When I see post world war 2 painters like Leon Kossof or Frank Auerbach they have a film noir existentialist vibe going on. The works are almost traumatic in their execution if you think of Auerbach’s constant reworking of drawings and paintings over many months, sometimes even years. They are almost disturbed at least in process, maybe slightly in content.
Maybe I am a bit ignorant or on the wrong track but when I think of the last twenty years, millions of refugees uprooted by wars, long guerilla wars by Western nations fought for decades, global warming, misinformation and everything else that could go wrong art looks like a holiday snap or a colour field of good vibes.
Are we in denial? There are many approaches to art making and I am no expert but sometimes even friends are worried about their work being a bit dark. Who are we trying to protect? Obviously not all of the refugees our wars uprooted. People get worried about women’s rights in Afghanistan as though that was the real reason behind our twenty year war there.
Nobody actually cares, I haven’t seen the Afghan flag ever projected onto the Opera House. It probably will never happen unless they roll over and accept foreign interference and occupation forever. All of the pretty coloured field paintings that hum in their anaesthetic therapeutic glory are like a drug for people with no conscience.
Artists like David Griggs for example are making challenging art that digs deep and there are a few who if they are doing colour fields are showing nature at its best. At the moment the most interesting work being produced is illegal graffiti because at the very least it has cause and the anti-imperialist underpinnings of radical Hip Hop.