Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Contemporary and Old Art Reviews

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby Featherblend » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:32 am

Stephen Feather
Hey Matthew, incase you don't get to see the Ryan Mosley show I have done a bit of a blog if you get time/ interested - I thought you might like as he has painted some beautiful colour relationships. Cheers

Matthew Collings Thank you. Paintings look listless and pointless. He should be shot.

Stephen Feather Pity. I enjoyed them. Saved you a trip at least. How do you mean listless?

Matthew Collings Lacking effort and energy.

Vanessa Graham-dixon yup.

Art Ful Where would you like him shot ?

Art Ful No...I'm not offering to do it but someone should.

Stephen Feather How can you say covering and reworking a 220 x 190cm canvas lacks effort and energy? Having him shot is just an immature, brick wall comment - unless you back it up. Similar criticism could be applied to covering a canvas in (@ MC) triangular forms or (@ Art Ful) randomly toy attached, blobbed pictures...

Matthew Collings Covering a canvas is meaningless Stephen, as I'm sure you know. The problem is the laziness of the decisions in the creating of the paintings. Colours pointless contrasts not amounting to anything more than the sum of the different parts. The aim of the work appears to be entirely mannerist, imitating children's book illustrations, fantasies, etc. Fine for totally unserious context.

Stephen Feather

Sure I'm aware of that. I felt his decission making in terms of shape, form, brush marks and including colour were good and part of the success of the different parts which make up the entire picture. Sure he must use pre-existing images bu...t I think thats a fairly common practise. I would say it seems that he is aiming to do more than immitate - although can't say for sure without seeing him work or the sources he uses. The seriousness of the contemporary gallery context is always up for debate - infact they are not always required to be serious places

Phil King

I was a having a discussion with an artist/gallerist here (Oakland) who was bemoaning the lack of critical rigour (rigor) or people (artists are the general audience) bothering to put their criticisms forward even if potentially hard to He felt it's more useful to be blunt and generate a longer term vitality than just either keep quiet or be emptily positive. Having been guilty of both for most of my artistic life I could see his point.

To some extent its about pruning and if an artist doesn't do it by themselves then it's going to be noticed ... + these look like they need some serious pruning to find any energy at all.

One of the great things about painting is that you can keep working things out to find the most vital elements where the pictorial force is starting to work. This isn't a reductive process and takes time and lots of energy either directly painting or thinking very hard about what you are doing. It's best not to do this in public in the initial stages. It's like comedy to a large extent, you'd better not get on stage until you are ready, or if you do you'd better be prepared to learn by your mistakes.

These 'painting' are flacid colouring in of alarmingly inert Victorian or Edwardian style Illustrations without any sense of questioning mentality at work. These paintings yawn 'no problem'.

The fact that you felt the need to think at such length about them might indicate that the painter couldn't be bothered to.

Just as the lazy unprepared comedian (probably used to accolades from friends and family) runs a serious risk of dying on stage so too the lazy artist.

Art Ful Very well put PK. As artist we need critical feedback. One of the hardest lessons to learn is to take it constructively but be grateful at the same time, as it is far worse to be not even noticed.

Stephen Feather

The thing is there is physical evidence within the layers of overpainting and rehashed elements that Mosley has struggled to arrive at his final decissions. And all this does create an energy - the conflict - along with the painterlyness an...d shapely elements. They may be derivative and that may be the problem here but like fashion trends things go around in circles. I havn't studied Victorian/ Edwardian or children's book illustrations in detail so I'm not aware of that but they seem like starting points rather than imitations. I like the colour - I think the dull mustard/ wine gum colours are unusual and unlike anything else I have seen recently. Although he doesn't seem to be so popular here Mosley does have some powerful backers so I'm not sure he will be dying on stage but I could be wrong - depends on the fickle art market. But his huge canvases and body of work would suggest to me he is not lazy

Matthew Collings This is an artist who doesn't believe in what he's doing. There's no knitting together of anything.

Stephen Feather I'm not convinced of that Matthew but thanks for the input.

Matthew Collings You're welcome. Good if you put some art that's more intense on your grand tour -- Toulouse-Lautrec show at Courtauld would be good to relate R Mosley to, to see how visual things at a very level actually work.

