The Philosophy of a Greatest Hits Collection: My Best Remodern Review Essays

One Of My Favorite Paintings Ever:

Richard Bledsoe “Squidgate” Oil on Canvas 36″ x 48″

In music, a greatest hits collection puts together the popular songs of a group or performer into one convenient package. Sometimes a new offering or a rarity is added as a bonus, or the selection is out padded out with not-quite-a-hit tracks.

After 8 years of serious blogging, I realize some of my more significant posts get lost in the shuffle. They won’t come up in the Top Posts sidebar unless they get rediscovered and receive a large number of views in a short time period.

To share some highlights, I’ve added a Greatest Hits widget to the side bar of the Remodern Review.

Instead of going strictly just by the articles with the biggest numbers of clicks, this collection is curated with the articles which mean the most to me, in addition to having large numbers of views.

I will periodically update the list to rotate through my favorites. The first list includes:

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1917: A Shattering Discovery from the Year Art Went Into the Toilet

Marcel Duchamp was the precursor of today’s useless, corrupt art world. This article exposes his chicanery and the possible fate of the most infamous work attributed to him.

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COMMENTARY: The Doublethink Strategy of Cultural Elitists

Using establishment pet artist Tracey Emin as an example of Postmodern art as a tool of oppression.

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COMMENTARY: Establishment Art’s Ingrained Indoctrination and the Postmodern Manifesto

I’ve heard the authorship of the Postmodern manifesto is disputed. It doesn’t matter who wrote it; it is a deadly accurate description of the enemy’s mentality. Beyond Jordan Peterson’s devastating video takedown of Postmodern immorality, I have not found a better summary of the toxic philosophy which is destroying the world.

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Leftists Literally Evoke Satan to Save Their Collapsing Cultural Cabal

Take off the Postmodern mask, and it’s the same old liar behind all evil in the world.

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ARTISTS: Charles Thomson is Stuck in the Remodern

My interview with the cofounder of the Remodern movement. Thomson’s ideas and art are a great influence on me, it was an honor to get him to share some insights.

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I hope you enjoy some of my greatest hits!

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

Advertisement

VIDEO: The Art World is a Scam (And Rich People Run It)

Art world links which caught my eye…

A video produced by Wendover Productions. Their YouTube “About” page says they are “explaining how our world works.”

They sure explain the contemporary art market, as a corrupt, insular money laundering scheme which has nothing to do with art. As the video states, “There isn’t one, blockbuster scam at the center of the art market. Rather, it’s a market composed of scams.”

Our cultural institutions have been co-opted to serve this criminal enterprise instead of providing genuine artistic experiences to society.

One of the scams used is the Big Store con game, as described in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization.

Major money visibly changes hands these days at art auctions and art fairs. The whole machinery of these angles of the establishment art racket are the equivalent of the fraud technique called “The Big
Store.”
The Big Store sets up a controlled environment where everyone except the marks are creating the appearance that they are transacting legitimate business. In the art market version, offering valueless
art through once reputable auction houses or in the celebrity soaked version of a swap meet gives a veneer of legitimacy to the proceedings.
Everyone the mark might encounter at such events—artists, dealers, journalists, academicians, other patrons—everyone is invested in perpetuating the delusion. There’s careers on the line and billions
of dollars at stake in keeping the hype alive, because hype is all that keeps this ridiculous bubble inflated.
There are lots of different parts to play in the Big Store. A “Shill” operates to promote the con game without revealing their personal stake in the outcomes. For instance, auction houses like to present
themselves as if they were scholarly institutes objectively discussing the amazing importance of the works displayed. The fact they are looking to collect fat commissions from the sale of said objects is
discretely overlooked.
The “Face” is a glamorous participant intended to distract the mark from thinking clearly. The glut of celebrities and Beautiful People that are drawn to exclusive art happenings guarantee buzz will exceed
rationality during such events.
The “Roper” is probably the most strategic player in the art market these days. This is a person whose affluence leads to influence, a savvy and powerful individual whose participation gives credibility to the whole enterprise. What is ignored is how much moguls like this manipulate the market to serve personal interests, using insider trading, shady financing and backroom deals to inflate the value of
their own collections.
In any other industry, common practices of the establishment art market could probably lead to criminal charges. But in the unregulated free-for-all of the art world, it’s very hard to bring these cases of potential white-collar crime to justice, and the victims here are less than sympathetic. After all, the buyers are people who have so much money it’s meaningless to them. Who cares if a bunch of billionaires are getting ripped off?
It’s not really the suckered patrons who are the biggest victims here. Our society as a whole is being debased. By taking art, the manifestation of the soul of our culture, and replacing it with a cynical system that exists only to enhance egos and bank accounts, we’re undermining the quality of everyone’s shared existence.
These self-indulgent poseurs are subsidizing Postmodernism’s attempt to destroy Western civilization. The self-serving attitude of big money art world participants is a public disgrace, and it’s about time
they were made to feel it. As a society, we need to speak out, and strip the prestige away from the nihilistic, expensive hackwork our institutions promote.

