Christian Adams is a political cartoonist but watching The School of Saatchi has him thinking back on the worst parts of art school:
[T]he most important thing I learned from art college […] is that the fuel on which it runs is a kind of delusional arrogance. It’s the belief that both the world and people’s perceptions need to be changed, and the best way to do it is through nonsense art, nonsense words, and nonsense clothes. Twenty years ago, my middle-class peers – all white – were heavily into dreadlocks. One sculptor spent three years just melding random pieces of metal to each other. Three years.
The problem for art colleges is that genuine talent is very, very rare. And while some students accept that they’ll never be the next Francis Bacon, the majority – blindly encouraged by their tutors, despite their complete lack of talent – genuinely believe they have what it takes. Imagine your normal teen, locked away in his bedroom, railing at a world that doesn’t understand him. Now stir in the fact that the world also doesn’t understand his brick with an egg on it – entitled Love, Effort And Disappointment – and the result is a genuinely bonkers specimen.
The array of artists on show in School for Saatchi was an eye-popping look into this mindset. What strange psyche believes that two emails, printed out, then scrunched up, are important in any way? The creator of that masterpiece looked genuinely shocked when he was told that it was (literally) rubbish. He left, head down, cradling the screwed-up paper lovingly in his hands.
Art? Even Tracey Emin Said It Was Rubbish (Telegraph)