Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Stupid as a painter.

I've been employed by the Royal Danish Art Academy for almost ten years now, and before that I spent seven years there as a student.

When I was a student in the early nineties, painting was,


Our teachers schooled us in the dogmas of Marcel Duchamp - Art should "...be at the service of the mind..." and that a painter was a fool who was in love with the smell of linseed oil and turpentine.

Apart from the pseudo science and prankster-isms of Duchamp, my teachers at the art academy also treated us to the writings of Deleuze, Derrida, Baudrillard and others, and to the recent saviour of the arts: Post modern architecture!

I would say most of us students could be called young "cowboys" (both male and female) We had picked up painting and drawing because it was a very simple and direct way of expression (and cheap)...Baudrillard...who was he, and did we need him?..

The art scene in Copenhagen was pretty lame at the time. If you chose to not listen to your teachers, but instead listened to yourself and made paintings, you practically had nowhere to show them. A few high-end commercial galleries existed, but they mainly dealt in lithographs by famous COBRA artists or showed already established artists in their forties, fifties, sixties.

In the early nineties a young painter in Copenhagen basically had nowhere to go.

Still, the spirit of the young is hard to break... so people did other things...photography, conceptual work, video art, computer art, etc, etc, while the art academy took us around the world so we could marvel at the genius of contemporary artists like Jeff Koons, Mark Kostabi or Paul McCarthy

In the mid nineties the stalemate of the gallery scene was broken, when a number of exhibition spaces run by art students emerged, plus new commercial galleries marketing young contemporary artists exclusively.

By the late nineties "painter stars" had arrived, people who were painting what could in fact be seen as "stupid" paintings, using strong colours and "silly" motives like small country cottages or the Royal Horse Guards.

Receiving critical acclaim from a new generation of art historians, they were also selling these paintings through newly opened galleries to a growing number of private collectors and at prices that would have been unimaginable just a few years earlier.
The painters were offered professorships at art academies, their work was included in the Danish national art collections, and even commissioned by members of the Royal family.

Spot the fool.

(And remember kids: Nobody knows what art is, so when somebody claim they do - Always do the opposite...)

Retro babe"...African Whistler doesn't go like that, does it?..."
Panzer Sturmpanzer IV
The nickname "Brummbaer" attached to these vehicles was a post war fabrication.
(unfortunately) Also my people
(regrettably) Also my war

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