Mike Hinc

Nobody likes a lynching. I want to rush to defend the painter but if I thought the work bland I thought the blurb offensive. Pompous, pretentious, it makes too much of too little which only alienates. And it's asinine...more cliche ridden t...han the work itself. Oft used and much abused stalwarts like "painterly" and "organic" make me reach for a sickbag and WTF is a "nostalgic suggestion"??? Makes about as much sense as a radical artichocke. I thought the images lifeless and uninteresting but would have disliked them less had they not been wrapped up in artspeak verbiage. Spare the painter, save the bullet for his press officer.

Stephen Feather ‎@ MC I will certainly try to check out the Toulouse-Lautrec show if you think it illustrates your opinion because otherwise I don't have a clue from what you have said - you have not been specific or clear which is disappointing. @ Mike Hinc thanks for reading. If you think you can do any better then fuck off and write your own blog you twat.

Mike Hinc Ha ha ha..did I hit a nerve? Thanks for the advice, Stephen .I might very well take it. Good to see you writing in plain English BTW. You might try it when writing about art. Your artists would thank you and you'd save Matthew a bullet.

Stephen Feather

No - I agree its not the greatest writing (to say the least). But its an attempt and at least it contains specific descriptions of what I genuinely think which is more than I can say for anybody else on this thread (apart from you regarding... my blog). But nobody has explained their comments about the painting to justify such ridiculous suggestions as shooting the artist or that he doesn't believe in himself! I mean who says that! And if so then why? specific and clear...please. If not then all you are not being constructive. There has been no constructive criticism here. Lynching is an interesting suggestion because it does seem like Collings and the cronies here....

Matthew Collings

I have been very clear. I wasn't expressing an opinion, except when I said he should be shot. Rest was objective, listing specific problems of the work. To summarise them: he should get more serious generally, believe in the elements he's w...orking with, be less mannered and flabby, and try and understand how colour works. I only point to the Toulouse-Lautrec show because it's someone who does some of the same things as him -- seemingly arbitrary colour, sinuous line, casually decorative -- but is genuinely ambitious.

Stephen Feather

‎@ Mike Hinc - actually after rereading it I think its ok and self explanatory - I'm sorry you have interpreted it as "artspeak" but thats your problem. @ Matthew - why would you say he should be shot in the first place? Thats just dumb an...d unintelligent. The rest has just been cryptic and creepy because they are just statements without any examples - you could point out which illustrations he has used, which colours show his lack of understanding etc.. build an argument. It is strange to arrive at the opinion that he doesn't believe in himself without thorough explanation because that is a strong statement to make. So far you have been harsh and unfounded.

Mike Hinc

Oh what a shame...and I was just warming to you, Stephen.The "problem" is that you make high flown and vacuous claims for the work which are not justified and in doing so you misrepresent the artist and alienate any potential admirers his f...rankly bland and IMHO uninteresting work might otherwise attract. If you don't think that's your problem then from the artist's point of view you have become an even bigger problem than his work. The work he can improve but will you continue to misrepresent it? For his sake, I hope not.

Stephen Feather I'll take that on board - I think you have represented your view and attachment to the bandwagon here very well - if you could highlight key examples to form a basis of criticism about the work in the way you have with my blog than you will be doing something no one else here has done

Mike Hinc You'd be well advised to do so. Are you asking me why I find the work bland and uninteresting? I thought MC had given the work a rich and fullsome appraisal,that mostly chimes with my own responses and reservations. Were I to comment anymore on the work you'd only accuse me of echoing MC. And heaven forbid I should do that!!!

Stephen Feather Yes to help me understand your point what specific examples are you basing your appraisal on? Which pieces are lifeless and uninteresting? What areas of the painting evoke this feeling?

