Grayson Perry said in his Reith Lecture this morning that if Michelangelo were alive today he wouldn’t be painting ceilings he’d be making CGI movies and 3D printing. He pointed out that artists have always been early adopters of new technology; it was an acknowledgement that perhaps the real innovation in art today is happening away from the traditional art world coterie of dealers/ galleries/auction houses and is engaging with technology or even taking place in cyberspace.
The 3 lectures so far have made for wonderful listening – I especially enjoyed hearing him take a strip off international art English (in first lecture) which is rife in the art world, spreading since the 1970s via the art press. Quoting artists Rule & Levine and their e-flux website language analyser – this type of art bollocks (sorry semantics) rebukes ordinary English for it’s lack of nouns. Perry said he gets metaphysical sea-sickness from reading this sort of text. There was a hilarious piece – an A to Z guide to fluent Artspeak, by Philip Hook, (whose new book about the art world is out this week), printed in this week’s Sunday Times Culture. My favourite Viewing Experience, Hook says is a nauseating term to denote looking at a picture in that it offers a highly engrossing viewing experience.
After today’s standing ovation at the lecture, I’d say Perry is seriously in danger of becoming one of Britain’s Greatest Living National Treasures.