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The Art World

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I tried to be some kind of contemporary artist living in London, giving up precious time and life for a dream life that would never come. It's a sort of fanaticism really wanting to make it in THAT art world.

You have a head full of historical saints and monsters constantly swirling your brain and it's futile. I've seen people get much closer - like massively much closer - to me to all that but its an ever receding horizon line.

I just wanted someone to ask me to be in their show rather than have to do it myself all the time i.e. put myself in my own shows, ha! A friend who did very well used to complain about never being nominated for a Turner. I thought, wow, people are never really happy with what they get. Nothing is ever enough.

I don't know what I am now (I run with Andrew Perkins). What I do is diversifying at a pace that is somewhat dizzying. I'm not really in the art world now as an artist myself. I'm not committed. Not part of the asylum but I still have some notion that I'll return. The longer I'm away though, I just think; why would I want to return to that? It's really boring, ha! All that talk of brush strokes as if anything real actually depends on it. It makes me laugh, but then I am a terrible philistine with no real interest in anything outside junk TV and eating. Thank god I have a reasonably fast metabolism!

Day-to-day, though, I do talk about these things to people who have no idea about such things. I really enjoy helping them at North Yorks Art School to take notice of the language of brushstrokes etc. I take for granted now that I can break the world down pictorially. I can read visually. Not as fluently as some but most definitely in the bottom half of the second set!

I can look quizically at things with my head on a tilt. I think that's where it all comes from.

This aesthetic appreciation stems from the world. Its textures and colour. And for me that world has been brought to a large extent through screens - mediated culture - which is why I like Peter Fuller (founder of Modern Painters Journal), but can't be a fully paid up member to his way of thinking.

Conversely, though, I've always been way more conservative than my Marxist artist friends I knew in London who were always so serious and angry while drinking their chocolate sprinkled latte's in Cafe Italia.

I think this mad dash to catch The train, to be on it rather than on the platform waving it off is something I've always wanted to experience. But what no one ever tells you is that The train pretty much does a short circuit, short enough for the excited gaggle to die down in time for the next excited gaggle to come along to wave it back in to the station.

I'm nearly 50 now and I'm still on that platform waving that train in thinking I'm going to get a good seat, ha!

Andrew Perkins


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