The Way of Creating Art
Philosophy of Art Creation
The whole 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st have made us used to
fast and cheap art without great value as craftwork is concerned but with a commercial value depending
entirely on advertising.
The great names of the XXth century still sell at prices beyond sanity and draw crowds of visitors
while most of them have nothing to justify such a success.
All of this is due to the celebrity phenomenon.
Yet, one shouldn't align this form of simplified art (which is sometimes good, sometimes not) with the major
artworks of the past.
From the moment a post World War One art work is concerned, we are not in the same set of ideas and artistic values
as before 1914.
After 1950 we are not even in any system of artistic value anymore.
It's a completly another language, mostly conceptual.
Everybody has rushed into this way of seeing and producing art.
And since the content hasn't any value anymore, and that the containing can be done (or even simply brought
to the showroom) by anybody, the only point of evaluation is the level of fame of the artist.
"Everybody is an artist" said Joseph Buys, which reduces art to the lowest denominator, inevitably.
Nowadays, to be a sponsor or a collector doesn't mean funding time demanding art projects,
it's basicaly buying a valuable on the market.
Since the price of an artwork has nothing to do with its quality, let alone its material or artistic value,
and even less with the time it took to make it, highly valued pieces of art are not better than cheap ones.
Compared to a follower, a Mondrian would have maybe this little unexplainable thing that would make it different
but many other great names wouldn't.
In general, all the art works produced after 1950 are worth the same, no matter if they sell at
extremely high prices or extremely cheap.
This means that the elite, the great collectors, don't buy better or more beautiful artworks, just
those which are 100 or 1000 times more expensive than the unkown ones.
The 20th century has seen a lowering of the level of art for the elite which became of the same quality and
artistic value as art for tourists.
And of course, almost all artists followed this trend. We gave up the artistic work to focus on
the mediatisation of the person of the artist. This is understandable since creating a work of quality
is not helping the carrier at all.
Rather than following the easy road, we tried to do something greater, stronger, higher.
We, it's Francoise Andre and me, within a few decades interval, who took this decision from the start.
We, it's also the great masters of the previous centuries who didn't have to take this decision as painfuly
because they lived in a world where this went without saying..
And they were paid, naturaly by their work and talent.
The difficulty for us to do something great in art, or at least beautiful in the sens of remarkable
is that it demands an approach of artistic creation close to that of the ancient masters.
And it's not enough to close yourself up in your workshop and emulate Rembrandt.
The artist has a social role. If his work is not recognized it doesn't exist.
The problem is that the elite, the sponsors in the sens of poeple loving art individualy and
having the means to support them, doesn't recognize the value in art as soon as it's contemporary.
Not only by lack of ancienty or by lack of quote at auction houses, but also from cultural fact.
In poeple's mind, what makes ancient artworks great has no value anymore in today's artworks.
From the moment an artist was born in a moreless recent past, moreso if they are still alive,
the vision shifts 180°. We don't expect artists today to be Michelangelo or Raphael.
And even if they are, no one will grant them any favor for that.
It's not what poeple today are interrested about, even when they are able to understand and appreciate that.
The only thing poeple today keep an interrest on is the level of fame of the artrist.
If this level is zero, the admited value will also be zero.
The 20th century educated us into thinking that all artists who are not famous are worth the same,
no matter wether they are talented or not, professional or amateur.
It's not because a painting is beautyful that it's worth more, let alone the time it took.
Wether you paint a monochrome or a Judgement Day won't change anything to the sale price.
Therefore, to create with the same mindset as the ancient masters, taking the time it takes and
respecting materials and techniques, requires not only technical mastery, not only the same spiritual
preparation, but also to fight against the general indifference in the valuation of the creation.
Certainly, the most dificult in art is to do an art which is worthwhile when the whole world urges
you to do the opposite.
Official art as well as alternative art doesn't give a damn about the work of an artist.
What matters is to be cool, smiling, active in cooperatives and busy organising group exhibitions.
Everybody will tell you that it's impossible to paint as the ancients did. That a painter nowadays has to
produce in bulk and quickely if he wants to sell.
My work is to proove otherwise.
©Frederic Hage 2012