As bleak as this situation is, I see it as an opportunity. As the current elites crash the culture in a desperate attempt to maintain their grip on power, their phony art world will collapse with them.

We can rebuild art to serve as spiritual communion for society again, which was its traditional and valid function.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

Stupid Climate Activists Make Stupid Attacks on Art

Art world links which caught my eye…

An Ignorant Assault On Civilization

For some reason environmental cultists have decided art vandalism is a nifty PR stunt for their hoax of an emergency.

The Washington Post covered the most recent revolting action in London where two “activists” from Just Stop Oil threw tomato soup on a Van Gogh sunflowers painting, and then glued their hands to the wall.

The painting was safely behind glass, and was not damaged.

Newsweek notes there have been about dozen of these attacks. So far no art has been damaged, but it seems like only a matter of time before these assholes escalate and maim something irreplaceable.

Being the darkness that makes democracy die, the Washington Post of course accepts the protesters’ wild climate premises.

Since the pandemic failed to crush society into a decimated docile serf class, now the elites have had to replace one overblown crisis with another. They’re trotting out the exhausted old climate change tropes again, but this time the kamikaze Marxists occupying the governments of the West are flying into action. They intend to catastrophically starve their populations of food and energy now to prevent imaginary problems in the future.

Astroturfed entities like Just Stop Oil and state run media like the Washington Post are sleeper cells that have been activated to reinforce the top down message of assumed doom. The hype generated provides a fig leaf for the disastrous deindustrialization the WEF insists on.

Columnist Philip Kennicot spouts the propaganda:

“When I see activists attack art, I feel the same revulsion most people do — and the sense of revulsion seems to be general and widespread. After two young supporters of the climate-change advocacy group Just Stop Oil threw cans of tomato soup Friday on a painting by Van Gogh in London’s National Gallery, social media accounts erupted in outrage. Much of this was from people who are no less committed to stopping global warming, including much of the art world, where the climate emergency is at the top of the agenda for many artists, curators and critics.

“But while I can’t defend the acts of Just Stop Oil, I can defend the anger of its supporters, who will experience the effects of global collapse further into the future than I will. They must grapple with existential decisions unprecedented even during some of the worst crises in human history, including whether to have children and continue the species, or to forgo offspring whose lives may be short and miserable.”

Kennicott’s big problem with the assaults on artistic masterpieces is that the vandals are preaching to the choir. The Postmodern art world already enforces adherence to leftist dogma as a prerequisite for participation. He protests that establishment art enthusiasts and cultural institution apparatchiks most likely embrace the climate alarmist narrative, and don’t need their opinions and actions tweaked by threats.

“Art attacks seem to be increasing. In July, the Italian group Ultimate Generazione (or Last Generation) directed its ire against Botticelli’s “Primavera” at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and in August activists from the same group glued their hands to the base of an ancient statue at the Vatican. All this is misdirected and counterproductive. It makes the urgency of the crisis seem ridiculous to people who are already disinclined to give credence to the science of global warming. And they create a false moral choice for those who love both art and the environment.

