Some of it is just psychotic

Is it art or is it just psychotic? That’s the judgement call the organisers of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition are making again and again in the run up to opening day next month.

A previous year's selection panel. I think they're saying: "Not quite psychotic enough." Of course, now it's gone the other way. Be careful what you wish for, huh?

Just thought that Padmum  might like to be forewarned.  Here’s a piece from the London Evening Standard.

The organisers of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition have told of their struggle to find work worth displaying among thousands of submissions, some of which are “just psychotic”.

The academician curators “have to look hard” to find pieces worth displaying, said Christopher le Brun, who is in charge of hanging the show this year.

Anyone can submit their work as ex-cricketer Phil Tufnell did two years ago. While he was unsuccessful, every year hundreds of amateurs join star exhibitors including Tracey Emin and David Hockney. Le Brun said many amateur submissions were “not terribly good” and added: “There are things amongst them but you have to look hard.”

Olwyn Bowey, 75, in charge of the gallery traditionally packed with smaller works, said “worthy paintings” and flowers and landscapes had been replaced by the “just psychotic”. She suggested skill levels were declining.

Le Brun said that even in art colleges, many life class departments – once regarded as the bedrock of an artist’s training – had closed.

The Summer Exhibition opens to the public on June 7 and runs until August 15

So psychotic is a bad thing then when it comes to art? Right, okay. I’m always learning.

Meanwhile, there’s a sneak preview of one of the bigger exhibits here.



Filed under art

16 responses to “Some of it is just psychotic

  1. When I saw a red dot on a huge white canvas in El Prado and was told it was by a GREAT artist Miro, I thought, “Hey!! I can do that”. Sometimes when I see paintings by expensive artists…I think “I am sure that this is doable”!!

    We shall exchange notes on niceties of art in person ….and thanks for the warning. Give me the Constables and Gainsboroughs in V & A Museum anyday…..and I just love Monet as I feel that I am sitting in the pond among all those lilies (Padmum means Lotus by the way in Sanskrit…That is why my column on is called Padmum’s Lotus Pond).

  2. Van Gogh was psychotic. And, since he didn’t make any money from his painting, an amateur.

    Bad luck, Vincent.

  3. And Rembrandt and Turner and their use of light. Stupendous.

    This is not bad.

    Currently outside the Solomon Gallery in Stephen’s Green.

    (Sorry about messed up url in previous comment)

  4. What exactly do they mean by psychotic? If it means a loss of contact with reality, that wipes out the entire surrealist legacy and probably most of the futurist and abstract expressionist legacy as well. Most of our modern art galleries would be empty of anything except pseudo-photographs which presumably are “what I call art” rather than “something I could do myself”. Heaven preserve me from mindless philistines.

  5. A world without Van Gogh, Picasso or Miro (sorry, padmum, but I love his work)? No thanks.

  6. blackwatertown

    Oh you’ve got me in the mood now. Anybody heard of Foni Kofi? I have one. It’s lovely. I’ll stick up a picture of it soon and you can tell me if I’ve become a millionaire, or just remain visually lucky. (Or not.)

    • Pip

      Um … just saw this post. Is your painting by Foni Kofi from Zimbabwe? He was a friend and made his paintings at my house. He didn’t achieve world recognition but he had enthusiastic buyers.

      • blackwatertown

        Yes – called The National Gallery – of that building in Bulawayo – which is where I saw it too. Would be keen to know more about him.

      • Pip

        I have many images of his work – unfortunately not on this laptop (travelling at the mo). I’ll write my story of Foni Kofi and post it on my website. It’s a good happy story. Would love to see your painting.

  7. Synesthesia and art go together!

    I am all for calling quite a lot of output as psychotic as long as it makes sense at some subliminal level. It it appeals to me, it is art, otherwise, I leave it for those to who it may appeal.

  8. The statement, “There are things amongst them but you have to look hard” is almost true. If we added, “really, really, hard!” at the end, then it would be accurate.

  9. I think that art, like wine is all down to personal taste.

  10. speccy

    I’ve just been looking for Foni Kofi, but google couldn’t find me any images- you’ll need to get that pic up!

  11. …visually lucky. I like that. You sure know how to put two words together.

    Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

  12. Psychotic art? That sounds scary.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s