Painting Beyond Art

Viktor Witkowski, Unknown Site (No.7), 30 x 25 inches, oil on linen, 2011 (court
Viktor Witkowski, Unknown Site (No.7), 30 x 25 inches, oil on linen, 2011 (courtesy of the artist)

Viktor Witkowski laments the lack of painting concerned with issues outside of art.

Witkowski writes: "I have always held the belief that painting can take a stance... But for the past years, almost a decade now, I have mainly come across safe and easy painting. Colorful, predominantly abstract, expressive in gesture (a sort of Neo-Neo-Expressionism or Mannerism), reflecting on itself or on pop-culture, cartoons, comics, advertising or other niche artists (generally labeled outsider artists). When was the last time you found yourself looking at a painting that managed to provoke a set of thoughts in you which were not concerned with art or painting? I am not suggesting that all painting should be concerned with politics. But I would ask painters to at least try to make one 'serious' painting. A painting that is not yet another embrace of irony or style, but one that stems from an interest in things unrelated to art. You will make yourself much more vulnerable that way, but it will be worth it."