Robert Hughes

Robert Hughes on why we need the Academy in the 21st century – The Art Newspaper

“In the 45 years that I’ve been writing criticism there has been a tragic depreciation in the traditional skills of painting and drawing, the nuts and bolts of the profession. In part it has been caused by the assumption that photography and its cognate media—film and TV—tell the most truth about the visual. It’s not true. The camera, if it’s lucky, may tell a different truth to drawing, but not a truer one. Drawing brings us into a different, a deeper and more fully experienced relation to to the object. A good drawing says “not so fast, buster”. We have had a gut full of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art: art that holds time as a vase holds water; art that grows out of modes of perception and making, whose skill and doggedness makes you think and feel; art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep-running in our nature. In a word, art is the very opposite of mass media. For no spiritually authentic art can beat mass media at their own game.”

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