Every now and then one comes across an art site that makes one sit back and think seriously about where art is heading and am I travelling along with the traffic, going against the flow, or standing still.
Art and Cockroaches!
It really made me realise how boringly safe my work is. I don't have one tenth the talent of the many, many artists whose work is depicted on Art et Cancrelats, but do I need to be so darn ordinary and predictable every time I paint something? Why do I never give myself permission to just play at my art? Why is my imagination so lacking that I cannot even paint from my inner visions but always need an on the spot, hard reference be it plein air or a photograph?
I worked my way through every one of the artists listed in red in the right hand column of that blog. It took me way, way outside my usual blinkered box of what I think about when painting. I found the works by these artists humorous, disturbing, beautiful, surreal, mysterious, fascinating and above all talented. Never, never boring. So much talent from all over the world. It's uplifting to know there are so many, clever, non-conformists out there. I suppose many of these works could fall into the "Fantasy" genera of recent art, but to me they are closer in style to the short lived Romatic movement which came to it's zenith with the works of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood. Are we seeing a revival of this fleeting art period? Did it ever go away or has it continued on through more than a century of artistic endeavours?
Of course not all the artists on Art et Cancrelats are New Neo Romantics, - yes, there has been a Neo Romantic period. Some of them just obviously have a wonderful sense of the ridiculous, a fertile imagination, a marvellous eye for design and sinuous line and/or a puckish sense of humour.
Many works on that site are surreal,some even a little disturbing. Disturbing for my safe, conventional outlook on life and not gruesome or blood thirsty in any way. It is art to make you think. There must be a strict criteria employed before artists are featured on this site. Anyone can nominate their own or someone else's work, but the quality is so high that the selection process must be fairly ruthless.
Have a look and see what you think about this non-conventional. not-so-boringly-safe presentation, in lots of different styles from around the world. The technical standard of all this art is, without exception, extremely high. Even if you do not like every artist's work, I guarantee everything on the site will make you think and maybe some of it will make you smile. A couple of these artists are obviously very young - their choice of subject matter speaks of this. Yet even these few who are probably fresh out of art school, have oodles of those elusive things named Talent and Imagination. Some of the artists have passed on to greener pastures but their work endures.
Please take the time to work right through the list of artists as they paint very different subject matters. Some artist's works will appeal to you and others not so much, but all are interesting and loaded with talent.
Warning the odd artists depicts nudity, but very tastefully. Nothing to get upset about your kids seeing unless your principles are puritanical.