ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Royal Academy Yesterday, Newcastle v Aston Villa Today
TheGlorious Clarissa took me to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition yesterday. It was a Treat and I could barely wait for Saturday morning to come, so that I could get up very early, have a bath, make a flask of tea and a sandwich, get all Fancy and go and catch an early morning train to London Town. We met at 10.30am outside the RA, gave each other huge bear hugs (touch and go, Clarissa is tall but absolutely teeny and slender and deeply elegant and I am not, and fear I may kill her one day saying Hello, or Goodbye, or Thank you or some such thing) and prepared to spend the next few hours looking at, reacting to, liking and disliking the Paintings and Stuff on show. The excitement was intense as we walked through the opaque doors and into the first room of the Summer Exhibition. At once, I was affected by the power of the large and colourful paintings filling the brightly lit, white and spacious gallery. I thought Wow! as I went from canvas to canvas, finding myself drawn to some and not to others, but filled with enthusiasm for the fact that Artists had made Big Paintings and here they were for me to see. All the walls were dedicated to showing me what they could do, how they felt and how they interpreted whatever it was they wanted to enterpret. I was intrigued at the sizes of the large works, and wanted to do the same myself. I took it that this was a Good Thing, and that I was Inspired.
Most of the artists had RA after their names. This interested me. Their canvases and works were very very similar to each other. Many were abstract, some very simplified but recogniseably figurative, all with quirky titles and with a deeply significant Artiness about them. I wondered if the Deeply Significant Artiness was rather cultivated, and a product of their being of the establishment and influenced and inspired by each other and they just couldn't help it. This is What Art Did. Or was it truly individual, an expression that they arrived at through working alone in their studios and satisfied that it was theirs alone? I thought that the answer to that was probably a bit of both, and the generosity of the conclusion arrived at by any member of the public depended on how they may feel about art and artist in general. For example, I like art and artists. So I think Wow, this is amazing and interesting and I want to do it. But if I was on a bad day, and someone had just thrown up while looking at my website/studio/blog, I may say Bah. Humbug. It is all a con and I hate all this rubbish. Smack. (And I smack the person next to me in a fit of pique).
There was a room full of smaller paintings, by artists that were not RA, and they were lovely. There was a Tracy Emin drawing to add a bit of Fame to the room, which funnily enough, was sold. And the collection of little red dots to signify the sale of the prints of the work, were almost bigger than the painting itself. However, there were plenty of other well sold works and prints of works. I like Tracy Emin, and I would love something by her, but what she does is nothing I couldn't do. But I like the fact that she did it, and that is what I would buy. The Fact That She Did It.
My favourites though, were all the large RA Artists' canvases. I did wish that there were more large paintings by Non RA folk though, maybe because I am not RA and feel that the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition may never be open to me because of it. Even though I could do some Fabby Stuff. I feel now very curious to paint some large large canvases, and see what comes of it. Actually, Antonia Rolls is AR, so maybe I could sign them the wrong way round and quite legitimately become RA. And if I was, by any twist of fate, made Associate Royal Academy, I would have the letters ARA after my name. So I would sign all my Summer Exhibition Masterpieces ARARA.
And today, in contrast to the culture of yesterday, I am sitting on my red sofa at home with my Men. Alan and Dimitri are eating Meat and watching Football. (I, a Female, a Vegetarian and an Artist, am really fitting in.) Costya is a Veggie too and hates football, but is still a Man and is on a computer somewhere else. So, having been sublimely cultural yesterday with the exquisite Clarissa, I am now deeply earthy and in touch with my Testosterone and am watching Aston Villa be hammered by Newcastle. Being the Veggie Female Arty type, and still not very sure where my testosterone is, I am very concerened for the Aston Villa Goalie, who has now let in 6 goals. I want to tell him that he is OK, and that he is a Good Goalie, and make him feel better. I want to tell the Newcastle players Enough is Enough. This Poor Man is Hurting, Leave Him Alone.
But I can't. I will just have to hope that being a Meat Eating Footballer Who Earns A Lot, he will recover. Rather like, I think, the RA Artists who were charging around the £60,000 mark for their works and getting it. Since I will never be a footballer, I will try for being an RA. I will be rich, famous and always right. Fab.