I Heard Painting Is Dead But Couldn’t That Just Be “Shit In The Pool Mentality”?

Hello again dear readers,

For quite a while now I’ve read many articles with a common theme; painting is dead.  The article content has ranged from painting greats like David Hockney discussing the changes he’s seen over the course of his career, new painting schools opening up to oppose conceptual art’s heyday, beloved art critics throwing in the towel, and finally people covering the angle of prestigious art universities who lack painting instruction.  Despite the different angles, all the articles have one common battle cry.  Artists should learn to draw.

I know how to draw, paint with various media, make prints, video, sculpt,  and do assemblage but I don’t believe someone should learn to draw in order to be considered an artist.  After all, in a traditional sense, Pollock was a horrible draftsman and so was Basquiat.  On the flip side, both Picasso and Willem de Kooning were extremely gifted at drawing but chose to throw draftsmanship out the window.  Andy Warhol wasn’t too bad with a pencil either but chose printmaking as his primary medium.


De Kooning drawing before abstract expressionism


De Kooning drawing after abstract expressionism


David Hockney

In A BBC documentary “Secret Knowledge” David Hockney even damn-near proved that Renaissance artists such as  Lorenzo Lotto and  Jan Van Eyck used a form light projection with sunlight and concave mirrors to copy their subjects to canvas.  These works have been admired for ages in art history books.  With this new knowledge that Hockney presented, should we now throw out our old ideas about these beloved Renaissance paintings and their importance?  Does it matter if the underdrawings were traced?  

Are the works not still beautiful?


Van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait

Whether an artist can draw or not isn’t really relevant.  It hasn’t been for a very long time and I don’t believe it should be now.  The rise of iconoclasts and the art movements they championed in the 20th century should prove that point without a doubt.

Anyway,  The alleged problem in this topic isn’t new.  After all, conceptual art isn’t new and as we’ve just discussed above, neither is breaking the rules in art.  Conceptual art is just believed to be dominating the high-end areas of the art world and it is.  That being said, I have to say that I still see a lot of really great painting happening.  I also know several painters who attend the Frieze Art Fair and Miami Art Basil.    There are also still plenty of great galleries that continue to exhibit paintings.  I don’t think Painting is dead at all.  I’ve made way too much money off of painting for the skill to be deceased.  I think we’ve just been witnessing resurgence of an old movement similar to that of cubism, abstract expressionism and pop art.  Everything has it’s day in the sun but I’m sure something else will come along eventually to steal the spot light.

 Considering the fact that history often repeats itself,  that something may be a collective renewal of technique in painting but maybe not.

I think the trick is to try to stay positive, experiment and grow.  I see how this could prove difficult if you’re a painter with the Popeye motto of, “I am’s what I am’s and that’s all that I am’s”.  I think this is the Stuckist’s problem.  I’ve visited their websites and read their articles.  For the most part, all they seem to do is to pick things apart and complain.  Their attempt to compare Damien Hirst’s work to some of his less successful contemporaries was laughable in most cases.  There were certainly similarities and influences apparent, but most of Hirst’s work was more impressive and he greatly expanded on the idea.  He made something new and unique out of it.  He made the subject matter his own.


This is the type of mentality that insists that because someone else painted spots, no one else should be allowed to do so.  Or because an artist used a goat in an assemblage, no one else can.  Well, what about Raushenberg?  As far as I know, he was the first to use a goat way back when.   Does that mean the fellow Damien Hirst supposedly ripped off, first ripped off Raushenberg?  Who cares?  What’s the harm in building on something else?  There’s an artist named Gavin Turk who has made a very successful career off of building upon existing works.  Turk imitates legendary artists but he slightly modifies or adds to the famous works of art.  He makes them his own.

It’s absolutely brilliant!


Gavin Turk

My point is, all this complaining and closed mindedness is something I’d like to call… shit in the pool mentality.  Basically, someone isn’t allowed to swim anymore and they shit in the pool so no one else can swim either.

Pool Turd

It doesn’t serve anybody and doesn’t change anything.  It just makes you look like an asshole.

You could always try to think of the situation from the curators point of view as well.  One possible view-point is, large sculpture that creates spectacle is making them huge amounts of money.  Naturally, they will continue to exhibit and sell as much as they can while the work is lucrative.  I mention the next possible view-point of the curator only after reiterating that I am among other things, a painter.  Here it is.  It could prove very difficult to find just the right paintings to hang in the vicinity of a giant, reflective balloon dog or large, ominous Tiger shark  contained in a tank.  The paintings would probably need to be very large and very stimulating in order to even attempt to hold their ground against sculptures of the above mentioned magnitude.


Jeff Koons

This post could go on and on but I’m not going to bother with much more typing.  It’s possible plenty of folks who read this may pick the post apart and insist that my view-point is flawed.  My view-point may be flawed.  That’s entirely possible.  I’m diplomatic about the topic, most likely because I work with many different mediums and have an eclectic tastes. There are lots of different types of work that I believe are beautiful.  Even then the beauty of an art work depends on each viewers interpretation of beauty.  Because of this simple fact, there can’t  be an absolute in art; only personal opinions and preferences.


Art VS Reality

I have many different opinions on what good art is and occasionally, it’s rather bad art that I like.  I enjoy painting, sculpture, installations, multimedia, even artists like Mike Kelly.  I still admire Rembrandt.  I even enjoyed the popular video series “Art VS Reality.  I like to do different things and experiment with different media art.  I love old traditions and techniques, but I’m kind of glad that Jeff Koons giant, reflective balloon animals exist in the world.

Life is absurd even when it’s tragic and as they say, “Art imitates Life,” so there you go.

Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment section.

Until next time,



Popular piece “Naked Lunch” Available as Limited Edition Prints?

Hello again dear readers,

Last week I posted an image of a new piece I had been working on.  I was happy with the result.  “Naked Lunch” was very popular on different social media sites.  In fact, the sexy mixed media piece is probably one of the first finished works that I have been really happy with this year.  Anyway, without making this post too long, I’ll get to the point.  Because of the public response to “Naked Lunch”, I am considering making a small number of limited edition prints of the piece available.  

I’m not sure exactly what size these prints will be, so I’ll have contact my printer but from past experience, I’m sure a moderate size print would run collectors between 60 and 90 dollars.  Anyway, before making any final decisions, I’m hoping to hear from readers and followers to gauge response and opinions.

If a limited edition print is something you would be interested in, please email me at info@ckirkart.com

Below is the original piece “Naked Lunch”.

I uploaded a pretty large image so you can see all of the texture and detail.  You can even click it a second time to really zoom in.


Until next time,



Pretty Ladies From Lui – An Old Work Made Available

Hello again dear readers and happy Monday,

I know what you’re thinking.  What’s so good about it?

Well, check this out.

I spent last week finishing up a commission, so I don’t have any new work to share, but I’m blogging to spread a little news.  As you may know, I’ve been having special deals on a selection of smaller works lately.  I wanted to let you know I made a really cool piece from around 2011 available this morning.  Actually it consists of two drawings, but should be exhibited as on piece.  The work “Two Women From Lui Magazine” has never been featured on my website and as far as I know, has never been available for purchase.

Anyway, If you like pretty ladies, check out the newly available work below.


To see details and special pricing for this piece and to see what else I have available at special pricing,

visit my Shop page.

Until next time,



The pieces look like Pete Mondrian, Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Kirby, Francis Bacon, and Larry Flynt all got together, smoked some crack and then decided to collaborate on art.

The pieces look like Pete Mondrian, Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Kirby, Francis Bacon, and Larry Flynt all got together, smoked some crack and then decided to collaborate on art.

If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about…. I’m referring to my new work.

My work space has looked like a disaster area for a little while now, but on the bright side, I finished two pieces that I’m really happy with.  I’ve been working on them for a little over a week.  That being said, I haven’t actually been making the physical pieces for over a week.  I just finished up that phase today. The concepts came along first and had to be worked out before starting on anything else.  Afterward I had to arrange the props and do the photo shoots. Then the studies working out the different compositions were embarked upon.  After all  that nonsense was over with, I  was finally able to get my hands dirty.  

Anyway, I like them.  Maybe you will to.

Because of the long shape of the artwork, the details may be hard to appreciate but I uploaded some pretty large images, so you can click them a second time to see all the texture and detail.


“Do You Even Art Bro”

Size yet to be determined,

acrylic, emulsion, graphite, colored pencil, ballpoint pen, micron pen & Elmer’s glue on watercolor paper, 2014


“Naked Lunch”

Size yet to be determined,

Acrylic, watercolor, emulsion, ballpoint pen, graphite & Elmer’s glue on watercolor paper, 2014

Well, I hope you guys like them as much as I do.

Until next time,



This Is Modern Art Episode 2 “Shock Horror”

Hello again dear readers,

Today I posted the second installment in This Is Modern Art.  The episode is titled “Shock Horror” and I think it’s my favorite of the 6 part series.  Again, 90’s cool guy and art critic Matthew Collings discusses the work of Goya and Bacon, and I believe Duchamp and how their work inspired the modern art of the 90’s.  The short BBC documentary features Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, The Chapman Brothers, Paul McCarthy, and conceptual art duo Gilbert  & George.

I enjoyed it.  Maybe you will to.

Until next time,



From Gratitude To Rumination In 149 Words

Hello again dear readers,

I feel happy today. My new oil piece “The Scream After Munch” was purchased by a very wonderful lawyer in Dallas who has supported my work since around 2006 or 2007. She collected some of my first attempts at sculpture and large-scale painting. She’s commissioned me a few times and she also snatched up one of my infamous watercolors from 2013.

I’m glad “The Scream After Munch” went to her.

Thanks Lisa.


Now that “The Scream After Munch” has sold, I had an empty spot on my shop page, so I uploaded a new autobiographical watercolor I made to help me cope with the trials and tribulations of dealing with hippies, fat psychotics & parasitic insects.

“Neighbors & Fleas” is now up for grabs.


The detail photo above is cool, but check out the full piece  on my shop page.

Just click HERE.

Until next time,



Selling Ideas of Rosy Red Rockwell Dwarves, Sex & Good Luck For A Limited Time

Hello again dear readers,

I wanted to let you know I threw up a couple of previously unavailable pieces on my “Shop” page.  The piece featured below is titled

“Rosy Red Rockwell Dwarves, Sex & Good Luck For A Limited Time”.


I painted the figure over a friend’s little girl’s watercolor.  Don’t worry, I had permission.  I’m not some deviant bastard who goes around ruining children’s artwork for the sheer pleasure of watching tears stream down their rosy red cheeks.   

I got the idea from an old fantasy novel.  A very sexually active dwarf was heartbroken after learning that the women were only having sex with him for the good luck intercourse with a dwarf would bring.  Anyway, the paper wasn’t primed so it was difficult to move the oil around the surface.  I found it didn’t matter much after a while.  I just wanted to insure that the dwarves cheeks featured similar reds as the old Norman Rockwell Santa Clause paintings.  Don’t as me why.

In all seriousness, I still need to raise some funds, and have put a handful of really cool pieces “On Sale”, so check out my current special offers by clicking Here.

Until next time,