Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010: What "ism" are we in?

During a recent discussion with an artist friend, a question was asked that neither of us were able to satisfactorily answer. My friend, Kim asked "What "ism" are we in? I thought as we start a new decade in 2010, it was an appropriate question to ask and answer. I found this particularly interesting as I am often struggling to narrow down the topics of my almost A.D.D. interests in order to create a cohesive body of work while also expressing a personal yet relevant statement.

Throughout history there have been art movements that are often spawned by a rebellion to current events and defined in a new "ism". Impressionism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Modernism, etc.

Currently I feel that I personally can relate to "Stuckism" as I feel "stuck, stuck, stuck" with my art at times. And who decides what is unremarkable or boring in art anyways?


A neo-conservative movement in the United Kingdom formed in 1999 by the leading founder artists Billy Childish calling themselves 'the first remondernist art group - the stucists.'
They are to be seen as 'opposed to the current pretensions of so-called performance art, pop art, BritArt, minimalism, conceptualism, installation art, video art and anything claiming to be art which incorporates dead animals, tents or beds - mainly because they are unremarkable and boring'.

'The name of the group was derived, in the best art historical tradition, from an insult, in this case from current Turner Prize Nominee Tracey Emin's evaluation of ex-boyfriend Billy Childish's 1,500 paintings over a 15-year period which was:
"Your paintings are stuck, you are stuck!
Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!" - taken from Wildbrush's Art.To.Day

Terry Marks "The Hazmat Question"
Proclaimed "Stuckist Painter"

If our current "ism" is in any way a response to our current social and political climate then surely we would be seeing more angry art, more political art, more in your face wake up call art.
The most relevant comment I found in my search for the new "ism" was on

The Middle Class Art Movement:

Constructed Perfection

"The new art movement will be born out of the most devastating idea to hit America in ages - a retrograde motion in status and opportunity for the middle class. This art will based on the perceived attitudes about what the middle class was supposed to be and represent, its expectations and opportunities either lost or placed askew - temporarily or permanently. It will be unique in expressing the middle class perspective and the current struggle set amid a backdrop of commodities that have either slipped out of grasp or have lost meaning. And most importantly it will be set amid a backdrop of a cultural wasteland centered around consumption, excess, and discontinuity. Eschewing the most meaningless archetypes one should expect these artistic manifestations to be straightforward and simple in their presentation but carrying with them a poignant and loaded message. Born out of frustration and the desire for efficiency and meaning this art movement from the middle-class will be some of the most clear and focused art that we have seen in recent years."

Alternatively, people are more focused on a spiritual awareness moving away from materialism and perhaps the "Energism Art Style" is the new "ISM".

"First Dream" by Julia Watkins - Founder of Energism Art

About Energism Art - from "Free Press Release"

"Ms. Watkins has pioneered perhaps the most innovative new form of art, Energism. Based on Tai Chi, these paintings use large colorful swirls representing energy to demonstrate how man, animal and landscape are all interconnected through a natural flow we can sense, but not see. To see the collection go to:

Energist art is meditative. Its goal goes beyond simply creating a representation of spiritual energy. The artist seeks to draw the viewer in so he or she actually experiences the energy. The epitome of Energism Art would be a piece that when simply viewed would give the viewer a profound spiritual experience, a vision of pure energy, love and joy beyond expression."

Perhaps we can be in multiple "isms" at the same time or perhaps we don't have to be defined at all as long as we are still creating, that's what's important.

What are your thoughts on this? What "ISM" do you think you are in?

1 comment:

  1. Karon- we just were at yer demonstration on encaustic painting, and enjoyed it. So, an hour later I am on yer website and blog. Please understand, keep up your style and don't be fooled by a new age artist such as Julia Watkins. Stick to the masters such as John Marin, W. Kahn, Marsden Hartley, Frank Webb and modern mixed- media painters and there are so many of them. I don't understand your interest in Julia Watkins: possibly she is making many sales. Any one of your paintings will outshine the J. watkins paintings on her website. I suggest deleting her work from your website. Afterall,Your web is about you and your work!