“In general” that is appropriately broad to cover the range of exclusively inhuman expression in what I call the “New Academic” contemporary art.

This form of academic art is obviously not to be confused with the standardized and formulaic product of the Beaux Arts school, but it springs from the same root. A dogmatic and draconian application of cognitive tricks, which become more soulless to the degree that they are uniformly applied.

Creativity, as a benchmark of artistic merit, is regarded as an anachronism. Repetition is not a creative act. In the act of drawing, for example, a great many similar marks may be made, but each signifies its merit by the unique success its placement, tone, direction, uniformity or variation imparts to the work as a whole.


Part of the cause of our current dilemma is that the acceptance of digital technology as the exemplar of artistic technique has led to such simplistic application of the brush, pen and chisel that now fully two generations of artists seem overwhelmed by a spatial or graphic configuration cannot be reduced to zeroes and ones. The Analgous gesture is all but lost to their skillsets. And, in the absence of electronic scanning and reproduction methods they are entirely out of their depth.

How this affects the public presentation of Fine Art is evident in every gallery, contemporary art periodical, and critical review. According to the New Academic tradition manual skills, perceptual reference, and human content are optional or off the radar scope altogether. The discussion of Art is more and more self referential as the writer’s subject, autistic…”obsessive emulation of the (unskilled and characteristically narcissistic) rationalizing process”, becomes more uniformly the new norm.

Such rationalizing used to characterize sub-categories of Fine Art. Genre painting for example, or caricature. Today, it is recognized as the stricture of market success. Once one has established their idiomatic “brand” and the obligatory “fifteen minutes of fame” has begun it’s just a horse race, with the art press settled in to provide running commentary.

It’s hardly humane.’