Fear of Painting

In recent years, painting has become, like religion and politics, one of the subjects that ought not to be brought up at a polite dinner party. Feelings both for and against certain kinds – in some cases, all kinds – of painting seem to run so strongly, and often with such little relationship to rational argument, that painting itself sometimes seems the culprit for so many raised voices and bruised feelings. Hopefully, more reasonable moments find us reminding ourselves that painting is not, cannot be responsible for such excess of feeling. The fault, rather, lies in its opposite: the fear of what painting might become.