Action or neutral image?

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Hi All, I am intending to have a painting commissioned and the artist has advised me that he has been advised by an auctioneer that paintings are preferred politically correct these days and the dealer who informed the artist said he finds scenes portraying war action as the subjects are far harder to sell than just a basic image of what ever subject in this particular case historic aircraft. What I would like to know from the forumites is what is the preferred image that they would buy ? whether it be in print or painting or does it really matter and is purely down to personal choice I know what I want but I thought I would just put it to those who are interested look forward to any replies. P.S. Sorry to the mods if this is in the wrong thread posting. :eagerness: Geoff.
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Profile picture for user Moggy C

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It works for me as an Historic Aviation thread as long as the discussion remains loosely about aircraft. My own preference by far is for aircraft in a landscape. 'Action' paintings always have a tinge of the adolescent's comic book about them. Highly detailed, close-up rivet counter images might just as well be photographs. But hey, it's your walls it will live on, commission whatever it is that you want. Who cares if an auctioneer would find it hard to sell later? Might disappoint those in your will, but you'll have had the joy of a painting that you like. Moggy

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If this is true it might not be political correctness but maybe the temperament of the painting and how it fits in to where it will be displayed. If it's going in a living room (all magnolia and soft furnishings) then a painting of a lancaster at a dispersal in the morning must will always go better than one dropping high explosives or being shot to pieces by a night fighter. If political correctness drove peoples viewing tastes they wouldn't flock to see action and war films at the cinema - it's just more likely that it may fit in better. Maybe it's also destined for a living room that is a shared space and used by a wife and children too. In answer to your question, I'd rather have the image of the aircraft that shows the form of the aircraft yet I'm still fully aware what it was designed for.

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Oddly enough Airfix went through this period several years ago and went all pc on their box art, out went scenes of aircraft shooting things up.... They have since gone back to artwork showing war such as the Typhoon strafing tanks..
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Hi All, Moggy,Wings43 and TonyT, I was thinking more along the lines of Keith woodcocks " Low Level Raiders" (Image below.) just enough to portray the aircraft in an environment that hints at what action it was involved in rather than bombs whistling down so I probably gave the wrong impression with my post but I don't want a static Neutral image, many thanks for your input. P.S. Tony sorry for holding your phone conversation up. :D http://www.directart.co.uk/mall/images/800s/dhm2401.jpg Geoff.

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As a purchaser of aviation works of art, I buy what I like (and can afford) and I've never considered if the works are politically correct or not. This thread has made me look at my collection in that light. In my collection the mix of aircraft on the ground or in the air is roughly 50 / 50 and of those in the air only three show action that the PC police might describe as politically incorrect. I can also describe the mix as being roughly 50 / 50 a mix of aircraft in a landscape/cloudscape and landscape/cloudscape with aviation. The one painting I wished I'd bought could also be consideredd politically incorrect, whereas I just thought it a clever composition. On one level it was a painting of the Red Arrows flying in formation yet on another level it was an aircraft tattoo on a scantilly clad young lady. Well I thought it was artistic.

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Just a thought. Since when have images of military aircraft been seen as politically incorrect. Right or wrong, There are just as many violent images in history books, paintings and films as there always been. This idea of a PC police doesn't really hold true in this context and is a bit of a red herring. I stand by my comment that's it's more to do with temperament and your own taste. I enjoy aviation museums and air shows and a display by a spitfire. I fully understand it is a war machine but I certainly would like a painting of it strafing a train on my wall. Someone else might. I'd bet there are more people out there who'd like that famous painting of the spitfire coming out of the clouds at what looks like dusk. We've all seen it time and time again.
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Hi All, Wings43,aeronut 2008, I share your sentiments exactly, it was the mention of this from the artist that prompted me to ask, like Moggy "you'll have had the joy of a painting that you like." I have already covered that though it will be passed on to a deserving cause for others to either enjoy hopefully. :eagerness: Geoff.
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Goya.

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I like Keith Hill and Robert Taylors offerings- aircraft, snow and steam trains included they pull my chain...

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Gosh, no wonder the old Airfix box art disappeared :D

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You'd never see those in a serious art collection.
I've seen plenty of paintings depicting war that are not too dissimilar to that in galleries across the country. Plenty. Just because art galleries arnt full of war paintings doesn't mean there is an agenda to not feature them only that there is x amount wall space and other things to show too. Galleries across the uk are full of battle scenes like this and if you go to the Tate you'll find modern interpretations like those of Paul Nash. For those who want to just see war paintings then try the IWM galleries which have some superb work.

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I have quite a few Taylors and Ferris..... The Ferris reverse angle of the FW190 over the B.17s is eocative of action but shows none, Similarly, Taylor's Wildcats and Corsairs returning to Guadalcanal with the most wonderful skyscape also has the feeling of action but they are simply in formation. I have a Skyraider print depicting a rescue mission and while there is action it is subtle....... Strouhal's depiction of Tony Gaze's victory over a Me.262 is action but again subtle. Down to the personal taste but for me, guns blazing, tracers everywhere and a tinge of orange through every print does not do it for me.
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Just catching up, when I wrote "aircraft in a landscape", that was meant to include skyscape/cloudscape too. Moggy
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I'm not sure what political correctness has to do with anything, some of the aviation art posted on here and elsewhere is nothing more than bad art. This thread reminds me of the hysterical thread posted a few months ago about the use of roundels in artwork and 'THIS IS WOT YUR HARD EARNED TAX MONEY IS WASTED ON'. I see there is a taste for kitschy chocolate box artwork of Spitfires soaring over suitably sanitised rolling countryside. http://www.scotlandinoils.com/aeroplane-paintings/hurricane-painting.jpg There seems to be a niche for paintings of Spitfires checking out downed aircraft; http://www.aviartnutkins.com/pages/imo/spitfire-painting-1940.jpg This one must be called 'I hope Jerry drowns before he makes it back to land'. Note the clumsy cartoon-like composition. http://www.model-making.eu/zdjecia/7/0/0/1734_rd.jpg
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Gosh, no wonder the old Airfix box art disappeared :D
Not all of it!
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I think aviation art depicting action usually doesn't pass muster as great art, in part because the artists usually feel the need to pack the story into the small frame of the painting. I think Keith Ferris did a better job with "Mig Sweep" depicting Robin Olds at the apex of his high speed yoyo maneuver. It isn't a particularly good study of the F-4 and the Mig is little more than a dot but it captures the moment perfectly. The typical aviation artist would have done the moment after the kill with Olds passing close by as the Mig sheds a wing and the pilot is departing via the ejection seat. Perhaps there would be a Sam passing close astern and nearby, Their card game interrupted, anti aircraft gunners look up in shock at the drama unfolding overhead. The squadron mascot, a dog they have affectionately named "Uncle Ho", dashes after the trucks full of fellow squadron members that are already rolling to pick up the parachutist. After which no doubt they will take him to the local pub collective for a beer and an hour of self criticism.

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the art depends on what it is aimed at...target market and also how much is being paid to the artist, an artist will not put a lot of time into an illustarion if the payment is small, you can see the effect in some of the pics Meddle posted. As long as the image evokes a feeling then I am happy.I especially like the new trend of CGI art.