This lecture was Colin’s last with us and it was a positive way to finish off this series.
We started off by focussing on a text written by Esther Leslie and then analysed by Colin himself in his book. The artist that the text talked about is Ben Wilson, an artist who creates mini paintings on chewing gum imprinted in the street. Along with this we watched a video that actually showed us the artist and the artwork and him working in the street environment.
Ben Wilson is an outsider artist which means he did not come from an art school. There is a constant debate to whether or not he is an artist however his work has an intention and also a context. He uses primarily traditional skills, pen and ink and then a glaze on top and he always documents his work, this later could create an archive such as we discussed in lecture 2. He prepares the ground similar to how one would prepare a canvas, evening it out and making it appropriate to be a base for his work. Wilson uses the tradition of the miniature which is an important form of art and he also takes commissions from those walking along the street who take interest in what he is doing. From all of these factors, I would say that Ben Wilson is an artist, even through he is going against certain social and artistic norms.
Colin here linked us to Tracey Emin and her work which although is quite simple and works outside norms is embedded in art history and also Duchamp who says an artistic idea defines art. These two examples show us again how Wilson’s work should be considered as art.
Through his work Wilson is challenging the idea of art, he is subverting the idea of a gallery. He exhibits his art wherever he want to and however he wants to. He does not need the Tate (who keep 70% of their artwork in their archives ) to say if his art is art of not. His work is ratified and therefore becomes empowering.
But this is not the only reason people would find his work alternative. Just like Gillian Wearing, Wilson is a part of the slow movement purely because he is not moving at the same pace as modern life. He is lying on the floor in the middle of London and commuters and passers by are working at a much faster pace. Around areas that are much more fast, such as Mc Donalds, this is where Wilson sees the market to create more of his work, making a floor where people may stop and look, interrupting in some ways the process of Fast food. He has also been unfairly arrested and challenged due to his work and how he creates it.
Colin finishes the lecture with defining the word Trope(s) which is a figurative or metaphorical use of an expression, it represents something. As an example we could paint a certain trope.
This was our last lecture with Colin and I thought it worked really well having a discussion to finish off. It helped me to understand how to break down an artist case study. Overall this series of lectures was very positive and I appreciated them a lot and how they have helped me to formulate and structure my essay.