A while back Charles Thomson linked an article from ARTnews about Stuckism’s place in history. The authors did not do their homework. I invited the organization to our opening at Quintus Gallery to witness our humble additions to history. I sent it snail mail with presents too. Sometimes these big art houses need to be politely reminded that they lean more toward obsolete than the artists being criticized. ARTnews relies on advertising anything to make itself viable, whereas the individual Stuckist advertises the soul for joy.
Buraecracies are what they are, and people need jobs to maintain a dry home and roasted vegetables on Sundays. But a Stuckist wants to give them a painting also, at a reasonable price, to hang on their marvelous wall with wallpaper. The one in the photo I gave for free because ARTnews cannot understand the joy of man’s desiring.
Here’s the article. And here is my response letter:
110 Greene Street
New York, N.Y. 10012
Dear Ms. Douglas,
Recently your magazine published a graphic article entitled “Wait—What Was That?!: History’s Bygone Art Movements” by Alex Greenberger and Andrew Russeth. In it your authors show Stuckism, created by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish back in 1999, as “in decline”. This cannot be true. I am a Stuckist painter collaborating with 36 other Stuckist painters around the globe for an exhibition in Watkins Glen, N.Y. opening October 13, 2017 at Quintus Gallery. (https://www.quintusgallery.com/) The proprietors of the gallery heard about Stuckism and sought me out last year during a show I curated called “Round Trip Stuckism”. They traveled to see my work, and also the paintings of four determined Russian artists. In my small world, that is the opposite of trending to obscurity. Four years ago I was introduced to Stuckism and have not looked back. And this is the prime of my life! Physically in decline, yes, however, mentally soaring. I have never felt this fulfilled as an artist since I was four years old drawing “Winky” the doe with crayons. Long since then I have become a firm believer that art’s most important task is to bring people together. Believe me, it has! At last autumn’s Russian exhibition, we sold over half of the 102 paintings exhibited. In Oswego, N.Y.! For three weeks during the cooling down season, bracing for bleak winter, Stuckism breathed potent life into sleepy, regional hibernators. Certainly that is not a movement “in decline”.
I urge the staff of ARTnews to rethink its position. Charles Thomson is still alive and painting. Let’s not bury him yet. He will show his work at our exhibition. This could be a lead art story for this autumn’s roll out: “International Stuckism at Watkins Glen. Who knew?”
Likewise, maybe ARTnews can retrain its focus on the small gallery once again. Quintus is a beautiful venue running on its third year. The proprietors Kathy Quinn and Joe Matus work hard at it. They bring people together better than a David Zwirner. Real people. Human beings who want art in their lives, and don’t use “art” as a vehicle of rising economic narcissism.
Finally, I agree that I am odd, but not a “Brit”. I find it a bit disingenuous of the authors to give label to something they obviously have not researched properly. In October we will show paintings in the United States from 9 countries around the world. We are bringing people together. Send a representative to cover opening night. I will talk a blue streak, and ARTnews will see for itself people in the flesh who make newsworthy art.
Human beings need Stuckism, and vice-versa. Voila! Art!
I have enclosed two books I published to give you insight into Stuckism. The first, Last Communion, came out in 2013, the year I was introduced to Stuckism. There you will read about a bitter man alone and heading to the end alone.
The other is my year long labor of love culminating in the greatest art exhibition Oswego, N.Y. has ever produced—far surpassing celebrity Kara Walker’s debacle back in 2009. She didn’t even show up to exchange stories with the local yokels. She took the money and ran, complaining of a head cold, and pretended thereafter that nobody blinked. Those who can feel hollow yearn for fulfillment. She left everyone feeling empty in a room full of her paper crafts. Bad form!
Anyway, this book is the gateway into Stuckism. Unknown Ron Throop from Oswego N.Y. brought people together. The State Hermitage took notice, as well as Brian Conzone, local fireman and free spirit. I think with adequate conversation, ARTnews will begin to sense how Stuckism is heading towards canonization.
Please keep these books as a gift.
Thank you very much for your time!