition is the best term and balance.

For artists starting out, and this applies to anyone, build those foundations and then ideally you can work between practical and political foundations to challenge political and practical foundations. The more political the less sales as people need standards for their own sanity, you gotta buy into it. I think to make my oil stick drawings work I need to get some standards going but at this stage I am enjoying the failure.

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