$10000 for Proof that Painting is dead:

Proof that Painting is dead

Why this discussion of proof that… “Painting is Dead”

This past Thursday I was projected onto the wall of the Edward Winkelman Gallery for the month long hashtagclass [#class] show of talks and discussions about #class and art. [See http://hashtagclass.blogspot.com ] I felt somewhat like the #ARTdaddy version of wizard of Oz, my huge smokey mug projected into the ephemeral twittersphere, as we spoke about “Social Media and the Arts.”

I said that artists need to be real, and not just tell each other “Nice work” with a smile. Be real, they are just opinions. Give opinions without personal attack, and you can still smile.

So, while talking about community, giving forthright opinions by artists and critics, I mentioned that a friend of mine, Helen F Crawford thought that Jerry Saltz believes “Painting is Dead.” I tweeted this later: http://twitter.com/markpvenema/status/10758131025 which reads:

“Jerry Saltz offered $10000 to anyone who can prove painting is dead in response to my comment that a friend said he thought so.”

So I too would like to see more proof that “Painting is dead” … I will leave the rewards to Jerry, but I will post your proofs on my twitter page of 11k plus followers and later blog about it.

More proofs then? Or opinions to the contrary…
Please post your comments:

31 Comments on “$10000 for Proof that Painting is dead:”

  1. George says:

    The concept of drawing & painting is alive…
    but the craft of drawing & painting is dead.

  2. lothlaurien says:

    Good job at getting the conversation going. 🙂

  3. Brian Dupont says:

    As far as proving anything, I would think that one resurrection would be enough to make sure that all bets are off.

  4. ASF says:

    Painting is more alive than ever and Jeff Koons studio is proof of that. In this case, maybe the apprentice paints better than the master.

  5. Painting is not dead nor could it be, there are far to many people critically engaged in it, it will only evolve. Plus I am part of an event based galley and our first exhibition saw around 200 people come to see and buy painting, this is in York a small city in the North of England.

  6. MyTomcat says:

    You can’t prove a negative.

  7. […] just read Mark Philip Venema’s article $10000 for Proof that Painting is dead. While I could use the money, I must strongly disagree with the idea that painting is dead. Because […]

  8. Cari Kolb says:

    Painting will die when we evolve beyond blood, hair, and bone. Painting will die when we defeat death and and live in homes without walls. (Thank god, Jerry agrees!)

  9. Jerry Saltz says:

    Jerry Saltz here.
    My offer still stands: $10,000 to anyone who proves that Painting is Dead.
    Mark, you DO understand, I presume, that I do not now nor have I ever thought that painting is dead.
    I made my original $10,000 offer becasue I was sick of hearing idiots try to make that claim.
    In truth, NO ONE has actually believed that P is D since at least the Carter administration.
    Thank you.
    Jerry Saltz

    • Thanks for feedback Jerry.

      I know its an old debate, for those who know its old… However, I hear a lot of people
      who don’t know the history still talking about it…
      …so the idea of you offering money for the proof that painting is dead was helpful to get
      some dialogue on the subject.
      Hence the blog post.

      I doubted from the outset that you had said so.

      My central point [not really discussed] was that people are not direct enough or honest enough about their friends work.
      It doesn’t help anybody and its hardly friendship.

      One can love like a surgeon,
      and kiss the healing scars.

      Mark Venema

  10. Symon Dé says:

    Canvas are dead

    Painting isn’t.

  11. Lothlaurien says:

    I just added a few more artists who paint to my blogroll.

    My teen just finished grade 12 art course where more time was spent teaching “artspeak” than creating art. Perhaps talented painters are simply abandoning the “art world”

  12. Keemo says:

    The fact that we are talking about this at all is proof enough that painting is not dead. Jerry’s money is pretty safe. However, I would like to see someone make a real go at “proving” that painting is dead. Well, enough about this, time to go and paint. (Shoot I am about to prove that it is not dead!)