“As 21-year-old Phoebe Plummer, one of the two activists in London, asked during Friday’s incident, ‘Are you more concerned about the protection of a painting, or the protection of our planet and people?’ The premise of her question, and the people whom she was addressing, are both poorly chosen. Very likely, given the self-selecting audience that visits the National Gallery, most of the onlookers would say: ‘Both.’

But the most disgusting part of the article is when Kennicott claims the defilers are attacking art because they just care about it so much. It’s classic abuser gaslighting.

“And if you look more closely at how these attacks are executed, it’s clear they express more a desperate love of art than mere rage or contempt for it.”

A twitter post summed up the reckless delusions of these masterpiece menacing guerillas.

The clueless crusaders don’t realize stopping oil without any effective, scalable replacement technologies means the death of millions and even civilization itself.

Radicals coined the term “useful idiots” to describe the dolts they tricked into advancing their agendas. I think we can remove the useful part.

In my 2018 book Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, I foresaw what actions the left would take, and what the stakes were.

The Modern age was the greatest liberation of humanity in history. As we became more efficient in providing the necessities of existence, we had more freedom to determine what kind of lives we wanted to live.
As Modernism rose to highlight the potentials of individual initiative, leftist political movements counterattacked. Their goal was to squash humanity back into undifferentiated, subservient masses.
The elitists understood to maintain power, they had to undermine resistance. That’s why the top down cultural forces have made Postmodernism so prevalent.
Using mass media to communicate their sickening message, the establishment made dispiriting Postmodernism the terrain we all must navigate, the atmosphere we all must breathe, the environment we all must adapt to.
But this effort at control loses its presumptive prestige once its mechanics and motivations are exposed. How can the spell of Postmodernism best be broken?
You can’t beat something with nothing, even if the something is as stupid and unfulfilling as Postmodernism. A credible alternative must be established.
Remodernism is the recognition that Western civilization is still mighty. Remodernism knows we can still use our talents to create unprecedented growth. Remodernism is understanding our best days are still ahead of us, if we make the right choices, and do the needed work.
We will demonstrate this in art, to begin with. Imagine a new, decentralized creative class not invested in trashing our culture, but in celebrating it. What a choice to present to our citizens. Uplifting, honest artistry will change the tone of our entire society. Where we go one, we go all.
Renew the arts, and renew the civilization.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

“The Gift of Art” A Pop Up Gallery Experience at Seeds for Autism

The Gift of Art: A Pop-Up Gallery Experience at SEEDs for Autism is a special one night only art exhibit featuring the work of local community artists and adults on the autism spectrum, on Friday, October 14, 2022, 6pm to 8pm.

“At SEEDs for Autism we understand that art is a powerful form of communication. Art encourages creativity and self-expression. Art stirs the imagination and helps us grow as we engage with other artists, improve our skills and create beautiful pictures to share with the world. THE GIFT OF ART features the work of local community artists, SEEDs Instructors and students. Please join us on October 14th and be a part of this exciting one-night-only art show at SEEDs for Autism.”

A pop up gallery is a temporary art show held in a non-traditional location. Local artist Richard Bledsoe described how Seeds for Autism is an ideal venue for an art exhibit. “I’ve seen lives transformed by the programs at Seeds for Autism. One of the biggest factors I see in this progress is the hands-on work Seeds emphasizes. As a painter, I understand the personal growth which happens when you engage with the material world. The making and viewing of art inspires kinship for all participants. We are grateful to Seeds for providing this opportunity to bring the community together.”

SEEDs for Autism is a unique vocational training program in Phoenix, AZ dedicated to providing adults across the spectrum with hands-on experience as they learn a variety of life skills, social skills and job skills in a real-life work environment. Through the production and sale of their hand-crafted home and garden items, adults on the autism spectrum build self-confidence as they step outside of their comfort zone and GROW.

