We can all paint like Rembrandt

Damien Hirst says in his interview in the Guardian that given time, dedicated study and learning how to look, we can all paint as good as the masters. I go along with that up to a point but what you would need is incredible faith in your ability to allow yourself the time for that to happen.

I dont think Damien Hirst is one of those with a lack of self belief!

Here in an extract:-

“I gave up painting by 16,” he says. “I secretly thought I would have been Rembrandt by then.”

I give him a look. But Rembrandt was a genius?

He shakes his head. “No, I don’t believe in genius. I believe in freedom. I think anyone can do it. Anyone can be like Rembrandt.”

Hirst is a master of the potty soundbite. I wait for a smile or wink, but it doesn’t come. Instead, he gets into his philosophical stride. “Picasso, Michelangelo, possibly, might be verging on genius, but I don’t think a painter like Rembrandt is a genius. It’s about freedom and guts. It’s about looking. It can be learned. That’s the great thing about art. Anybody can do it if you just believe. With practice, you can make great paintings.”

Here is the interview.

~ by David Reid on November 14, 2009.

5 Responses to “We can all paint like Rembrandt”

  1. Davy, Being cynical couldn’t this artistic postulation just be a fancy cop-out / excuse for saying ” my painting isn’t good enough only cos i’ve run out of time “, rather than run out of skill.
    Moreover if the former is correct then isn’t art necessarily class biased as traditionally the working man hasn’t had the requisite time to develop latent skills.
    Kidox.

  2. Well said Kidox, a cynic could certainly be suspicious of the argument, if we agreed that skill was finite, but we go on in the belief/delusion that it aint. If we owned up to this idea the education system would collapse.
    The thought, ” my painting isn’t good enough only cos i’ve run out of time “, will be on the minds of most artists in the last gasps – any artist satisfied with his work becomes a salesman.
    You might be right about that last point cause I dont remember anyone calling me a working man.

  3. Davy, I think we can safely agree that time is infinite.
    However, can this attribute necessarily be attached to skill per se?
    I don’t wish to be an iconoclast but does the education,or any other, system really hinge on this dubious premise….IF we perceive education as actualising potential to its highest parameter ( bringing the best out of folk ) rather than a mechanism to mine for unrealistic/unattainable achievement ( silk purses and pigs ears ).
    Re. art: where does perfection start and finite skill end ?
    Kidox

  4. If skill was finite, wouldn’t that suggest that perfection was an objective possibility? Have you ever seen a perfect work of art?
    We must consider attainment of skills and learning to have infinite possibilities (yes, I agree, within the realistic parameters of potential). But time is against us, Kidox, as it is finite!

  5. Maybe we’re agreeing that : we can make good art great (with time and practice). Still that’s a heap of difference from saying : we can make great art perfect (thinking of Plato’s Forms perhaps).
    Sadly Davy time is against us; so stop avoidance behaviours and procrastination and get the paint on.
    Kidox.

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