Sunday, 18 March 2012


Parisian misanthropist Quentin sent me this as ‘there is something commonsensical in saying WTF once in a while...’

Certainly there is value in questioning the structures that delineate and define contemporary art, but  this article encapsulates the kind of flippant approach taken by so many people - ‘but is it art?’ - that has absolutely zero critical use because discussion seems to end there. Certainly a great proportion of the contemporary art that gains recognition from prominent galleries can be conceived of as vacuous, driven by the market, branded by Artists; having identified this situation as unsatisfactory, are we not part of it if we make no effort to engage with the question of what it is exactly that is we are expecting from an exhibition? The author offers one suggestion: to see the evident skill displayed in John Martin’s paintings. Certainly his work is technically impressive, if today a little like biscuit tin illustrations blown to catastrophic proportions, but might art be able to instil more lasting impressions on us than visual stimulation through impressive spectacle?

Most importantly, Tracy Emin is an all too easy target who needn’t always be raked up as the figurehead for the condition of contemporary art today; in writing this, the author is pandering to his self-consciously trendy, studiously nonchalant VICE audience who should know better.

I suggest he look at this:

And this:

And most of all, this:

P.S.  Wise words from Alain de Botton, a few days after I wrote this:  'So-called 'bad art' is particularly repugnant to those invested in not being 'like everyone else.' 

Saturday, 10 March 2012


Michal Zuralski: engineer, porter, part-time photographer, my co-hitcher for a month.
Born Lubawa, Poland 1979. Lives and works in London, England.

These photographs of the Farnborough Airshow in 2010 are so striking for their rich, painterly description of the the clouds against the sharp geometry of the airshow's prefab architecture. The tiny planes seem entangled in their densely textured and ominously dark expanse of the sky - in some cases we almost lose sight of them.

I love these photographs - if ever the RitterZuralski gallery took off, these would be the first works exhibited! (Perhaps alongside other works by Millet and Titchner...?)

Mark Wallinger, Fly, 2000

“It would be difficult to name a class of landscape, in which the sky is not the ‘key note’, the standard of ‘scale’ and the chief ‘organ of sentiment’...the sky is the source of light in nature – and governs everything”
John Constable, Letter to Fisher, October 23rd 1821