Featured Community Artists: Richard Bledsoe, Michele Bledsoe, Jeff Falk, Shelley Whiting

50% of all Art Sales will be donated to support the life-changing program at SEEDs for Autism.

ADMISSION is FREE

Richard Bledsoe “Rex” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

My Second Favorite Living American Artist

In my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, I recounted a true story that showed contemporary art is in a crisis of relevance:

“A few years after our time at Citywide, Michele and I helped found and run Deus ex Machina, a cooperative art gallery in downtown Phoenix. It was a very active space. In addition to being my oil
painting studio, we held monthly art exhibits, special performances, poetry readings and gaming nights. It was a wonderful experience for the five years it was open.

“We took part in the free art walks held each First Friday and Third Friday of the month. As Phoenix has one of the largest art walks in the country, we could have hundreds of visitors on the busiest nights.
Many were other artists and scenesters, who attended consistently for gossip and free wine. But I was excited by the numerous guests we had from outside the art bubble.

“These regular folks were out for an entertaining evening, and perhaps something even more significant. It confirmed for me there was still an interest in art.

“At our exhibits I’d get into conversations with these people. Unlike my social network, these visitors didn’t treat art as a vocation. They had different priorities in their lives, different interests, other passions and skills. But they turned out for an art show. These patrons were curious and receptive; they were there to see what art had to offer them. I was happy to engage with them. I wanted to give them a warm, positive experience of art.

“While discussing the gallery and the art on display, I’d do a little experiment with my guests. I would ask this type of visitor a simple question: ‘Who is your favorite living American artist?’

“No one who wasn’t already part of the art scene ever had an answer to that question.”

I’ve written before on how art, a practice literally as old as humanity itself, became irrelevant.

But while it’s easy to criticize the failures of art in the 21st century-which are really failures and sabotage committed by agenda riddled Postmodern administrators-it’s harder to cite positive examples. Who are my favorite living American artists?

My favorite is my wife, Michele Bledsoe. Her work just continues to get more amazing.

Michele Bledsoe “Messenger” acrylic on canvas 6″ x 6″

It’s been hard for me to get excited about many other artists I’ve heard about recently. But currently there is a contender for the number 2 spot.

I’ve known about musician/actor/artist John Lurie for many years. If you want the details and some very interesting stories, a great review of his life and career can heard in this YouTube podcast post: WTF with Marc Maron – John Lurie Interview

Due to health issues, Lurie now pours most of his creative output into paintings. I get so excited by their freedom and complexity, it occurred to me Lurie may be my second favorite living American painter right now.

As an intuitive artist, I believe artworks need to speak for themselves. Here are some John Lurie images from his website.

See if you see the same magic I do.

“I play music, I paint – these things come from your depths.”

-John Lurie

John Lurie “Purple panther, with brick head, exploding with speed” watercolor and gouache 22”x30”

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John Lurie “Two dancers. Antiques. Some suitcases. A parrot. And a blue mess” watercolor and gouache on paper 24″ x 18″

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John Lurie “There are things you don’t know about” watercolor on paper, 20″ x 14″

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Recent works from John Lurie’s twitter feed

John Lurie “She loved him madly.”

John Lurie “Skeleton in my closet, at home in the garden.”

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

ART QUOTES: On Spirituality 2

A sequel to a previous post ART QUOTES: On Spirituality

“Yet because art allows humanity to relay complex concepts that are hard to put into words, spirituality and art are naturally linked. Their affinity remains powerful, despite over one hundred years of
ideological efforts to sever or redefine their common bonds.”

-Richard Bledsoe, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization

Richard Bledsoe “Fugue” acrylic on canvas 20″ x 16″

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“Art seems to me to be above all a state of soul. All souls are sacred, the soul of all the bipeds in every quarter of the globe.”

-Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall “Self Portrait with Muse” oil on canvas approximately 62″ x 55″

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“I paint because the spirits whisper madly inside my head.”

