I recently caught a programme on the painter Sean Scully. I was greatly taken with his work back in the eighties but had lost sight of him, not difficult as he has been cruising the stratosphere. The paintings were vibrant and exciting and above all painterly when paint was losing it's flavour. Spectacular to watch him paint, aggression and intellect in harmony, and wonderful to see an artist of his stature working without an army of assistants to prop him up. What drove the programme, you couldn't afford to blink, was witnessing the enormity of Scully's ego. He has stormed through the art world, Europe and America like an unstoppable cyclops, bursting with vigour, energy, anger and the unblinking rightness of his mission to conquer the world with his brand of abstract painting. Also fascinating was the frank insight into the wheeler dealer head an artist needs to become a superstar. Bald statements like " I want to be as famous as Matisse" set the entire tone, not you will note " I want to paint as well as Matisse". Great stuff, catch it if you can, absolutely nauseating but utterly splendid.
AGED AND AWKWARD