Matthew Collings

‎@Stephen. It's dumb and unintelligent to say he should be shot yes. Cryptic means very hard to understand, whereas I have been very clear, even repeating the clarities. Creepy -- well I don't know. When I point out that the work looks l...ike children's book illustrations, that's not the same as saying he had a particular book he coped from. Your idea that individual colours show a lack of understanding of colour is a misconception about how colour works; it's a matter of the whole colour arrangement having a colour purpose or colour point. All these objective observations are not necessarly in the service of an argument as such, but they could certainly be the basis for one, particularly one about avoidance and denial. Your idea that I said he doesn't believe in himself is the opposite of what I actually said, which is he doesn't believe in what he's doing. If anything he believes too much in himself. When I say nothing in the paintings is knitted together, I mean everything is an isolated would-be charming sign, not a believable element in a construction. All my explanations have been pretty thorough. The only harshness is in not being willing to go along with the self delusions of the artist and the daftness of the collectors whose activities have impressed you. Everything I've said is founded in observation. In fact I'm back to thinking he should be shot again. But you could get out of this mess by going to see some serious art, and trying to relate it to Mosley. That's why I'm suggesting the Lautrec show. (But even, a long way down the pecking order, Jasper Johns, who was the modern artist who first did that trick RM is doing here, of negative/positive vase silhouettes.)

Stephen Feather

I have not been impressed by any collectors only by the paintings. And I have not formulated an idea about colour other than I admire the colours he has used - specifically I could say I enjoyed the red and blue squares painted on the leg o...f the figure in Heavy Bouquet - they are attractive colours and become part of the costume when viewed from a distance - You could say no this is rubbish because....... But none of your generalised points make this clear - they sit behind the aggressive suggestion that he should be shot which is subjective and not objective. There has to be some evidence to this profile you have built and that is what I want to observe in order to understand. I genuinely thought you would like the colour he uses otherwise I would not have shared this with you. Everything I have said is founded in observation. That is the point. I enjoyed the painting and I do not have any other motive other than to discuss that. I think you could get yourself out of this mess by providing evidence for such strong statements. Maybe other people are easily in awe of what you have said because of your media exposure and status (and I too have a lot of respect for your work) but I wouldn't expect to get away with saying what you have without justification. You have provided a couple of examples above re: Johns and colour purpose & point (although I don't know which work/ s you are referring too so it which leave the point in limbo)

Colin Gordon Davis

I aint on NO bandwagon but this is what you wrote..-

'Mosley has a preoccupation of painting figures from behind or the profile. Perhaps this is because he previously spent time working as a warden in the National Gallery and he was used observing visitors engrossed in paintings from this position. It may also be a counter position to many of the canonical paintings in the National Gallery which typically present portraits from a full frontal viewpoint but I think Mosley deliberately wants to make us aware that we are observers, which are amongst an audience. This gives an extra dimension of distance, alienation and nostalgia to Mosley's rogue characters. And it also comes at a significant time for viewing art where an increase in the consumption of art since 2000 has had its support slashed in a series of arts cuts by the government.'

so his work is about a day trip to the national gallery? if he has a 'preoccupation' with figures why are they dominating the picture? Also a painting does not work because of others around it as you put it - a 'counter position', a painting works on its' own.
i dont know what worse the writing or the picture. If you even worked out the different stages of detachment and distance you say from the picture to the framing within the picture to the audience and then the backs of the audience; i feel so far away from the picture that anything the painter had to say would have evaporated by the time i had applied myself to even trying to understand what he was trying to paint. ah fck it i'll just look at poussin.

Mike Hinc Poussin is good to look at.

Stephen Feather

‎@ Colin Na it was a suggestion that is why he paints the back of peoples heads! I said Mosley has a preoccupation of painting figures from behind or the profile - he has done a series of heads in profile that is the subject that is why the...y dominate the picture. I was trying to say the National is mainly full of portraits depicting the front of sitters thats maybe why Mosley decided to be different and depict the back. Thanks for the comments.

Colin Gordon Davis these are not 'comments' per say; writing does not assume what it can find out; did you speak with the painter? even if he is dead, if it is worth its metal it will all be in the work .

John Robinson to quote the manics stephen "if you stand up like a nail you will be knocked down" jus

Phil King Stephen. i keep wanting to be emptily positive or keep quiet and then like Mike Hinc I look at the paintings again.

I've been thinking about being make my reaction into a helpful criticism ... its just really so difficult and time consuming to to pick out anything to focus on in weak work.. which is why I'm guessing Matthew suggested looking at T.Lautrec as a way of stepping out of the slough of despond you and the painter seem to be inhabiting.