-El Greco

El Greco “Laocoön” oil on canvas 33″ x 44

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“My work embodies little visions of the great intangible… …Some will say he’s gone mad – others will look and say he’s looked in at the lattices of Heaven and come back with the madness of splendor on him.”

-Marsden Hartley

Marsden Hartley “Himmel” Oil on canvas with artist-painted wood frame 49″ x 49″

art spirituality

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

Cultural Renewal May Not Be Pretty, But It is Beautiful: Punk, The Ashcan School, and Remodernism

Robert Henri “Snow in New York” oil on canvas 32″ x 25 13/16″ 1902

“Do whatever you do intensely. The artist is the man who leaves the crowd and goes pioneering. With him there is an idea which is his life.”

-Robert Henri

When I was a teenage punk, I was just having fun.

Only later did I understand I was participating in the messy but vital process of cultural renewal.

It was a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was sixteen years old in 1986, living near Washington, DC. My geeky group of friends and I were performing the young male ritual of rebellion right next to an epicenter of an aggressive, controversial youth movement.

Only about a decade old at that point, the music and fashion sensation of punk had mutated into what was called hardcore. DC was the home of now legendary bands like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, and the excitement they generated spilled out into the suburbs.

I got a bad haircut and started wearing a black leather jacket and combat boots. On weekends my buddies and I left behind VHS movies and Dungeons and Dragons marathons and ventured into the big city, prowling the hip enclave of Georgetown.

We had a routine route, visiting the Exorcist stairs, Smash Records, and the Commander Salamander boutique. Mainly we walked the streets, feeling a thrill of immediate kinship whenever we encountered another band of promenading punks. We finally had something in common with some girls, too.

In time we started to visit the seedy clubs featuring shows with loud, fast songs and shouted vocals, while the audience danced by jumping around and bouncing off of each other. It was exhilarating.

Punk began when a bunch of self-starting kids, often working class, got bored with the bland, predictable culture being offered by the establishment. At the time there was no internet, and only sensationalized, derogatory mainstream media coverage. Hardcore punk was all underground and word of mouth, shared mix tapes and Xeroxed fliers. It felt like a conspiracy, like being initiated into something mysterious and special. We created our own alternative, and it spread.

I wrote about some of punk’s contradictions in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Punk’s anti-establishment outlook put it on the radical side of things, but I never got how advocates of a movement that emphasized individuality and independence could turn to a politically leftist worldview. In the 1980s the Cold War was still raging, and a lot of the major figures of the punk world openly sided with the communists.
But looking at actions instead of rhetoric, it was clear to me leftists were the most vicious enforcers of the establishment in history.
Around the world, their whole political system as practiced demanded an individual’s submission to centralized power, the exact opposite of punk’s message.
It made no sense to me how any free thinker would ally themselves with brutal regimes who used constant surveillance, intimidation and violence to keep entire populations captive. The problems
of America, how we fell short of our high ideals, how we were easily distracted by crass consumerism, seemed minor compared to the literally murderous systematic oppression coordinated by greedy and
aggressive totalitarians elsewhere in the world.
I did not understand I had been recruited into a covert war which had been brewing for decades. The Cold War was being fought unacknowledged right in the midst of our placid existences, in the classrooms, on the television. Postmodernism co-opted the potentials of punk.
If I’d had more perspective then I could have seen the double standards in play, and understood their origins. But I was just a kid, lacking experience and insight. It was easier just to ignore the contradictions.
If punk meant being a nonconformist, I would follow my own conscience. I could reject materialism and unthinking obedience to authority without buying into audaciously misguided leftist dogma.
To me punk went beyond the music that sounded a certain way, a gaudy aesthetic, lapses into lazy nihilism, and a juvenile reflex towards sardonic defensiveness. Punk advanced quintessentially traditional American viewpoints: no respect for the unjustified hierarchies the powerful attempt to impose; emphasis on action and energy; commitment to justice and progress; and the desire for the liberty to pursue individual happiness.

When I look around today, at all the people with the dyed hair, tattoos, and facial piercings, I still remember how shocking such trappings were when my peers were doing it back in the day. It makes me reflect how art is a leading indicator for society-for good or ill. All the once-startling punk displays are bland and predictable.

