The Stuckists strike me as something like the visual equivalent of garage bands. They use fairly simple and direct means of figurative painting, and don’t seem to be reaching for a sophisticated look. What appeals to me about them is that 70% solid overlap – including some of the most important ideas – but also a few ideas I don’t quite agree with, but which I like anyway. Article 9 of the manifesto echoes some of the things I’ve been thinking about lately.
The Stuckist is not a career artist but rather an amateur (amare, Latin, to love) who takes risks on the canvas rather than hiding behind ready-made objects (e.g. a dead sheep). The amateur, far from being second to the professional, is at the forefront of experimentation, unencumbered by the need to be seen as infallible. Leaps of human endeavour are made by the intrepid individual, because he/she does not have to protect their status. Unlike the professional, the Stuckist is not afraid to fail.
I was just talking about this a couple days ago when I thought of making drawings that could be wild, free, and bad (partly because they are experiments). I think the Stuckists are right that the need to produce perfect artifacts can severely dampen one’s inclination to take risks. And I like the license to be bad (and to share one’s bad art). In fact I started the above image trying to be bad. I just had the idea of doing a very simple drawing of a dog being hit by a car, and what you see is what eventually evolved.
I drew it last night in about a half hour, then today I went out and bought a pack of 36 colored pencils to color it with, which took another few hours. It’s meant to have an accessible, humorous, expressive, and even sorta’ folksy quality about it. This is so low brow you need to scrape your knuckles to appreciate it from the right angle. It does have humor, tragedy, and some stylistic jokes in it. Oh, and it’s the snail who is saying “Fuck Me” (as in “I’m Fucked”) because the wheel of the car that hit the dog is on trajectory to steamroll the snail.
And on more thing. I signed this “EW” for my alter ego, “Eric Wayne” who does more Stuckist art than me [and then there’s the German conceptual artist, Erich Küns, but they’re all me].
The original is priced at $325 (but I’m willing to negotiate). There are also post cards, prints, phone cases…