I don't know whether to throw my rotten eggs at you or the painter or eat them myself for spending a moment on this... that'll teach me.

Just go and look at a good Van Gogh .. a colour theory book in hand + make some choices is what I would add. There are some decent ones at the National Gallery .. any colour theory book at all would help. Or just spend some time thinking about Paul Klee. Find artists you don't like and try and figure out why their work is so good.

If it's any comfort the paintings make me want to shoot myself I find them so unbearable and twee. And the idea that they might be OK because they include colours you've not seen used recently and like makes me want to stab myself, while the sensation that "Powerful backers' guarantee the quality of a painter leads me to reach for a rope. The figure thing you discuss leads me inexorably to the rat poison.

Empathy is an overrated and possibly dangerous quality when it comes to looking at art and can be positively lethal when making it.

Stephen Feather Hi Phil, I do appreciate your trying and sorry you feel like doing some violent things to yourself! It is unfortunate you have not had the time to think of any specific examples but I understand you have your own opinion. Obviously these paintings are not my own. I just like them and wanted to share them. I don't want to force an opinion on to anyone but if they have one I wanted to understand it - and unfortunately I don't feel any closer to that. Funnily enough I have recently been looking at Klee a lot. I am very familiar with Van Gogh and a regular visitor to the National Gallery. And I still appreciate these colours Mosley is using. I only mentioned "powerful backers" to suggest he may not "die on stage", not out of boasting or anything, I mean I have no idea anyway. I hope he doesn't, I Iike his paintings, I'd like to see more. Anyway thanks for taking the time to think about it. I just don't understand some of the language being used. Talking about shootings, being knocked down, using rat poison, throwing eggs!! very descriptive and emotive. Seems like there is something behind it...

Matthew Collings I haven't read some of the other comments. And I don't identify with the nastiness in some of the ones I have read. But the problem is not a conspiracy, or emotion, or violent language. That is, it isn't coming from outside. It's to do with a difficulty you are having in taking on critical perceptions. They have been formulated very clearly, partly because the people who have been having them are used to trying to be clear, but also because the problems of RM's work are extremely obvious.

Stephen Feather Thanks Matthew - I feel a bit guilty of being a bit nasty myself (swearing at someone, being a bit aggressive and critical towards you and others) Sorry. So I may be partly to blame for that. But its only come as I have tried to understand these critical perceptions. And because I am passionate about art and painting. You have to say you did start with the shooting idea though!? Anyway that doesn't matter now. Unfortunately I honestly don't see any obvious problems with RM's work - I like them. They have inspired me and thats what I sticking too. I'm not saying anyone else has to feel like that and I'm not saying I'm right, wrong or have any superiority over anybody else. But I have the freedom to say thats what I think. I am constantly trying to inform my decisions and improve so I will heed the suggestions here and report back with any new findings. I feel it has certainly been a positive thing that so much heat has been created by this topic and shows there is an underlying feeling towards certain art here - not sure what that is but I did not originally see this "debate" as a contest, competition, or that I have been "knocked down" as the loser. And I think its a bit strange of those people who do. Hopefully it is stimulating and open ended (at least that is how I have found it)

Matthew Collings That's the problem though, it's not a competition, it's an issue of bad versus good. Good doesn't compete with bad, it's its opposite.

Stephen Feather Come to the Dark side Matthew... ha ha Can that be objective though? Who is deciding on these categories? Do we all have to share the same idea of good and bad? Is that obvious?

Matthew Collings Yes it's obvious. The dark side isn't the dark side it's the naive side.

Stephen Feather But isn't that subjective? Are you saying there are golden rules that govern this thing? If I like RM's painting does that automatically label me as naive?

Matthew Collings Yes it does I'm afraid. No there are no golden rules. Naive isn't bad. Just drop defenses and take in new information.

Stephen Feather I have heard you use the term naive before at (I think) Oxford Uni talk in reference to how little you thought they had read on art. I am no expert but I have studied art and art history. I find you saying that discouraging

Matthew Collings The naivite of your support for RM has nothing to do with reading about art, but is to do with accepting the obvious bait that he sets out for the credulous (maybe even including himself).

