Artist Anish Kapoor has said the art world must resist the government’s “outrageous” “right-wing agenda” when it comes to teaching children.
During a retrospective of his paintings at Modern Art Oxford, Kapoor hit back at what he sees as government targeting of the arts.
Secondary schools were to receive up to £ 25,000 each per year for arts education but, despite being a campaign pledge, Schools Minister Nick Gibb confirmed in September that there would not have artistic bonus this year – citing COVID-19[female[feminine pressures.
After previous cuts made in recent years, many schools have now abandoned arts subjects due to lack of funds.
Kapoor told Sky News that the funding cuts effectively take the arts out of the core curriculum, hurting children’s education.
“What are we doing – educating our children to be fodder for the capitalist machine?” he said. “How dare they? It’s outrageous. It’s a right-wing program, but we must resist with all of our energy.”
Since winning the Turner Prize in 1991, Kapoor has become one of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists – making headlines with his polarizing Olympic Park commission, the ArcelorMittal Orbit.
His latest exhibition is not for the faint hearted. Giant blood red oil paintings presented alongside sculptural casings and blood trays, taking the audience to a very primitive place and evoking images of ritual human sacrifice.
“I don’t see it as bloody, weirdly, I think it opens up what we all carry inside of us… clearly on some level, death is there but – I hope – it is also the case”, a- he declared.
“You know people can love him or hate him. What can I do? I always have to take this risk with myself.”
If he is best known for his sculptures, Kapoor has always painted.
“I have been doing paintings for 30 years and they have always provided a background or paralleled sculpture. Of course, it is a different medium, but one which interests me deeply.
Quoting Picasso, Kapoor said he too believes that “art is war” – and that he hopes his more recent works will make people “uncomfortable!”
Anish Kapoor: Painting is at Modern Art Oxford from October 2 to February 13