Celebrating a little bit tonight, lol, with a cup of coffee. I finished Part One of my inaugural attempt at a book. Already been copy edited, thumps up. Finished are the Intro plus 6 chapters, and 17,000 words. Some of the ground will be familiar to artists and art historians, but I hope it will make deep inroads in the psychology of art and give sense of these artists being alive and transcending time.
This is one of the paragraphs from the 3rd Chapter, Trepidation, Art is Not Tangible and Yet …
The early artist would have been shifting valuable efforts away from life-sustaining work towards the abstract pursuit of art. All animals engage in life-sustaining action, but it would appear as if the artist was rejecting this. Visual art, then as now, has no utilitarian purpose, none whatsoever. Art could not mend things, carve arrows, and build fires. It was not a tool. It did not give warmth, shelter, food, or security. In practical terms it was useless. Diverting resources for such an senseless art adventure would be perceived as a psychosis, the artist having a partial or total break with reality.
The nature of art is evolutionary–at its best it extends and elevates your knowledge, emotions, and senses. But just because it is our nature to live doesn’t mean we can’t reject life and commit suicide. Art at its worst––I’m talking about postmodernism now––shits on humanity, benevolence, authenticity, and love and leave us with nothing, or worse than nothing. This works both privately, in the deepest recesses of our souls, and publicly, in popular and institutionalized art of our time. In both cases you don’t have to be a victim.
Past all the noise, art as a beacon gives you a choice for your personal future: be a cynic embracing snark, apathy, and ineptness; or be the good person that embraces innovation, authenticity, and human potential. Duchamp, The Fountain (facsimile), the “original” from 1917 was submitted but not shown (probably trashed) by the Society of Independent Artists’ salon in New York. Newberry, Denouement, 1987, oil on linen, 54×78″. A masterpiece of integrating perception, color theory, heart, and our potential for meaningful human connections.
Take the Test
Block out some time to examine art you love and what is popular on social media sites and in contemporary art museums. Lots of people pick art that supports how they feel, you might feel angry or depressed so you could connect with rage art or emptiness. But the test is not how you feel. Rather, it is about how would you like to feel in the near and distant future. Do you really want to be angry your whole life? Die from loneliness? Or do you want to find your inner bliss? The art you surround yourself with pulls you into its path and acts as your future’s beacon. “Is that where I want to go?” In the same way you can see where your culture is heading. Just take a look at a social media site. Some of the things I see are a lot of horror-based art struggling to release hope in a dim distant light. The wisdom of Reinhold Niebuhr comes to mind: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” We can’t directly change the art of our time but we can do anything we bloody well want to with our own collection.
Since childhood, I have consistently chosen the path of artistic evolution. As an artist, I have sought and found an alternative to postmodernism, and I continue to test the limits of the sublime as I paint. Going against the grain has been at times a difficult choice, but the inner peace and joy of choosing to grow, learn, and mature is my reward. It is a magnificent place to be. Please join me in choosing evolution.