Throw Your Brushes in the Air and Wave ‘Em Like You Just Don’t Care

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I felt like Jerry Saltz yesterday, finally confronted by the potentials of Facebook as a forum for democratic, no-nonsense art criticism. Specifically: Ashley Bickerton’s “The Insouciants/Liminalists” photo album, which he keeps in collaboration with NewArtTV founder Robert Knafo. (Bickerton himself is an insanely talented, wonderfully eccentric painter who lives and works in Bali). Insouciant means “showing a casual lack of concern; indifferent.” Or, as Bickerton helpfully summarizes: “It may be ‘I-couldn’t-try-less-hard-and-I-truly-don’t-give-a-shit’ art…But I like it!” (The album is private until you’re FB friends with Bickerton, but go ahead and add him on the site; despite his freaky-deaky paintings, he probably doesn’t bite.)

The ever-growing section of images provide visual snapshots from this offhand non-school (sometimes disdainfully referred to as producing “slacker art,” or worse). It also connects the dots between contemporary practitioners (Josh Smith, Oscar Murillo, Lucy Dodd, pictured above) and an older guard (Julian Schnabel, and Asger Jorn, dubbed an “attitudinal precedent.”)

Equally interesting are the free-form comments around the concept of what constitutes “liminal” art in the first place. Knafo, for instance, presented an abstract work by Andrew Brischler (pictured below) for consideration. “i dont know if you can call all this barely-there striping insouciant., as in ill lmake it look like i dont give a shit,” Knafo proposes (original syntax kept intact.) “looks to me like he gives a shit. which is interesting to me, because apparently you can be liiminal but not insouciant and vice vesa, which suggests that these respective terms whille overlappin do not address quite exactly the same attributes.” Bickerton’s summation was a bit more straightforward: “Solid, he’ll go far, just maybe not quite into my living room.”

Brischler