Stuckism – did you know that? (rant)

Sometime this week I was surfing arround idly on wikipedia – and found Stuckism , an article about a group of artists who reject conceptual art and postmodernism in favour of paintings which are kind of understandable and done out of a need to express oneself, not just for attention and monetary gain.

I went on to read their manifesto and other stuff on their website. Some of it might be irelevant to a fiber artist. But on the whole, I agree to their manifesto enthusiastically. I guess I’m not going to become a stuckinst now, I’ too much of an amateur to be part of any -ism, I guess. Also, my painting teacher would probably foam at the mouth with wrath about some of their art (he is into fantastic realism, and able to paint photorealistically if he wants to).

What I especially enjoy is their quest for meaning. Just some days ago I had a discussion with someone who claimed that painting (in the widest sense, including pictorial fiber art) as a medium of art is utterly dead. I responded that there’s truth in that, but it doesn’t need to be that way. What is killing art is the snobbism and of the art scene, which make art look disgusting for ordinary people. What also kills it is the notion that something must be shocking or a novelty to be art. This on the one hand, and the strive for decorativeness on the other hand. Once my painting teacher said: ” Don’t paint decorative abstract stuff. leave that to interior designers, they are trained for it much better”. In my oppinion, art in any medium should be about expressing emotions, thoughts and experiences, if possible in a way that is effective in communicating them to others. And it shouldn’t be spelt with a big A. I certainly found some of this in the stuckist manifesto.

Oh well, I guess the fact that I didn’t know about them, and many other art movements I found on wikipedia, probably means I’m a bloody amateur who has no business ranting about such stuff.


6 responses to “Stuckism – did you know that? (rant)

  • tenar72

    Thank you for the offer, and sorry for answering late. I do feel honoured by this offer, but I’m declining for now. The time doesn’t feel right. I’m just getting back into art after a long hiatus, and don’t feel confident enough jet to get into a group or show my stuff outside the inet. Also, I do more fiber art than painting these days. I think I’ll fist finish some more pieces I really like before joining a group, so that I’ll have to show something then.


  • Kay Susan

    This isn’t a rant, it’s interesting because I was discussing something similar with my sister. My artist friend Tania is a very good draughtsman and painter, like your lecturer, yet she recently did what seemed to me to be a very peculiar piece of performance art. I showed it to my sister and said I didn’t understand why she did this when she had such other abilities. My sister, who is also an artist, said she does THIS because the other stuff is easy for her. Now I think about it and perhaps understand a bit better!

    Here’s the link to Tania’s performance:

    It’s the Creative Co-op at the Underground Theatre.


  • tenar72

    I’m so sorry my stupid computer won’t let me see Tania’s performance. I have to say I do understand her. When I was a teenager I started painting in order to improve my screwed visual memory and eye-hand coordination, and got fascinated exactly because it was hard and I was forced to practice a lot. Pushing the limits is always interesting for me.
    Also, not all performance art is inherently bad. I just dislike the kind of performance art my brother recently suggested in our art discussion half- jokingly: ” let’s crap into a corner in an art gallery, think up a grandiose theory why we do that, and become famous.”


  • tenar72

    The bad thing is that watching others doing stuff just for the sake of exploring and pushing limits is not always as interesting as doing it. Really good art happens imho when you can pull something off in a way that truly invites the bystanders to the party, so to speak. (Not that I can do this LOL)


  • stevenbudd

    Stuckism has interesting ideals. I don’t agree with their controversial statement that ‘artists who don’t paint aren’t artists’ but Billy Childish did not seem to care at the time if the manifesto was contradictory. This is probably because there is an emphasis on myth rather than logos in their work. I don’t like the polemical stance of the movement (then again…who else is going to do it?) but I do appreciate their emphasis on amateurism, freedom of expressionism and spirituality. They do have a lot of issues with conceptual art. Located in London that is understandable, but for me my problems are more with ‘commercial’ art. Commercial art is not art because it is treated as decoration and heavily orientated towards consumer tastes. If today’s galleries encountered Van Gogh, Munch or many of the avant-garde artists in the past, they would have rejected them. Commercial art is also insincere. I have seen how artists sometimes change their names to produce art they do not want to do simply because it sells, change it back again when they get a ‘reputation’ and then discover people want their alter-ego. I always think of that verse from Scripture – ‘what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul’. Being unique and sincere in what we do is how we avoid losing our identity. We need more artists to adopt this position. It would be better for art, better for artists and would flavour this world. I am quite sick of the repetitive impressionism, semi-abstract floral landscapes and pickled Christ’s which seems to be rooted in a desire to make money, be approved or noticed. Much conceptual art is also based on a fear of kitsch. That is why Jeff Koons and Gilbert & George make it their subject matter. Preemptive kitsch based on fear of being laughed at dare they actually produce anything sincere and heartfelt.


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