  13. helen says:

    clarifying that Jerry never said painting was dead. laughing cause, as stated by mark, he did indeed offer $$$ to prove it is dead.

  14. I don’t think mainstream media likes painting very much, perhaps due to the simple originating fact that they’d rather have something that moves or that they can move around with a camera. It’s not “exciting” enough to translate to video.

    Maybe they should see this video of Picasso painting in 1949: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkRS3wDg1xU

  15. helen says:

    Thanks Mark for an extra and unexpected 15 minutes…i painted this morning! Painting is alive and well in Atlanta. Lots of houses, lots of galleries and art shows. Jerry never said that BTW. However, painting was mentioned in #class as a medium. And yes, there was more painting in the Biennale. However, is it hibernating in today’s elite circles? In reviews we read? In Chelsea?

  16. I presume we’re discussing this without refering in any way to value, quality, taste, or professional level. Firstly, painting = commodity doesn’t = painting is dead. Plus I don’t buy it (pun intended 😉 ) because a lot of people still paint or collect paintings simply for pleasure. Or perhaps we’re supposed to be discussing painting only within a certain elite sphere of the art world?

    The fiction novel is dead too, so I hear.

  17. jshawback says:

    The gallery community in LA has been diversifying greatly over the pas few years making painting more accessible to an expanding market.

  18. Brandon Dean says:

    Painting will never die because it is the embodiment of art history. Tell me, if Painting is dead, what has taken its place at the pinnacle of art theory? Every major movement has happened either within, because of, or in response to painting.

    Its not that painting is dead, is that every other medium is busting its ass trying to make itself the main stage of contemporary conversation, and failing to supplant the primary occupant, the painting.

  19. oh come on, we’ve been drawing on walls for at least the last 17,000 years; lascaux is still here and painting isn’t going anywhere either


  20. Jeremy Penn says:

    Borbay preaching the facts. It is time to impregnate ourselves with paint and rebirth paintings. Please don’t let this metaphor become some awful performance art piece.

    • Brandon Dean says:

      It already has become an awful performance art piece. One guy who’s name I cant remember, squirted large amounts of paint into his rectum and lied naked with legs in the air, squirting out colors.

      I kid you not.

  21. Diann Haist says:

    IF painting is dead, then it could only be because the classics are no longer being taught, or the value of them no longer being aspired to. Art is a communication with a language of its own, and if painters no longer have an aesthetic way to communicate their vision, then yes, painting could be dead or dying. We currently live in a throw-away society: if painting is dead, it is because we artists have not valued our own responsibility to keep it alive and thriving.

    That being said, I do not believe painting is dead, just different.

  22. Borbay says:

    Provocative, and no surprise considering the source. You can argue that everything is dead, and that time in of itself doesn’t exist… and hell, someone could make a good case for or against any such a claim.

    100 galleries on 23rd street would support the untimely death of painting. Once inside, you are more likely to see cans of WD-40 hanging from the ceiling titled “the well oiled void” and Art Forum might just declare this the “most eye-opening opus since Jasper Johns made a plaster cast of his stool” and someone will buy it, because, hey, if the piece decreases in value, there is always going to be a rusty hinge somewhere.

    Short story long, rich people will always exist and will have more money than they can burn; thus, paintings will continue to have value in our society. You can buy a fake vagina and watch internet porn, but people remain interested in the good old fashion art of f$cking.

  23. Sukiho says:

    I gave up looking at paintings years ago, and photos, now I only look at jpgs and the ocasional gif

  24. Capitalisms Gods says:

    And even if it does appreciate in so called value, it’s a commodity just the same. Just like fossil fuels and romantic films.

  25. Capitalisms Gods says:

    Painting is dead because the painter is dead and all that’s left is commercial testimony. If it doesn’t sell, it doesn’t exist. If it sells, then it’s a commodity bound to depreciate.

  26. Painting is the most important medium and will never die. When people think of art they think of painting first and everything else after. Only painting matters.

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