Stephen Feather My support is founded in observation, knowledge and subjectivity. It is not definitive or an ending point, neither is the art work. It may change. In that sense it may be naive. In that sense we are all shifting from points of naivety.

Matthew Collings No I'm saying I don't think the thing you remember me saying in Oxford about "how little they had read about art" is the thing that has caused you to support a silly art-world hustler like RM. I'm saying that the things you're saying now regarding observation etc are deluded.

Stephen Feather Am I deluded because I'm not seeing your point view?
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby CAP » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:50 am

Jeez Feath… were you on the wrong thread!

Looks like you caught Matt rehearsing his part for the next Grumpy Old Men series, and finding plenty of willing accomplices. Mike Hinc among them – Mike? Please Mike!

What can you say? Some people just don’t or won’t get it. It’s probably a generational thing. In the end there’s nothing left to say to them. Actually, such hostility from the old guard might not be a bad sign for Mosley.

I imagine Ryan would have breathed a huge sigh of relief upon hearing his work has escaped (or excaped) the old fart’s recipe of ‘energy’ ‘seriousness’ ‘sincerity’ ‘formal rigour’ (unity) and ‘good taste’.

“Phew! Luckily that’s not me!”

On the other hand, grateful that the establishment has now issued a death warrant, found his work excessively and maddeningly mannered and derived from déclassé or just plain naff sources. This is like five stars in my Michelin Guide.


Is there anything to be salvaged from the thread? Well Lautrec is always worth a look, to be sure. But that kind of curvy elegance, the line of arabesque fit is just what Mosley is not about. These are clumping, bumping, tottering emblems of social inadequacy, private discomfort. Back in about 2007-8 the talk was of the ‘carnivalesque’ in Mosley’s bumbling stock or stereotypes, and I was put off by the drawing and painting, feeling that they would benefit from smaller scale, more intense, heavier brushwork. My feeling was that it looked like he was skimping on the paint, too dithering on that scale. Smaller pictures would have meant he could be more generous and ruthless. But this was perhaps only to make him into me, and one of those is surely enough – too many for most. His show in February 2010 had quite a long thread on London Painting blogspot – but I can only retrieve my own comment from that:

@ Flangegrit
Even without going to the current show, there are a number of things obvious from the JPGs, that lead me to prefer this to
last’s year’s outing (which was also in February, actually).

The work is by and large darker, literally and metaphorically. A lot of the whimsical lightness – the sketchiness has been replaced by stronger overall composition or design. Yet the pictures feel more immediate, less forced for it. There is this veiled, perverse quality now. Which I’m comfortable with! Last year I complained that the drawing seemed too distant from the painting, but there’s much less of that this time around. I still prefer the smaller works – just because the brushwork is so much more effective, you really sense the whole picture being made or remade in them – even when things get pretty abstract. And there isn’t the temptation for Ryan to get cute with all that background.

I’d go along with the affinities with Tait – arranging his objects on a blank ground, in strange combination, a strong linear foundation, a thin facture. But as personalities they’re like chalk and cheese – Tait very much the chalk in the equation. This is not to disparage Mosley, or prefer Tait, just saying this is how you currently get filed –at least by me. The Doig comparison seems farfetched – but I haven’t seen that much Doig lately. Is he into this much abstraction now? My feeling is he likes his figures in much more of a setting. With Ofili there’s a completely different kind of design sense at work – nothing like the freedom Mosley’s finding. Ofili’s stuff always seems rigid to me, even when the drawing is emphatically flaccid or dippy. When he tries to loosen up and be ‘painterly’ it just looks all the more forced. The watercolours are OK – but I think I went there with Rodin and I’ll never be the same for it.

Did Mosley study with Krut? Who co-incidentally has a show on at Modern Art. Someone brought up Ansel K last time, but really the less said about him the better.

As for Guston – now this is someone whose work I do know up-close and at length. And you can’t really draw like Guston unless you’re going to paint like Guston, and you can’t really paint like Guston unless you get that impasto, that big brush arrogance. And you can’t really get that unless you’re prepared to step back from the imagery and treat it as so much colour, facture and composition and you can’t really do that unless you’ve gone over to the dark side, worked your way through full abstraction, gesture, field, scale and alcoholism and then realised that you might as well start from an image anyway, or the figurative impulse and you get a free ride back to stumblebum, which is practically my home town. And then suddenly you can draw that way – you know how much of it the painting needs, the object holds, how you can suddenly do incredibly dopey things and make them work formally, because formally you’re just counter-punching, landing heavier and heavier blows until you either run out paint or die with a mouth full of ketchup drenched fries.

