[I edited this for content.]
I visited Brian Bolland ‘s website a bit ago, and found this open letter to the French collage artist Erro. Here’s a quote:
What this is is a kind of colonialism. You, Erró, have found a place for yourself in the land of the Fine Art Elite, in “Gallery-land”, and you have gone out and discovered a dark continent inhabited by pygmies – barely more than savages really – people with a colourful but primitive culture. Like the Victorian explorers you find what they do ghastly but somehow alluring so you steal from them, give them nothing in return and dismiss them. You display bits of their infantile and garish nonsense in what you call a “synthesis” on a gallery wall in the civilised world, something which has nothing whatsoever to do with giving a full and accurate “report” on the stuff you steal or the people you steal it from. It’s more to do with the titillation of your peers. You’d like them to be shocked by the vulgarity of the artefacts you’re bringing back from whatever nasty place you’ve been to but appreciate them (and you, of course) in that post-modern kind of way. One reviewer of your work said “I don’t know where Erró finds all that stuff”. Luckily for you she and other inhabitants of the galleries don’t know the names of the people you steal from and you’re not in a hurry to list them. You’re exploiting people like me, not because you’re a “witness to our time” but because you want to turn the base metal of comics into art gold – and you’d like to have a lucrative career in Gallery-land.