The artist reviving the exquisite techniques of the Old Masters

I was excited to read this article about Jacob Collins, an artist working in the style of the old masters--so many oil glazes!--as it's the effect I often aim for (albeit with ersatz digital shenanigans, though I did receive formal training back in the day). But, at least in James Panero's telling, he seems really humorless and severe about the whole thing.

Collins explains: “My general feeling in terms of art making is the train got off the rails in the 1860s and 1870s, and my practical instinct is to go back to where it was, try to put it back, fix it up, and start going again.”
“Our culture,” he continued, “has inherited the idea that if artists are not avant-garde they cannot have a significant role. That’s a fallacy we’ve inherited from some Parisian nut-job radicals. The rejection of beauty is so accepted. It’s high time that we as a culture attend to our beau

No fun at all. Sad!

Fireislandsunset

At top is Collins' Susan’s Back, 2006. Immediately above is Fire Island Sunset.

I suspect using such techniques to make haunted postmodern inferences and irony and stuff would appall him. I feel judged! But I do love his art.