Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Rikki Whitlock

'Ghostwormer', Oil on Canvas, 2005

‘Two things occurred to me when I read the Tate’s press material on the William Blake exhibition. The First was surprise at the idea that the exhibition is somehow supposed to confirm this mad old paranoid wild man’s continuing relevance for “the modern art of today”. This led to my second thought, which is that because I usually write about today’s art, I hardly ever think about him. His sincerity and propensity to experience visions always seemed to separate him for me from anything today’s art is supposed to be about.’
‘Blake and Today’s Art-Not related’ Matthew collings. Modern Painters Winter 2000.

Two things occurred to me when I read this opening paragraph. The first was wonder at the idea of who Blake would be if alive today-would we recognise him? Would he be busy writng and making art at all? This led to my second thought, which is that it seems a lot easier meeting people of all ages with a propensity for paranoia, visions and sincerity for whom Blake is or could be relevant than meeting artists who are written about. So how is it he seems separate from anything today’s art is supposed to be about?


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