I’m annoyed at fake art. So, recently some friends invited me and my girlfriend out for a double date. They had planned to drive into the city and attend a wine and painting event hosted by a local restaurant.  While it was a kind offer made by old friends, I didn’t even pause for a second before inventing a previous commitment.

I’m glad I did.

Before you star complaining about how much of a killjoy I am, hear me out. I have very good and sound reasons for turning down that invite.

First, if there’s on thing I hate, it’s bad art. Not bad subject matter, or bad technique, or poorly done art, or bad as in “challenging” or “offensive” but BAD. Bad as in paint by numbers art. Hand painted ceramics. The flea markets and garage sales of this country are packed to the rafters with simply bad art that would shame a motel with hourly rates and a vibrating bed. I’ve seen enough paintings of crying clowns, kittens reaching into fishbowls, puppies chasing butterflies and the worst, Elvis Presley on black velvet  to last a lifetime and it has to stop. Maybe we can drop all of the bad art in the US off the coast of New Orleans and create and sea wall to protect it from the next hurricane.  Whatever we decide, let’s get rid of it.

Which leads me to my second beef. As  a full time working artist, I have a harder job to do than my predecessors. I’m now  competing with the internet, cable TV, regular TV and passive advertising of all kinds to get a audience’s attention. Most of those people aren’t buying art anymore, and if they are, they’re getting it through Etsy or Amazon. Not only that, constant exposure to technology and the internet has led to two disturbing conclusions.

First, with the advent of technology everyone can now pick up enough skills in a paint program to consider themselves an “artist”.  With that mindset, they look at your work and immediately de-value it by thinking that with a ;little effort, they could do the same thing. Wrong! I’ve spent my lifetime to gain the skills to  do what I do, and they haven’t. No cloudware program will get them closer or faster to being a real artist; they have to put the time , frustration, effort and sweat in to get the art out of it.

Secondly, exposure of the internet has led to the devaluation of absolutely everything. 15 years ago a painter  was a member of a select group of individuals. Now, I can but a canvas original from Etsy and have it shipped overnight to my home, for far less than my monthly electric bill. And if I’m not happy with the price or results, I can either find something just like it  cheaper on the web and write a bad review on Yelp as well. Simply put, we’re seeing the Walmart mindset applied to art, and as someone who makes their living selling art, this isn’t good. Every piece of bad art  that is bought and sold in this country is one less dollar bill I earn to feed my kids, keep the lights on and pay the mortgage.  Not only that,  producing bad art will eventually drive art galleries out of business. Like them or not, they contribute to a community’s life and well-being in a number of ways, and shittily painted canvases  don on the influence of bargain chardonnay don’t. If you like a culturally diverse and vital neighborhood and all that comes with it, say no to Paint Night!

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