About

“A monolithic orthodoxy has marooned artists in a ghetto of received opinion and cut them off from fresh ideas…In the twenty-first century, we are looking for meaning, not subverting it. The art world, mesmerized by the heroic annals of the old avant-garde, is living in the past.”

-Camille Paglia

Writing about art has become a questionable activity.

This is largely because the priorities cultivated by the current cultural establishment are also very questionable.

Real art knows no boundaries; it communicates across all times, across all cultures. Art is as much an aspect of our species as the opposable thumb, and just as prevalent. Art conveys the legacy of our common condition, the fellowship of life. Art is the universal language of inspired humanity.

Art is for everyone.

Unfortunately, today’s institutions have broken from this timeless awareness. Instead of being reverenced as a communion for all, contemporary art is being treated as a wedge, a social signifier of elitist attitudes. Officially sanctioned art is all too often is based on theoretical formal matters and sociological notions designed to exclude, rather than engage, the general public.

Art has been marginalized in our culture by the mismanagement practiced on it by elites. In doing so, they have blocked access to powerful resources – denying our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty. As a result the mass audience has turned away, instinctually rejecting the superficial and nihilistic aspects of contemporary art championed by an imperious would-be ruling class.

To defend their shrunken turf, the art world has lapsed into dogma. They’ve tried preserve their own privileged priest class status by retreating further into obscurity and hostility, belligerently deriding those communities who repudiate or rebuff creative class presumptions.

But beyond all this narcissism and power tripping, the simple human love of, and need for, art endures. Great art is being made outside the ideologically-driven official channels, by artists who are seeking to express their own personal visions.

Without the institutional support it’s harder to have these contributions recognized; however, we live in an era dominated by a miraculous tool. Thank God for the internet! The establishment filters can be bypassed.

All too often the efforts of independent artists go without notice. This blog will be an effort to document some of the amazing accomplishments happening under the radar. In addition, it will address inspirational mass media offerings-commercially produced books, films, and music-that also manage to evoke the deep places of the imagination, as well as observations on the state of the arts.

Much cultural commentary tediously dwells on peripheral concerns, using the pedantic lecturing tone of the academy. It takes a lot of hot air to pump up the bubble that allows inadequate art to survive. Enough with the endless, dull deconstructivist nitpicking. This clichéd approach to analysis is more about flaunting the supposed cleverness and politically correct values of the critic than exploring the mystery of art.

Also, enough with the ridiculous jargon so often used in an attempt to magnify non-existent accomplishments. Like any specialized field, art making and appreciation has a specific vocabulary, but the use of terminology cannot replace the visceral experience good art gives. Those fluent in the artspeak gibberish may believe the use of inflated language presents an arcane sophistication that will distract from the shortcomings of their ideas. However, their sophistry is no substitute for achievement; the spirit remains unmoved by their equivocations.

Remodernism is an art movement first codified by UK artists Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. It is the recognition of the spiritual renaissance taking form in the arts all around the globe.

This is our moment in the mighty continuum of art and life. The current caretakers have been careless, leaving our culture’s deepest needs unmet while they pursued their own self-serving agendas. We can do better than this. The Remodern Review contributes an enthusiastic perspective on unfolding renewal of art.

-Richard Bledsoe

45 thoughts on “About

  1. Richard, this is very well put; one wonders what future cultures will make of warehouse housing a few hair-balls, interiors covered in strapping tape and, cans full of excrement – if indeed any record of these Achievements exists. I am so very sorry for today’s art students. Kind Regards, JXC

  2. This is SO spot on, Richard. I once worked for a year at Pratt Institute. There were some amazingly creative souls there (the students) and I remembered how they went before these instructors who just raked them over coals. It was all about defending their “concept.” One student broke down in tears. I’ve heard people say this is all to toughen the art students to criticism, but I thought it was more like a sadistic ritual that the art schools engage in. The elitism also pervades literature and literary criticism.

