COMMENTARY: Phoning it in and the Fractal of Fail

The fine art world isn’t the only cultural element phoning it in these days. The phenomena are related-the spiritually bankrupt and exhausted ruling class believes it holds a monopoly over our very lives, so we’ll just have to settle for whatever they toss out. It’s not good enough.
I’ve heard an interesting analogy recently: A Fractal of Fail. It’s built into the mindset of the ruling class these days. It applies the big failures we’re all having to deal with now in art, government, the media, and our institutions; but the same pattern of inadequacy is repeated in every level, in every aspect, from arrogant world leaders all the way down to that presumptuous individual who was promoted over his level of competence due to some worthless credentials.
The elites prefer protecting themselves and their status more that they care about their results. Other elites will never call them out for their failures, as they are all in the same club, and the opinions of those they consider their inferiors are irrelevant to them.
What’s wrong with movie posters can be extrapolated all the way out to what is wrong with our entire society. This is unsustainable.

COMMENTARY: Art and the Examined Life

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“The Offering” by Richard Bledsoe

The creation of a painting acts as a model of the examined life. What do you see when you look inside? To look at what many contemporary artists offer, you would think they are chock full of lifeless echoes of vapid mass media offerings, vague recyclings of other artists’ ideas, and technical formulas. I don’t believe such limited offerings really reach who they are, and bring it out for the world to see. They’re falling short of the ultimate destination, self knowledge shared as a communion with their fellow humanity. It’s a scary place to head for, and the current mentality of the art establishment discourages it. Exploring the state of the soul is impolite; it doesn’t always look hip and savvy, and is just too raw and genuine for those who hide behind a pseudo-sophisticated façade-and façade is what the elites are all about. But the world within is the only destination worth heading for. Art is the record of that journey.

ARTICLE: The Difference Between Art and Propaganda

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Pablo Picasso “Guernica”

There are important distinctions between art and propaganda. Although both are forms of visual communication, their aims are completely different. Great art explores the mysteries of human experience. Propaganda seeks to influence an intellectual decision by stirring up obscuring clouds of emotionalism. Strong art reaches universal, shared experience by honestly presenting the results of self-exploration. Propaganda seeks to substitute that universal appeal with the presentation of ideology it assumes to be commonly held by all right-thinking people. But what if the audience doesn’t share the same convictions, or are indifferent to them? Then the art fails to connect, falls flat. The more blatantly political a work is, the smaller its audience will be. Our contemporary cultural institutions’ strident advocacy is big part of why the visual arts art are suffering such a crisis of relevance now.

Read the full article here: Picasso’s Guernica: The Difference Between Art and Propaganda

COMMENTARY: Symbolism and the Function of Tradition

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“The Bear That Ate the Stars” by Richard Bledsoe

As a young artist, as I started to discover what truly intrigued me in my art, I found I was following parallel explorations to the Symbolist artists. Even as I’ve become aware of the cutting edge contemporary movement of Remodernism, following my own natural inclinations keeps my works grounded in Symbolist traditions. Remodernist artists find inspiration in the art forms of the past, expressed not by mindless imitation or appropriation, but by finding in ourselves the universal source of love and excitement that moved those earlier artists.
Fascination with the fantastic, mythical and religious imagery, the spiritual connotations of darkness, light and color, an underlying sense of order; these concerns of the Symbolists continue to arise spontaneously in my own art.

Gustave Moreau: Reimagining Symbolism

This article touches on the works and life of formative symbolist Gustave Moreau. Key quote: ” Eccentricity and provocation are two defining characteristics of symbolist artists, all of whom created their own artificial world, built on their own imagination and emotions. Rejecting naturalism and impressionism, at the same time the artists challenged themselves to stimulate and evoke the observer’s emotions. Longing for sensation and artfully hidden implications, it seems only logical that every artist brings his unique touch to a common concept.”

COMMENTARY: The Self-Parody of the Contemporary Artist Statement

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image by bill watterson

Artist’s Statements of the Old Masters

This article is good for a laugh for anyone who has spent time in university art classes or establishmentarian networked galleries.

Key quote, before the mockery begins: “To be ‘contemporary’ your work needs to be explained and justified in the language of postmodern theory. As works of art have evolved to require less skill in their making, artists have been become increasingly reliant on intellectual pedigrees substantiated by theory.”

There is much truth in that statement… if any thoughtful person could consider the ridiculous jargon of artspeak to represent an intellectual pedigree. Postmodernism doesn’t participate in the discernment and accuracy that are the hallmarks of real intellect; it mimics the behavior of insightful analysis without partaking in its substance. It takes a special type of ignorance to accept this blather as an acceptable substitute for actual accomplishment.

This kingdom of sophistry, the rarified atmosphere created by the elites to protect their status, is crumbling across the board. Art needs to lead the way to its final destruction. A great way to defeat the con game is to make art that doesn’t need a list of talking points to justify its existence. And apart from the art, there is a great need to speak plainly and bluntly on the current state of the arts.

Most of our cultural institutions are so corrupted by ideology, influence peddling and status games they are failing in their missions to show what our American culture is really like. I can almost hear the knee jerk thoughts a statement like that causes in the art world: “But our culture is awful! Dumb backwards knuckle dragging yahoos out there!” That is the voice of the establishment, right there: a tiny clique sneering at everyone who is not like them.

Want to be part of the beautiful people? All you have to do is show hatred and disrespect for anyone who doesn’t conform to the priorities of the elitist mindset, and then you get to vicariously be one of the jetset too-only without the money, power, etc. You get the privilege of basking in their reflected glory. A bunch of willing serfs worshipping their presumptuous Ruling Class.

To speak plainly, enough of that. I am dedicating my life to kicking the misappropriated props out from under the sycophantic system they are trying to impose as the means for advancement. It’s not who you know that matters, and it’s especially not what you say that makes a difference. All the artist statements in the world can’t make inferior work good. It’s what you do that matters. It’s time for art to participate in reality again.

 


ARTICLE – The Sting: The Long Con of the Establishment Art World

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“If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” So runs a common phrase used to poke gentle fun at perceived gullibility in others. The expression originates from the exploits of infamous con man George C. Parker, who in the early 20th century fraudulently sold many New York City landmarks, including the Brooklyn Bridge, multiple times. The targets of his confidence tricks were wealthy rubes: usually tourists or immigrants who thought they would be able to both cash in and achieve elevated social status by owning such prestigious properties.

It might seem incredible to us that anyone would fall for such blatant falsehoods, but con men like Parker understand human nature very well. Greed and vanity are powerful flaws in the human heart, which can be manipulated by the unscrupulous. The wild success of Parker’s audacious schemes have achieved legendary status, but because he had no rights to the property he was selling, he ultimately finished his days in prison.  If he were operating today, Parker could have found an equally outrageous but completely legal way to fleece his marks: the contemporary art market.”

Read the full article here: The Sting: The Long Con of the Establishment Art World

COMMENTARY: It’s Not Who You Know

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“At the Crossroad” by Richard Bledsoe

“It’s very true that an artist who networks well will have better opportunities than one who doesn’t network well. But great networking skills without great art won’t change art history.” – Mark Kostabi

Remodernism does not accept the current philosophy so prevalent in the art world – that who you know is more important than what you do. The establishment has been pushing art that does not rely on skill or vision, because that allows them to favor cronies whose work does not have artistic merit. To join in this dynamic, the only talent that matters is the art of sucking up. Short term success, at best. Artists should understand their role in the mighty continuum of art, and make works that aim for the ages, instead of trying to be in sync with fashionable trends. Artists need to be themselves, working obsessively at their unique visions.