Almost one hundred years earlier, there was another aggressive, controversial cultural phenomena going on in the United States, in painting. We’ve come to call it the Ashcan School.

Artist Robert Henri (June 24, 1865-July 12, 1929) was an inspirational artist and teacher initially based in Philadelphia; he later relocated to New York City. Henri (pronounced Hen-rye) was bored with the bland, predictable art being produced in the American art establishment at the time: either gentle, pale Impressionist imitations, or flattering Gilded Age portraits of wealthy patrons.

Henri mentored a group of journalist illustrators which included notables such as William Glackens, John Sloan, and George Luks. In an era before common photographic reproduction, newspapers used artists to create the pictures for their stories. These men were used to depicting the grime and grimness of newsworthy city life. Henri encouraged them to bring that real world engagement into fine art.

Like punk many years later, the Ashcan School was an alliance of freethinking individuals each following their own artistic vision, rather than an organized, regimented movement. The artists shared a Modernist urban sensibility, dark palette, gritty realist subject matter, and an appreciation for the common people. They made sketchy yet accurate depictions how life was lived at the time, instead of polite, idealized fantasies. As Henri put it, “There is only one reason for art in America, and that is that the people of America learn the means of expressing themselves in their own time, and their own land.”

This was considered to be bad taste. Like many other art movements like Impressionism or Fauvism, the title of Ashcan started as an insult. A reviewer sneered about the “pictures of ashcans and girls hitching up their skirts on Horatio Street.” The artists embraced the derision as a badge of honor.

The Ashcan School artists were also referred to as “The Apostles of Ugliness,” much as the punks were called “foul mouthed yobs.”

But the critics are missing something important: the ugliness isn’t the point. It’s the willingness to undergo the rough journey needed to renew the energy of life.

Something too constrained stagnates, even dies. There’s always something a little wild and scary about real growth.

There’s a difference between pretty and beautiful. Prettiness is a surface. Beauty is the substance. Pretty is an outside appearance; beauty is from within. Pretty is agreeable. Beauty is truthful, and as we know, the truth isn’t always pleasing.

Accepting yet refining the harshness of truth through creative expression is a transcendental experience. The joyous human offering of art can add significance to mundane squalor.

Right now, Postmodern establishment mismanagement has created a culture which is neither pretty nor beautiful. They need us to believe the squalor is the point, after all. Artists are needed as the pioneers which carry out the idea that life is wonderful and surprising, even if elitists call us trashy. Cultural renewal will be a little wild and scary.

The latest cycle of real change in the arts actually started decades ago, although the cultural institution-controlling elites do their best to suppress the news.

In 2000, two British artists, Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, were tired of transgressive yet still bland and predictable Postmodern art. They were brave enough to tell the truth: the galleries and museum were filled with objects that weren’t really art at all. They described a new cultural understanding called Remodernism, rising to take the place of failed Postmodern artifice. Their manifesto included this key proposition: “The making of true art is man’s desire to communicate with himself, his fellows and his God. Art that fails to address these issues is not art.”

Childish soon struck off on his own, and continues as a celebrated painter, musician, and writer. Thomson remained committed to cultivating Remodernism as a movement. Guided by his inspirational example, grassroots art groups were founded around the world.

I was inspired. In my own Remodern America manifesto, I wrote my take on what is happening now:

Remodernism reboots the culture. Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity. We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old. We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism. Remodernism is disruptive innovation applied to the moribund art world.

As for Robert Henri, his wisdom was captured in a great book called The Art Spirit. It encourages us to understand how important the role of the artist is.

As for me, I still pull out my Bad Brains and Minor Threat albums when the mood strikes me. It’s good music to paint to.