  3. […] “Art has been marginalized in our culture by the mismanagement practiced on it by elites. In doing so, they have blocked access to powerful resources – denying our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty. As a result the mass audience has turned away, instinctually rejecting the superficial and nihilistic aspects of contemporary art championed by an imperious would-be ruling class.” The Remodern Review […]

  4. My motto is “Art is for everyone.” This doesn’t mean everyone is an artist, because not everyone has the inclination to do that kind of work. But part of my philosophy of art is that when in the presence of art you know it, you don’t need an education or an explanation to feel the resonance it holds. So much of contemporary art fails this fundamental standard. There is a place in Remodernism for anyone who understands how the elites squandered the potentials the modern age opened for everyone. Keep doing the work you are called to do, and spread the word that the monopoly and monotony enforced by the establishment is crumbling because of their incompetence and decadence.

  5. Thank you for sharing. We’re breaking the stranglehold one mind at a time. Most are not aware there are any alternative ideas available apart from the establishment status quo, because the establishment has controlled the means of communication for so long. What they present is so awful it needs to be a monopoly to survive, and we are here to end that monopoly. Careers, reputations, and investment returns will be devastated, and art will be for the people again.

  6. Thank you for following my blog and I look forward to following yours and seeing what art you uncover for all of us! Thank you for your work here!
    Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody

  7. Thanks Jody! I know that at my best I’m just a conduit. I want to use the wordless beauty of art to draw everyone’s gaze towards the true source of all beauty. Keep up your blogging!

  8. Great piece, Richard. Enjoy a book called, “Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time & Light,” by Leonard Shlain (1991). It’s as fascinating as the title suggests. The back cover of the book reads,

    Art interprets the visible world, physics charts its unseen workings–making the two realms seem completely opposed. But in “Art & Physics,” Leonard Shlain tracks their breakthroughs side by side throughout history to reveal an astonishing correlation of visions.

    From the classical Greek sculptors to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and from Aristotle to Einstein, artists have foreshadowed the discoveries of scientists, such as when Monet and Cezanne intuited the coming upheaval in physics that Einstein would initiate. In this lively and colorful narrative, Leonard Shlain explores how artistic breakthroughs could have prefigured the visionary insights of physicists on so many occasions throughout history.

    Provocative and original, Art & Physics is a seamless integration of the romance of art and the drama of science…an exhilarating history of ideas.

    Returning to my own thoughts, a new, delightfully surprising, and profound new world opens when we learn to think holistically (developed at length in my book, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: YOU Must Save America and the Family). In our culture, we have been taught nearly exclusively to thing analytically from kindergarten through our age today. Our culture largely abandoned holistic thinking about 400 years ago with the emergence of the scientific method. The general public was so captivated by the scientific successes at the time that the romance with science has continued until the present day.

    However, people are just beginning to relearn the benefits of holistic thinking. Your blog seems to suggest that you are moving in that direction as well. Sometime soon, my own blog, at lloydstebbins.com, will have a piece on art. I just didn’t get to it yet. What do you think?

  9. The books sound very interesting, I’m happy you grasp the larger implications of what I’m discussing. Despite-or perhaps because of-the rapid improvements of the modern era, it became a very fragmented time. The idea of Remodernism is to take the progress the modern era generated and reconcile the fragements, to restore the integrity of consciousness, all the better to enjoy the gifts we have been given. I’ll look forward to your blogging on your ideas.

  10. Hi, Richard! As a writer and consumer of art, I applaud your comments and vision. I grieve for every lost opportunity to be oneself from the inside out. I’ve found my own journey to become a grateful and sparkling bit of God’s creation a great adventure as well as difficult, painful and sometimes lonely. Thanks for following your heart and showing us some of how you’re getting from here to there!
    Elouise

  11. Thanks Elouise! My own struggles have been much better since I acknowledged God is the center of my life, and source of all good things. Hope the journey keeps taking you to great places!