Okay, Diet Cokes are on me.

At least some of that is desperately lacking in context here, obviously, but the comparisons still seem pertinent – Doig, Offili and Tait, mate. To update, it’s probably worth saying a little more about the sources and treatment. Yes they recall children’s storybooks – except for the orgies – yes they deal in a very frontal or emblematic picture plane, that lends itself to a decorative, intensely linear treatment – and the emphasis upon masks, head wear and costumes, symbolic or metaphorical tasks and poses, all flag an interest in roles beyond the quotidian or immediate. Mostly, for Mosley, we’re dealing in sex roles, and when not sexual encounters, the work is fascinated with personification, with making a face from a bean or a bug, with attributing personality to a snake or cactus, adding a beard to sundry surprising candidates. Yeah the guy’s got identity issues. All those averted heads, awkwardly framed, someone’s having troubling meeting our gaze, staying focussed. But iconography aside, what does that do for style? While Ryan harks back to basics for roles, if only wardrobe and makeup, the scale, sketchiness and scumbling argue (as Collings rightly discerns) an immersion that doesn’t quite carry, a lack of conviction, a certain self-loathing futility. Which it probably takes a certain kind of person to warm too, all said. But for the moment, I’m willing to go that extra yard for Ryan, seeing as I don’t know him. Thirty years ago people dumped on Francesco Clemente for being a slacker (I confess, I may have passed the odd such remark myself…) – these days he’s blue chip, when not blue chimp.

I entirely understand Feath’s response, although I fail to understand why he would want to befriend a sad old fart like Collings. But we all make mistakes. :lol:
User avatar
Posts: 1081
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Off-world

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby CAP » Thu Jul 21, 2011 7:54 am

Matthew Collings: 'I haven't read some of the other comments. And I don't identify with the nastiness in some of the ones I have read'.

- '....a silly art-world hustler like RM'.

Takes one to know one, I guess. ;)
User avatar
Posts: 1081
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Off-world

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby Featherblend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:33 am

I know!!! and it continues....

Phil King
At last count Matthew has 3305 friends many of whom are quite vocal in disagreeing with him.. the response you've gained here has been quite extreme.. the offer to set up a firing squad and a potential one person suicide frenzy.. as well as... a number of people trying to explain why their reaction is so extreme without having to get caught up in looking at the paintings any more or having to tell you what to think...beyond go away and look at some painting.

Sometimes a 'I think it's really bad' brick wall is all you are going to get. This kind of painting was fairly dominant in the early 1980's and poor Matthew, who is a lot lot older than I am, had to live through it's horror once already, and sounds heavily armed. I caught the tail end of it and as you can tell I am still traumatized, so traumatized that I can't even remember any examples.. there was this Scottish bloke whose paintings were just everywhere... part of the rejection is that this kind of painting (and it is a generic kind of painting rather than a specific vision) takes any interest and possibility in painting and plugs it into a supposedly complete in' look at me I'm figurative, abstract and tell a story and am kind of decorative too'. It doesn't even make this mess with any critical intent. It's a hasty lazy synthesis of difficult problems that are worth so much more that that.It is a reduction of them to a general sameness. And one that makes more than just me (comically but seriously) angry by the look of it.

Basically what you are doing from our,( and I use the word advisedly because I've been reading the others comments carefully), perspective, is asking us to take seriously paintings that to us are finally on the level of something that might be found in IKEA , no.. worse actually, and then you are asking us to justify our rejection. Forget all the 'violent' language.. I know you don't seriously believe anyone is in mortal threat... listen to the blanket rejection of what you've offered. It is a wall. Your choice has been brutally peer reviewed... people have been taking time to present a solid brick wall. That's actually quite rare.

To be honest I'm surprised you've not had any backup yet.. but each response you give just seems to reduce your understanding further.. consider your question' is it just that it looks too illustrative and not fine art enough?'

