“This and That” is an occasional series of paired observations. -Ed.
Today: Beat The Devil Out Of It
This video, which demonstrates how to make a painting in the style of Willem de Kooning, was produced by the Museum of Modern Art. It’s gotten nearly a million views as of writing:
And here’s Bob Ross, the sui generis of TV painting teachers, in a compilation that shows him beating his, er, brush:
Which is better: watching Ross produce dumb, happy little trees with a fan brush, or watching a guy whip out a dumb abstract expressionist painting in under 20 minutes? It’s hard to compete with Ross’ ASMR voice and white man ‘fro. But there’s not much difference between the simple sincerity of Ross’ guileless (artless?) landscapes and the simple sincerity of middling abstraction. Both are covering well-traveled ground.
MoMA has a vast collection around which it can produce how-to videos; this could go on for years. Just think: How to make sculptures like Yinka Shonibare. How to do performance like Joan Jonas. Wait.. what about Piero Manzoni?
No matter how original, innovative or crazy your idea, someone else is also working on that idea. Furthermore, they are using notation very similar to yours. – Bruce J. MacLennan