  12. Thank you for following Reclaiming the Sacred! Your blog looks so interesting!

    I having been going back and forth about possibly sharing some of my artwork on my own blog – work that has an eye to returning to a more noble ideal. It is good to know there are others out there who think somewhat like me!

    I hope to hear more from you in the future, and thank you again for the follow!

  13. You have an interesting blog, By all means, you should share your art as well. The more people show their creativity as an alternative to decadent, elitist art world attitudes, the richer our lives will be.

  14. Looking forward to it. As far as cultural change goes, my motto is it starts in the art. Renewal and reformation will come from the participation of those from outside the existing corrupt creative class hierarchies.

  15. The good news is that the current art elitists have been coming up with such terrible offerings they can’t handle a serious challenge. They are in weak position they assumed their monopoly would protect. Their monopoly is over.

  16. It is heartening to see a movement to return to genuine meaning in art. You refer to stifling and destructive trends in art that are, “denying our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty.” For me, art with no Ideals of harmony, truth or beauty really isn’t art at all. True art nowadays struggles to survive in a desert wilderness where eyes that recognize those ancient ideas are blinking in the haze.

    I recently read Nancy Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo, in which she uses art trends to explain the philosophical world views not only of artists but of eras, tracing art styles and how they were not just influenced by but specifically products of world views. Her back ground and training are in philosophy and Christian theology, which gives her a scholarly perspective which clearly points to meaning, beauty and hope.

    From what I have seen on your blog, I anticipate that you would find Saving Leonardo of great interest.

  17. Thank you for the recommendation, it definitely sounds like something I would find inspiring. I have a motto about cultural renewal: It starts in the art. However, what is the art ultimately, except the visual manifestation of a way of understanding life? Art is a world view and philosophy expressed through images, that is its underlying truth. I will look forward to reading that book.

  18. “This clichéd approach to analysis is more about flaunting the supposed cleverness and politically correct values of the critic than exploring the mystery of art.”
    Great line, but there are many…I, too, have gone through the college degrees and had planned on BFA and MFA – however, came upon Scandinavian Studies at Cal Berkeley and Scandinavian Languages and Literature at University of Washington. Always wanted to combine literature and visual art = storytelling, so here I am, painting and writing.
    Happy to be following you!

  19. I wanted to thank you for stopping by my site and reading my blog “Teaching Painting: Brushwork 2.” From looking over your blog site it look like you are a serious art philosopher. Have you read Francis Schaeffer’s “Art and the Bible?” Dennis Prager is another thinker/commentator who is worth keeping up with.

  20. The Internet has fractured all arts and pushes the elite toward dogma in part to protect their investment. ” Art is…” A multi leveled and complex sentence to finish. It is inspiration and expression but also investment and propaganda. It is deeply, deeply, deeply human. I’m enjoying looking over your blog. Thank you for finding me and saying hi. I’m looking forward to continuing to read…

  21. Thanks! I’ve got bad news for the elite, they got conned and made many worthless investments. There’s no need for the rest of us to continue down the path of cultural suicide to support their poor choices. Thanks for reading, and spread the word: a fundamental change in the making and viewing of art is coming.

  22. Thank you so much for visiting keepyoureyespeeled. I’m thankful that you are bringing together so many artists with the need to find that universal in the individual and as well as the quirks in the universal, and make things up as they go.

  23. Hi Richard, thanks for stopping by & liking my post ‘Surfer & Battleship’, it’s really appreciated. Alas I’m just the messenger, I never cease to be astonded by the beautiful artistic talent decorating our streets.

    You have a wonderful blog here, with thoughtful opinion.

    Thanks again & keep up the great work, Urban Shutterbug!

  24. Thank you so much for the follow on my blog! I appreciate the time you spent looking at my posts 🙂 Your blog looks really interesting as well
    – Jasmine x

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