Is Painting Dead?
As one would, out of sheer curiosity, occasionally check the postseason picture of a team or sport they no longer follow, I like to keep up with the buzz in the art world from time to time. Most disconcerting—and I’ve heard this one more than once—is that painting as an art form is dead. Even more astonishing is the assertion that video is the new, more valid form of expression for the visual artist.
Having spent a couple of decades behind a computer, designing, prototyping and, yes, creating videos, I can only look back at those days and conclude that it all felt like floating in a sensory deprivation tank, but without the feeling of relaxation. Even the act of drawing on a tablet with a stylus seems to me as unfulfilling as reading a menu, but never actually tasting the meal.
Although there have been many times where I genuinely enjoyed creating with a user interface, truly I say to you, there is nothing quite like working with your hands and getting covered in paint. Besides the heath, mental and emotional benefits of working with your hands, painting is as important to artists as playing a piano is to a concert pianist despite the existence of electronic music.
Humans will always want to dab, scrape and splatter paint onto a surface they can touch. So painting is not dead. Curators, collectors and critics will simply have to accept that no form of prohibition or disdain will keep the addicts at bay.