A version of this article originally appeared on The Masculinist, now on Substack

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Three Paintings of the Three Wise Men

Art world links which caught my eye…

From the book of Matthew, Chapter 2:

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Henry Ossawa Tanner “The Three Wise Men” 1925

Albrecht Dürer, “Adoration of the Magi” 1504

Hieronymus Bosch, “Adoration of the Magi” 1485

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Theme Songs for Our Artistic Methods

From June 11, 2017

Richard Bledsoe “At the Crossroad” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

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I’ve written before about how vital music is in our studio, as the soundtrack of our art. Recently my wife Michele Bledsoe and I took our musical influences to an even greater intensity. One afternoon while we were painting, we identified songs that we felt epitomized the way that each other approached creating our art.

You see Michele and I have very different methods to the way we paint; we are diametrically positioned, which is why being a married artist couple works so well for us. Opposites attract. We both act as conduits in our artistic expression, but it’s very different forces that we channel.

Michele has spent years watching me paint in a kind of frenzied trance, taken outside of my normal senses in service of the art. While I paint I tend to pace, curse, pray, rant. It’s an ecstatic process for me; not just in the sense of happiness, even though it fills me with joy. It’s so intense I’m not paying attention to the way I’m behaving. An unknowing witness would not understand all my frantic swearing is actually a sign of overwhelming engagement, as I push further.

Michele’s song for me is “Crossroads” by Tom Waits, a collaboration with writer William Burroughs. The story it tells shows the sense of abandonment to the demands of creation, no matter the personal cost. There is nothing diabolical about what I’m going for, but the reckless commitment is there. I always say painting is my healthiest addiction.

Click the image to see the video “Crossroads” here:

The lyrics:

Now, George was a good straight boy to begin with, but there was bad blood
In him someway
and he got into the magic bullets that lead straight to
Devil’s work, just like marijuana leads to heroin;
you think you can take them bullets or leave ’em, do you?
Just save a few for your bad days
Well, well we all have those bad days when we can’t hit for shit.
And the more of them magics you use, the more bad days you have without them
So it comes down to finally all your days being bad without the bullets
It’s magics or nothing
Time to stop chippying around and kidding yourself.
Kid, you’re hooked, heavy as lead
And that’s where old George found himself
Out there at the crossroads
Molding the Devil’s bullets
Now a man figures it’s his bullets, so it will take what he wants
But it don’t always work out that way
You see, some bullets is special for a single target
A certain stag, or a certain person
And no matter where you aim, that’s where the bullet will end up
And in the moment of aiming, the gun turns into a dowser’s wand
And points where the bullet wants to go
George Schmidt was moving in a series of convulsive spasms, like someone
With an epileptic fit, with his face contorted and his eyes wild like a
Lassoed horse bracing his legs. But something kept pulling him on. Now
He’s picking up the skulls and making the circle.
I guess old George didn’t rightly know what he was getting himself into
The fit was on him and it carried him right to the crossroads
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 Michele’s mode of painting could not be more different.
Michele Bledsoe “The Great Fear of Falling” acrylic on canvas 14″ x 11″
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I have spent years watching Michele work tranquilly at her easel. She sits down and the art just begins to flow out of her, methodically, with great order. Layer upon the layer the intensity builds without interruption until she has crafted a mysterious and moving environment. She calmly renders complex compositions with profound depths and eruptions of otherworldly expressiveness.
 
 
What musician other than Ludwig Van Beethoven could reflect such a method?
 
 
My song for Michele is Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7 in A major, Op. 92, the second movement, Allegretto. It starts so quietly, but goes through cycles of growth until it is truly cosmic in scale. Such precision and feeling. That is how Michele makes her art.
 
 
There aren’t any lyrics, but there’s no need for those when the music speaks so eloquently on its own.
 
 
Click on the image to see the video for the 7th Symphony, “Allegretto” here:
What would be the theme song of your artistic method?
 

“The Remodernist’s job is to bring God back into art but not as God was before. Remodernism is not a religion, but we uphold that it is essential to regain enthusiasm (from the Greek, en theos to be possessed by God).”

-The Remodernism Manifesto

 
 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: The Art of Memes 4

Art world links which caught my eye..

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!