I don’t follow anyone’s rules except my own rules… RULE NINE

Retrospective graphics.056

See this post for the intro to this series of posts about rules.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

Abstract erotic art… It’s the shape of things to come. – anon via

This one follows on very conveniently from RULE EIGHT.

Recenty, I made a conscious decision to stop going to discussions about art. Why? Because they’re all so fucking boring.

I am not talking about lectures or artists’ talks, which can be fascinating. I mean conferences, salons and symposia, those talking shops for middle-class liberals, agonising about stuff that really doesn’t matter.

Let’s face it, you don’t get many laughs at an art symposium. There is a kind of studied emptiness in most discussions about art, a chasing of tails that normally leaves you none the wiser at the end of it, only shorter of life.

For me, the problem is the lack of humour. There is a poisonous, masturbatory guilt at the heart of contemporary fine art that thinks joy and beauty are somehow trivial, unless defined in an ironic, post-modern, knowing way. A kind of professional cynicism favoured by the David Shrigley apologists.

One way I can allow myself to be happy whenever I can manage it is by avoiding making myself unhappy whenever I can manage it.

Soon after starting the review of my life’s work, I realised that humour in the form of satire, is a strong, enduring thread in my art. That realisation was liberating, and these days I am allowing myself to have some fun even if it seems from the outside like I am just playing with myself.

That was a joke.

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