I attended a holiday studio sale where I met an artist who does portraits, mostly self-portraits. He is also a damn good illustrator, with a style a little reminiscent of the 1930s and 40s (not a bad thing in my book). He also had some constructions around which were sources of aggravation to his teacher, he said, and were torn apart at his critiques. He stopped going in that direction.
I wonder about things like that. I wonder because there’s no guarantee about who’s “right.” His Prof said “That’s over” – that style or medium (maybe both), but is that really true? Couldn't it be more a matter of working on something until you make it your own? Why would, say, painting and drawing not be “over,” still be valid, but not assemblage?
No doubt the things screamed “Ed and Nancy” all over them, but so what? No one starts at XYZ. You start at the beginning and it looks like what came before it.
When I hear things like that, of artists abandoning entire practices based on a class, it startles me. Prejudices get projected. In my own time, I have had very confident, authoritive verdicts assailed my way, only to find out that however certain they were - they were wrong!
If a teacher is free and clear of their own issues, or can at least put them aside, great. If they are steamrolling down the luxurious highway of art making, with perceived kudos at the finish line, they should be able to afford generosity. But when they attack entire mediums and styles, it’s like withholding love. It’s easy to forget that all quality is held in conditions; nothing is without context. What else are we not seeing because it does not meet current fashion and prescribed methods?