I had read a line from Blake Gopnik's review
of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition exhibition at the National Portrait Galley a while ago and been greatly amused because I agree that "being realistic doesn't make a picture art, not by a very, very long shot."
I finally read the review yesterday and was happy that I had. Aside from the snarky bits (because I love a good snarky bit), I like the conclusion, because is my very narcissistic way, it seemed to be talking about me. Well, except for the "serious contemporary work" bit.
The most striking difference between this portrait competition and one of the country's big roundups of contemporary art isn't so much the look of the work or even its quality. It's the sense of adventure and consuming creative ambition that is missing from this show and that is there, at least as an overarching mission, in most serious contemporary work.
I've been slowly sliding into complacency in my own work, which I blame on being lazy, being a chicken, and my dissertation, which consumes so much of my brain power these days that most days I wonder if perhaps it's supplying energy to third-world nation. But I'm aching to shake things up. So, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll ask: What do you do when you want to shake things up?
And, any other thoughts about the review?