Friday 30 July 2021

TV & the Art World


Television and the Art World

One thing that seems to loom large nowadays is the overweening emphasis on competition in many TV programmes. Nothing escapes the competitive treatment, It's "Challenge this" and "Challenge that" no matter what the subject there have to be losers every week and the  only one remaining deemed to be "The Best," with all the rest, that is all the losers being brave about it and putting on a brave face in front of the camera.

Many presenters, they are often art historians, who attempt to give programmes about artists, mostly outline their interesting and chaotic private lives very often to the exclusion of any sort of interesting explanation of the quality, innovation, handling, composition or relevance of their work to the contemporary competence.

The popular Victorians like Waterhouse, Watts, Stanhope Forbes, Lytton hardly get a mention although the re-Raphaelites have series devoted to them. Never shown, or heard of at all on TV are the masters of the 20th century watercolour Russell Flint and the Scottish colourists.

Additionally why do we never hear about the excellent commercial art practitioners who were so successful and influential in their time? The masters of poster design, Tamara de Lempicka, Ludwig Holwein, Tom Purvis and  latterly Rowland Hilder never are mentioned, the academic snobbery attached to the fact that they were commercial artists is still alive and well.

Very occasionally there is a bright spot with the appearance of Grayson Perry who seems to be the only person who understands what creation is all about.

I remember the old interval black and white video clip showing a potter raising a pot with consummate skill and dexterity. The same clip every time but wonderful to watch.

Wouldn't it be great to have TY programmes more like some of the best demonstration videos available for sale and on YouTube in which we can see actual art teachers and practitioners of some merit practically demonstrating how to do it. I could suggest John Yardley, Frank Webb, Tony Couch, Sterling Edwards, Andrew Pitt, Tim Wilmot, Thomas Schaller, Andy Eversen for a start,  all of them really inspiring to watch.


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