One answer might be: it is because it is trying to look fine art, to co-opt a superficial impression of fine art into an illustrative style.. finally doing justice to neither illustration or fine art. The painter is culpable because he doesn't want to sacrifice any of the goodies from either discipline. (goodies that were hard won by other artists and illustrators that he just wastes through a superficial understanding.)

Lazily he wants it all and you, in your defence of him, are saying that's ok and it doesn't paraphrase my impression of what you are saying: :" I know what I like..other important people like him too.." you even isolate colours that you like as if colours matter on their own.. .then you ask us for help rather than you doing what you should be doing - which is forget everything you think you know and go and look at some paintings to figure out why you crashed into such a brick wall.

Painting and art does matter and getting it is really difficult... at least to talk about it. I get the impression that you think that it is easy and I for one find that a tad insulting.

All the resources are out there for you.. you have the enthusiasm .. (though please put blogging on hold for a have the ability to cause pain) and take a notebook or sketchpad. Any education and anything you think you know about art should be ditched.. start again.

James Topple Yeah!

Colleen O'Reilly Hi Stephen, check out Kai Althoff.

Stephen Feather ‎@ John Robinson – I understand it was a metaphor! But why use such a hostile metaphor to begin with? I didn't do practical art at university – so is that how it works? The teachers just say thats not good art you are going to get 'knocked down' and the students follow obediently? I do both (paint and study others). Cool I will check out you suggestions – prob not the prozac though!!

Stephen Feather
‎@ Phil King – Anger management Phil. Anger management... I'm not asking to be taught anything. I want you to back up your ridiculous comments and all you can do is say this is shit, I'm cutting my leg, now go to this museum like a whinny c...hild. I have said I understand you don't like them so understand that I do and thats my opinion. The responses have been extreme and from what you are saying you represent a minority of the 'Collings Universe'. You do not control opinion here – you are not the designated person to decide on the choices of other people. So Remember I have not told you to do anything. I have found it is not blanket rejection – it is a particular occurrence located here. A Scottish bloke!! - great I'll get straight on that Sherlock. Perhaps you would like to round up all the art you are not happy with and make an example of it? You could call it 'degenerate'....and all the people who disagree, - you could round them up and put them into little camps.... and you could stand there and fell happy your superiority reigns over the world. The end.

Stephen Feather ‎@ Colleen - will do, ta.

Stephen Feather I'd like to point you in the direct of: for an alternative view on this thread

Matthew Collings Good that you have some friends out on there on your own intellectual level Stephen.

Stephen Feather Your friends too Matt! Re: Jasper Joffe and Ryan Mosley!!

Matthew Collings Jasper is great but his take on art is very different to mine.

Stephen Feather Wow but you can still tolerate him even though he has his own thoughts, thats amazing....or maybe your doing a bit of charity by hanging with the 'deluded' amongst us

Matthew Collings Colleen is right to point to Kai Althoff. RM does the same kind of vague references to a past that seems specific but actually unpindownable, but KA has witty presentation strategies that counter the visual feebleness.
Last edited by Featherblend on Mon Nov 21, 2011 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby Featherblend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:01 pm

And more....

Matthew Collings You're continuing with assumptions that I can't account for. I'm not criticising your thoughts for being your own. I'm hanging with you for fun.

Stephen Feather It has been fun. But if what I have said is deluded then that implies that I myself must be deluded - your basically saying that. Perhaps its too easy to be a sensationalist critic like saying ' he should be shot' - that is lazy

Matthew Collings Ha ha come off it, you know I'm joking about shooting. You are deluded yes, like the dazzling philosophers your link took me to. You can stay that way or get more informed, it's up to you.

Jasper Joffe hey don't bring me in !

Stephen Feather Joking yes - but its a sensationalist way of causing a stir without really saying anything. And that is what has started this whole thing. That is Jasper Joffe site so you can direct that sarcasm to your 'friend'. I have already stated my intentions.

Matthew Collings Yes Stephen hey are earth shattering, I am humbled.

