Some of my favorite painters are also some of the painters that have produced the ugliest paintings I have seen.
Oskar Kokoshka produced some very lovely and ugly paintings. Brett Whiteley produced some very nice and hideous paintings. Lucian Freud got it right and wrong. Richard Diebenkorn went from genius to Sunday painter and back again in a day.
All of my favorite painters also produced some of the ugliest paintings I have ever seen. The four painters above are not necessarily my favorites, but I do love them. I wonder if it’s because they were brave enough to experiment and not care what their admirers or collectors had liked of what they had produced.
Painters have off days and produce crap paintings, but they also lash out when they feel they are trapped, which often creates crap as they’re experimenting. It’s crazy to think a great painter will always produce great work, as a lot of painting is just playing around. Picasso produced some of the ugliest and most beautiful paintings I have seen because he kept shooting at the target. Sometimes he hit bull’s eye, sometimes he shot nowhere near it.
This post is inspired by copious amounts of Henschke red wine, Johann’s Garden, grown in South Australia.. plus another bottle earlier in the night that I can’t remember the name of