Ep. 7 Kant’s Mathematical Sublime

Kant’s idea of the sublime is that it overwhelms our imagination, one example is the mathematical sublime in which the magnitude is too much for us to comprehend, like unlimited stars in the Universe. It can be argued that postmodern artist Christo’s Umbrellas fit the definition.

The Sublime

The experience of the sublime is to be looked for in art. Art integrates senses, emotions, and thought. The sublime in art elevates our sensory experience, heightens and taps our emotional potential, and furthers our knowledge. The sublime in art can give us a moral to the story, a stance towards living. At its best, the sublime in art inspires awe in our human potential and gives us a path to evolve as a whole being and as a species. Michael Newberry

The Age of Delusion: Jerry Saltz, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism by Michael Newberry

It’s a shame that Duchamp’s cynicism, Kant’s aesthetic nihilism, and the CIA’s misguided and malicious underwriting of Abstract Expressionism and its shills combined to foster hope of greatness to talentless, pretentious hacks. In his frank assessment of his art, Saltz is completely right. Expertise in drawing and painting, a grounding in art history, and vision, all those elements need to be mastered to become a great artist. Yet, instead of doing the massive introspective and technical work necessary, Saltz opts for a scapegoat. Truth is to blame.

The Individual

The following paintings are all about the individual exploring themes of discovery, exploration, joy, contemplation, contentment, creative focus, being beautiful, pride, acceptance, giving, gratefulness, appreciation, confidence, intention, litheness, and exaltation.

Love

Perhaps the most difficult part is the introspective sorting of the emotions that lead and add up to a celebration of love. And to eliminate the cynical voices that have zero to contribute. And to be sensitive enough to have the “ah ha” moment when I see its manifestation in the models’ poses.

The Cult of Oblivion: CIA, Abstract Expressionists, and Kant

In the mid-20th century these three forces––Kant’s philosophy, abstract expressionists, and the CIA––congealed ostensibly to champion freedom and originality, instead accomplished an undermining of art and consequently humanity. The connections and machinations are so complicated and obtuse it is hard to take them seriously, but it does make a difference in understanding them, at least in the sense of whether or not our culture evolves.