Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC


Published before 2005

Hockney is a hack!!

When you hear a sound on the roof, there are an endless number of possible explanations for it. Aliens, ants fornicating, the second coming of Christ, the wind blowing a branch, the cat you normally see on your roof at exactly that time every day. My point is simply that, despite the endless possible number of explanantions, including all those (look how intelligent I am) "scientific" explanations, the fact remains that some of those explanantions are so hypothetical that they totally disregard the explanations that have preceded them, just for the sake of offering something "new". By all means consider the hypothetical and formulate theories, after all, where would we be today if someone hadn't questioned whether the earth was indeed flat. One could question whether one's cereal is poisoned, but unless one takes for granted that it isn't, one wouldn't eat. One could indeed scientifically test the food for poison but how practical would that be to do that every morning? No, the fact that we have a civilization is testimony to the fact that we have taken certain things for granted somewhere along the line. I propose we do the same here. After all, Mr Hockney's article is the equivalent of me questioning whether the structure of light was even the same back in the period of the "Old Masters", which would alter his "optics" theory. I need only find some sort of evidence that backs my theory and there we have it, another theory. Let's just throw out the fact that "tradition" based on observation proves otherwise, although I'm sure there are possible explanations to disprove that as well.

If you insist on bringing science into this, then why not use the time honoured "scientific" approach of using the "simplest" explaination as the most plausible. Up until the late 19th century, literally hundreds of artists were trained in the skills of drawing and painting from nature to a degree that would astonish Mr Hockney (considering he can't do either). That "tradition" of institutions like the Royal Academy and the Ecole des Beaux Arts continues to this day, although somewhat more difficult to attain thanks to Modernism and the power it was given by a media that thrives on shock rather than truth!

I'm willing to bet that a course in "Projection Drawing 101" or even "Optical Tracing" has never penetrated these interiors, "simply" because, no such tradition ever existed. Mr Hockney mentions that there is no proof of the Old Masters' methods documented in history. I ask what you consider the hundreds of men and woman artists, some of them "Masters" themselves, who carry on the traditional methods passed on from generation to generation of students? If indeed the "Old Masters" were holding on to any "secret optical tracing" techniques that they didn't pass on to their students, they are so much worse off for it. For they have given subsequent generations of students a gift of forcing them to follow the hard path of drawing without optical devices. All the more reason then to today venerate the contemporary undercurrent of Neo Realists that grace the fringes of our pathetically "modernistically intellectual" art market. For these are then the "True Masters" who prove beyond any doubt the strength of the "Academic Tradition".

Never before in the history of Western Art, has so much "horse-manure", "garbage" and "human excretion", literally at times, managed to penetrate the galleries and art criticism of the modern world. I see Mr Hockney's ramblings adhere to "that" tradition.

Victor Do O' Filipe