Monday, July 13, 2009

Faces

Pencil effect

In some way art maybe a reflection of our relationship with the universe, or maybe our relationship with God. Some art seems quite deep and frustrated while other art can be light and frivolous. I have seen art that is so flakey, just being a mere imitation of another's work. Or art that tries to be profound, but really is a clanging gong of nonsense – I have seen a lot of that. But then again I have stood in front of art that is uncanny and insightful, almost powerful enough to separate bone from sinew.

In all of these expressions, I can’t help but think about the artist who created them. What did they know, what was their motive and how do they live? I have a book at home called  ‘1000 Faces of God’ by Rebecca Hind – it’s not a religious book, in the sense that it promotes a particular religion, but a book of images from many religions.  It’s art through history, but focusing on God, the gods or that sense of other.

One tree

Sometimes, if not at all times, it’s a good idea to read art in a different light – different to the handed down version of the critics, historians and ‘experts’. Step away from the crowd and put what you know to the test, recoil from the mainstream texts and have a closer look – put yourself in the frame.

 

You may ask yourself – “What on earth is going on, why are people so obsessed, are they stupid, why do they waste so much time on art, what’s in it for them, what are they trying to say to others or to themselves?” Are artists just vain, seeking attention or chasing money? – not much of that, for most of us. Or are they trying to make the intangible,  tangible? This maybe  the problem I have with Warhol and some  POP art – they try to make the tangible, intangible. Trying to suggest meaning where there is none – but then again this is a message in itself and reflects a certain philosophical viewpoint – or could it be me who is clueless?

 

july 2 015e

 

Maybe, it’s just me,  my ridiculous notions and diehard stubborn nature or maybe my art is dead after all –  am I flogging a dead horse in a world of over competitive people – maybe money, art or any other thing taken to idol level are just God substitutes.

6 comments:

  1. Hmm, seems that you've been doing a lot of soul searching too

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  2. David, you sir are a nut... What does Ethiopia have to do with the Grail? All this talk about what art means... I have a theory.

    Based on my observation that when people say things out loud, even if no-one is listening, they believe it more (This is how I manage to achieve most of my goals).

    I believe that 'art' is the word we give to the relationship with our-self (which everyone has), and when we express this, others can relate. Depending on the level of our relationship with ourselves and clarity of the message, this will generate an awareness to the audience of what we can have within ourselves.

    Sometimes when we look at art it reflects, and helps us identify with, our love. Other times we see calculation, sadness, loneliness, and despair.

    I don't think your art is dead, I think your missing the message.

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  3. Yes, Loretta just a bit David Blurb - I just try out language now and then to see if it fits - and to see if I can catch any fish.

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  4. Templar, the mention of the Grail in relationship to Ethiopia is a reference to the controversial book, 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln. The book suggests that the Knights Templars hid the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. Instead of the Grail being a cup, the book suggests that the usage of the term Grail was a code for the actual Ark. I have read the book and find it sensational and speculative - it is in the same league as 'The Da Vinci Code' - just conspiracy theory. If you Google some of this stuff you will be more informed.

    As, for saying things out loud, I don't believe in the positive thinking or proclaim and claim movements- these have too much of a relationship to Mysticism, Spiritism or Scientology etc.

    As for relationship - normally relationship is between two separate things. Are you saying there is two of you - yourself and another self. Is this your subconscious as suggested by Freud that you are dialoguing with? Or it some sort of eastern religious concept of higher self? Maybe it's a Demon like Jung's Philemon that you are communicating with? There is the possibility that it is an inner monkey of dialectical materialism, where one self plays thesis and the other self plays antithesis, thus eventually arriving at some sort of outcome. If this is so then what language are we using in this relationship to get clarity of message that is strong enough to generate an awareness? What is this vague thing that we can have within ourselves, and why would we be so arrogant to think that someone else needs it?

    My comment about my art is really rhetorical. It is used in such a way as to question aspects of contemporary art and my relationship to it. In fact I am very clear about my art and readily understand the messages sent to me by other artists - but maybe I should be less cryptic and call a spade a Grail.

    All in all your comments on art seem very religious or quasi spiritual - maybe my comments on art being about our relationship to God are closer to the mark than I thought.

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  5. david and Templar,
    I enjoyed both of your theories. The two of you should quit your day-jobs and become philosophers.
    Another compelling essay David, I feel enlightened if not by anything other than your use of adjectives.

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  6. I got a movie from the DVD shop tonight called "The Last Templar".

    In some way Yi artists are sort of like minor philosophers - the difference is, that artists usually end up with a product, although they may never conclude the thinking. Philosophers seem to be caught in the conundrum and never really seem to arrive - probably because they don't actually believe in the concept of truth. Or possibly they do believe in truth but discount it the closer they get due to peer pressure and veer away.

    I better stop typing into uncharted water in case I sink like a philosophers stone, and make a contemporary artist of myself.

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