Stephen Feather C'mon Jasper Joffe! You believe that people can voice their opinions freely on your site don't you? This is what happens when a bunch of people debate. What would you say if Collings said you should be shot because your paintings were listless? And thats it? Wouldn't you want an explanation?

Matthew Collings You are veering from forelock tugging to crazy vainglory.

Stephen Feather Na

Matthew Collings Are you running crying to mummy now about poor Ryan being ordered to be shot?

Jasper Joffe free speech, go for it guys... rhetoric fine with me, don't think meant literally

Jasper Joffe love mummy

Matthew Collings Ha ha you don't think.

Matthew Collings Boo hoo

Stephen Feather Its the only way for you to see that just saying something is shit is not enough

Stephen Feather I have had to squeeze your thoughts out

Matthew Collings Ha ha you are funny.

Stephen Feather I might as well as thought of them myself

Matthew Collings Uh?

Stephen Feather That way I wouldn't have to listen to a condesending old goat like you - the establishment

Matthew Collings Hmm.

Matthew Collings I think you are getting carried away now.

Stephen Feather Shouldnt you support people on Jasper Joffe rather than being so childish

Stephen Feather I respected you

John Robinson Yep, its time for you to go and sit in the corner and think about what you have done.

Stephen Feather what happened to you?

Stephen Feather you used to be beautiful - to quote Jackie Brown by QT

Matthew Collings Ha ha are you writing a play?

Stephen Feather Although Beauty is subjective so maybe you couldn't stand that it has to be from the golden rule book

Stephen Feather Are you going to do the art version of stars in their eyes next?

Stephen Feather Tonight Matthew...

James Topple
Why have you bothered to waste your time with this twat? I thought it was funny at first but now it's just irritating. Whether the artist's work is shit or not is not the point anymore, it's your ridiculous ego and 'naivity' that is annoyin...g, that you could presume that because you're fresh out of art school and made some shitty blog that you suddenly know better than MATTHEW FUCKING COLLINGS for fuck sake. Don't be such a disrespectful little prick, take the fucking constructive criticism and stop being a dick.

Stephen Feather All hail Matthew Collings!! Why do you just accept him by default? Why don't you make me take it James?
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby CAP » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:33 pm

So much for art criticism on Fascistbook. Look I don't blame you for wanting to share, you assumed you were among friends when they were nothing of a sort. But you've got to realise old Matt and his cronies are not really up for it. I suppose this paints you as a tad naïve, but hopefully there’s a lesson learned there –


We are not the big name critics and their fawning sycophants (that Topple! I think he must be just out of the army) and we do have time for more than abuse. We’re not quick but we are thorough.

Collings and friends just want to fire from the hip, FB is where they go for slag frenzy.

He’s supposedly paid to do more than that, so he’s not going to waste it (the little he has) on the converted. Just don’t go there. Forget about Facebook until you’ve actually met these people and know what you’re dealing with. Facebook networking is 99% bullshit anyway. To promote your blog you’re better off commenting on others blogs, hoping they’ll return the favour. :)
User avatar
Posts: 1081
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Off-world

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby Featherblend » Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:07 pm


Thanks for the support. I have just found it surprising that this is the response of such a well known art critic. I think he has done a lot to maintain the hostile nature of it in order for himself to look calm and rational - a trick I have fallen for a bit because it has been offensive. But its clever - very manipulative. Something very creepy about the whole thing!! Anyway I think thats the end now - I just think it gets tiring and repetative. It is exposing though. I will take some time to look at your posts - and previous review more clearly - been busy dealing with it all!!

Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 12:26 pm

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby CAP » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:10 am

Serious textile design for the conservative-at-heart. :twisted:
Last edited by CAP on Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 1081
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Off-world

Re: Ryan Mosley Exhibition - Facebook Debate Transcript

Postby jasperjoffe » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:15 am

Hi Gang,

I really think the point of Matthew Colling's facebook is to make fast directr responses to how paintings LOOK, and it's not a bad place to do that...
FB is a public forum more than a private place, and good for discussing politics and art.. WWR is more specialist and open to more thorough engagement..
AND I think the rude remarks are intended not to intimidate or denigrate but to be funny, bantering, and get rid of too much respect which can cloud criticism.

Site Admin
Posts: 768
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:53 pm

Return to Art Reviews

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest