Art’s Cheap Trick

Downpour Rod Jones Artist

Art’s Cheap Trick

Oil on Hardboard

It’s hard to say who was the first artist to drip paint on to a canvas, no doubt it was most likely a mistake. Paint accidentally dripping off an oversaturated paintbrush. Volia or better yet low and behold, an amazing new brilliantly creative technique that will become all the rage, maybe even a new art movement with some fancy name that ends in “ism” like all the other mid-century names that became monikers for recognizable art styles. So let’s give some credit to “Jack the Dripper” thanks to a clever article writer in an edition of Time Magazine from 1956. Pollock was mockingly labeled “Jack the Dripper.” Jackson Pollock wasn’t really letting paint run down the canvas like we think of it today, after all he pretty much painted on the floor so the paint wouldn’t run like you see in my attached painting entitled – Downpour.

Elevating art to a new low.

The humble dripping of paint has now become all that. What I mean by all that is that it may have started at any towns county fair, I’m referring to game booths where  you lost of lot of money or if you were lucky you won a stuffed animal to impress your girlfriend, only problem is she carried it around for the rest of the day and then somehow this obnoxiously cute plush toy managed to get between you and her, think intimacy or lack thereof. For $.25 or so you could invest in the creation of your own art, call it Spin Art.  A 4 x 5 piece of paper would spin around and you had a whole group of paints conveniently packaged in a clear diner ketchup bottle so you could squirt or drip it’s colorful contents onto the paper as it spun around, and they often looked amazingly beautiful, in fact I’m sure many were framed as proud works of art to grace the walls or refrigerators of many American tract homes.

And now I give you “dirty pour art or some say fluid art” yep, this is the latest way to become a prestigious artist, well maybe at least on social media. You simply drip, pour, or smear your chosen colors of paint onto a canvas or whatever, and tilt every which way. The colors make interesting patterns, that’s it… you are an artist, well actually a better description would be, you have just completed a craft project. Many of these creations make there way to Etsy, Fine Art America or Saatchi Art, yes you heard me right. Saatchi a brand definitely associated with highfalutin art, now manages to get in on the low level art sails action. And why not, there’s a taste level for the most remedial art, even crafted art in our Society today. Art is a money making machine especially for those at the top who now how to explored the labor of others.

Getting back to runny drip paintings. Just imagine how the high-hatted tastemakers in the art world of the day must have felt upon seeing gravity controlled paint charting its own course down the canvas, unaided. They no doubt were stumbling around trying to come up with the most contemporary art jargon to describe this deeply thought out technique. One highly respected art critic was heard to say, “ this brilliance is so far into the future of what art should and can be, in one word it’s inconceivable” Others focused their descriptions with words like astonishing, eye-opening, wondrous, energizing, galvanizing, and of course no self respecting art critic could leave out the most overused words of the day and that would be in the grand fashion of coupling together ”amazingly awesome.” Creating an idiom for which art critiques love to espouse when monosyllables won’t do. All for the purpose of creating a jargon that could be easily understood by those that lack accredited knowledge of what good art is.

Art’s cheap trick? Well if a painting isn’t coming off so good, let the paint drip or run willy-nilly down the canvas. You certainly won’t be compared to Rembrandt but in some art circles you may be canonized as a creative technician with a dignified careless attitude and total disregard for what people might think or say, after all you are an Artist… and that says it all.