\ Joshua Decter \ Lari Pittman \ David A. Ross \ Peter Schjeldahl \ Benjamin Weil \ Q&A \

> [ part1 ]
part2 ]
part3 ]

I'll talk about the relation between the very old art of painting, and a very new medium-- an extension of television. The Web or net is like the television meets the telephone. It is a vast subject, on both sides, and it is prone to a lot of abstractions and headlines which I'd like to avoid.

So I thought to bring the subject down to one real world condition: what any medium, any art, has in common with every other if it is going to concern us--- and that's a market. Painting -- which by the way is my favorite art, although I felt like I have been visiting it in the hospitals for the last 20 years -- is in fact not dead, and not going to die. It is capable of certain things, very fundamentals things, that no other medium can touch. It is not dead; it's just weak. The weakness has to do with use.

In the Renaissance, painting was the movies, it was the Internet, it was the newspaper, it was politics, it was sex. This was actually at the beginning of the Renaissance. It has, over this century, lost social and cultural uses. It has sort of lost its arms and legs as it has gone along. Photography is one reason, of course. The movies were murderers of painting. As the final condition of painting, it is something to hang on the wall that you won't get tired of.

And there are hundreds of walls in the world, and enough of them that belong to people who have money and are nervous looking at a blank wall: painting is not going to loose that function. In a way, the revolution started with Monet when he first started mass producing hay stacks, so you could get an absolutely unique painting, like all the others. And then there is the emergence of the portable painting in the late 19th Century. By the way, the thing that is interesting about France and America preferring different sizes of paintings is that America is somehow much more about painting culture. The refrigerator is of course the size of the human body. That is something we may want to go into later.

back | top | next