Difficult art reaches its meeting point with its audience via a period of mystification. The audience go through a period when they don’t “get it” – even if they pretend to – and then they “get it.” Your art by contrast never seems to have that hallowed mystification period. It’s so easy to “get,” but [...]

Difficult art reaches its meeting point with its audience via a period of mystification. The audience go through a period when they don’t “get it” – even if they pretend to – and then they “get it.” Your art by contrast never seems to have that hallowed mystification period. It’s so easy to “get,” but usually in the wrong way. I remember my first response was the conventional one of this guy’s a bit of a sicko with a pedo thing going on. That satisfied most of my brain but there was something else that made me take a deeper look and appreciate various other qualities – a kind of cherishing, sweetness, irony, and empathy that at first didn’t quite make sense. But isn’t the main problem the fact that your art provides people so easily with the tools to misunderstand it and once something has been properly misunderstood, people’s brains do tend to close down, don’t they?

Yes. I should just leave my answer as that as i probably can’t expound any further on what you said fairly perceptively. I think people prefer to avoid saying anything about my work. They get confused, the brain short-circuits on the conflicting signals, so rather than try to work it out themselves they’ll go along with someone else’s suitably pre-packaged opinion. The knee-jerk “feel good” sicko/pedo accusation being the obvious lazy favourite. Safety in numbers. Much better than having to form their own response and possibly concluding there might be more to it than that. Discussion of my work always falls into opposing fractions: those who love it and those who hate it. There’s little middle ground, unless you get someone saying they’re indifferent to it as an intended insult. After around two decades of artistic endeavor I don’t think there’s ever been much in the way of serious critical analysis of my work. This lack of artistic respect (or only being permitted the very minimum of such) is in fact something i do feel a little saddened by.

coda:
just read this little piece today about my art that interestingly echoes some of the above things - a curious assumption i’m a deviated mind painting pictures of “pretty, innocent babydolls being dismembered, hanged, punched, raped, teared to pieces” - i’m not sure if i’ve ever painted any of those things to be honest - she goes on to say i have “a whole way of seeing things completely different form mine” - ha, yeah, evidentially i do - but, pleasingly, she redeems herself by not being so confused that she cannot recognise the irony in my work, which seems to elude so many others - and she scores points for actually saying something about my work rather than the typical blog practice of doing nothing more than lazily stealing a whole bunch of jpegs for their (look-at-this-sick-shit-i-found-on-the-net) post on trevor brown


Posted: 2009-09-29 02:53:20Author:trevor brown