Thursday, 25 August 2011

Down with Haghighi


See on line that the latest issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine has a feature in it about the techniques of Lucien Freud, the dear departed. Hunt around all the magazine shops in central London, but can’t find a copy. It isn’t even in the Smiths at Charing Cross station. Finally track it down to the book shop inside the National Portrait Gallery where a bad tempered boy points it out to me.
The feature is very basic and not very accurate about the great painter’s life at all. It does describe his palette which is interesting.
It’s a magazine very much for Sunday and casual painters, but there is an interview at the end with the Iranian artist, Raoof Hahighi, who has been short listed for the BP Portrait Award.
In the Q & A he says he's "never found painting difficult." If all his work is like the one in the BP Portrait show I am not surprised - it does not resemble a real painting to me, there are no visible brush marks and it is so hyper-real that it looks just like a photograph.
I used to spend hours every year going round the BP exhibition, now I get round it in about ten minutes. It used to contain wonderful paintings which were both highly skilled and expressive, now it’s full of vast blown up images, copied from slides taken by the ambitious "artist" all I suspect desperate to be some kind of celebs.
Hahighi also says that difference between painting in Iran and here, an interesting question one would have thought, is that "in the UK, the value of venue-based professional development support for artists is critical."
I am sorry, but I have no idea what that means. The person doing the interview, or editing the magazine should have stopped him there.

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