BOOKS: “Painting, Passion and the Art of Life” by Michele Bledsoe

 

 

Painting, Passion and the Art of Life

by Michele Bledsoe

 

“As artists, we are explorers.

Every blank canvas is the beginning of a new journey.”

-Michele Bledsoe

 

My wife Michele Bledsoe recently completed her first non-fiction book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life. This collection of inspirational essays on painting and drawing contain universal messages on work, love, and what truly matters in our engagement with the world.

I love Michele with all my heart, but that does not cloud my artistic judgment or integrity.  I am glad to say what Michele has accomplished in her book is an insightful and moving presentation of the wisdom she has gathered through a lifetime of creative work.

Michele’s writing style is succinct. She is able to capture the essence of her observations using just a few brief phrases. Her meditations approach psalms or parables, she is so able to articulate the significance she has found in her experiences.  It all comes down to understanding that creativity is a gift from God, a means of communion and connection. She shows art can be a most humane form of human activity, meant to be a tool for growth and service. This warmth is demonstrated through a number of touching personal stories, gently relaying the positive meanings which can be found even as we go through times of struggle and sadness.

Painting, Passion and the Art of Life is a little book with a big message, but it also has Michele’s sense of humor and whimsy. These aspects come out clearly in her illustrations in the book, a collection of the strange beings which appear as she dreams over her sketchbooks.

This book is an important contribution to the rising philosophy of Remodernism. Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation. Michele has shared herself here, offering up unfiltered the essence of who she is, and what she has learned. It’s a joyful, uplifting read.

Painting, Passion and the Art of Life gives creative people of all ages the motivation and enthusiasm to cultivate their gifts, share their talents, and recognize their place in the fellowship of life.

“Remodernism is the latest iteration of the American character: ordinary people working as explorers and inventors, optimistic, self-reliant and productive. The Remodernist artist formulates expressions of personal liberty in pursuit of higher meaning and significance. Remodernism is the pursuit of excellence.”

-Richard Bledsoe, Remodern America 

 

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

After the Hysteria Dies, What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Bethlehem To Be Born? The Answer Might Surprise You.

Its Hour Come Round at Last:

Richard Bledsoe “The Calendar” acrylic on canvas 30” x 40”

They say great minds think alike.

When I saw the Ace of Spades HQ recently referenced a certain poem by William Butler Yeats as a pithy headline, I recognized we were surfing the same wave of zeitgeist. “The Second Coming” has haunted me for decades, and it’s hard not to recognize its relevance as we navigate the uncharted waters of the Woo Han Hoopla Hysteria.  (FYI I know that place name is misspelled. It’s an attempt to circumvent the censorious Silicon Curtain filters. You know they’re doing it).

The Second Coming by WB Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

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WB Yeats was a Modernist not afraid of mysticism. He wrote this poem 100 years ago, but like all profound works of art, it’s always timely. Ever since Yeats penned those ominous lines, world events have continued to suggest new identities for his monstrous harbinger.

We’ve been under the crushing dominion of one particular evil riddling sphinx for a long time now: the PSYOP tyranny of Postmodernism. For decades, global elitists have gone all in on a society-wide Cultural Marxist system of deceit and manipulation as a means to gather unaccountable power.

These indoctrinated idiots either really believe reality must conform to their word games and enforced opinions, or they know it’s a scam, but expect us to submit to it. We are supposed to not believe our lying eyes, and follow the thought leaders.

Going along with them is what has brought us to this catastrophe.

I believe what we are going through now-a wildly overblown reaction to a suspiciously timed outbreak- is because, after an uninterrupted winning streak for decades, the establishment is losing. This mother of all false flag operations is their desperate means of self-defense.

False flag does not mean this is a hoax. There is a potentially deadly virus out there. Where the false flag comes in is the highly coordinated Deep State over-reaction from governments, the media, academia, and global corporations. Instead of practical measures appropriate to a risky form of the flu, the lockdown freakout inflicted on us seems designed to quash another pandemic which has been growing for years: the populist uprisings against the corrupt and incompetent Postmodern New World Order.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this sudden-and yet-strangely-choreographed meltdown was pre-planned, and was scheduled to occur during a Hillary Clinton presidency. What an opportunity it would have been for that hag and her Chinese partners-in-crime to oversee the permanent dismantling of our constitutional republic! It’s bad enough, even with President Trump doing his best to work around, through, and over all the traitors embedded in our institutions. When Trump talks about an invisible enemy, he’s not just talking about a virus.

But here’s a twist. What if the rough beast slouching our way this time is not the latest oppressor, but is the terrifying prospect of actual freedom?

I foresaw what was coming in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

What is the spirit of this age?

History will recognize this as the era the general population of the United States realized the governing class and its connections, far from acting as responsible public servants, had mutated into an elitist ruling class. These elitists decided amongst themselves, due to their superior intellects, credentials, and social status, they deserved to control how everybody else lived their lives. This mission of conquest was camouflaged with egalitarian rhetoric.

In exchange for the burden of managing their inferiors, this New Class exempted themselves from the expectations they imposed on others. Those underlings who supported the ascendancy of these would-be rulers received some special considerations as well, a semiprivileged status—but their greatest reward was to bask in the reflected glory of their masters.

The elitists had a plan, and it almost worked. Over decades, the institutions that sustained American culture have been infiltrated, their missions transformed.

Government, media, education, the arts—the occupying elitists within dedicated all resources towards undermining sustaining Western values, all to better serve the consolidation of unaccountable power. They used their influence over the various means of cultural communication and expression to exert pressure at all levels of society to embrace collectivist goals, distorting the concept of equality.

As part of these maneuvers, art was pushed into a crisis of relevance. Elitist malfeasance has marginalized the visual arts in popular culture. In doing so, the New Aristocracy of the Well-Connected block access to powerful resources. They deny 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.

People instinctually reject the superficial and nihilistic contemporary art championed by an imperious would-be ruling class. We currently call this covert corrosion inflicted on the foundations of Western civilization the Postmodern era.

A small sect usurped disproportionate power over the course of the entire nation. Now the terrible results of the corrupted establishment’s agenda are clear. Under their reign we are less prosperous, less safe, less free.

The elitists ran out of credibility and resources before their work was complete. Now, we, the people, must make sure they run out of time as well. The dominion of these deceitful despots must be demolished throughout the culture, on all fronts. Around the globe challenges are rising against the longstanding world order. The story of the 21st century will be the dismantling of centralized power.

As always, this course of history was prophesied by artists—those who are intuitively aware of the path unfolding ahead. Their works become maps so that others may find the way. The new directives emerging in our culture must be acknowledged. Enduring changes start in the arts.

The entrenched interests are desperate to deny this uprising, but denial won’t stop us. The parasitic Postmodern era is finished, but it won’t go quietly. The vast project of reconstruction will commence as we dislodge the failed status quo.

What is the spirit of this age?

This is an era of joyous insurgency and new beginnings.

Welcome to Remodern America.

Postmodernism started off by redefining art into anti-art. It’s now spread. Like a virus, Postmodernism converted every institution it infested into a factory for producing more of the Postmodern disease. Postmodernism makes every worthy cause betray its rightful mission. Remodernism is the correction of this treachery.

Remodernism as a movement was first codified in 1999 by two English artists, Charles Thomson and Billy Childish. Remodernism is the return of wisdom as a governing philosophy. It respects the general audience, and their capacities to have profound experiences.

Remodernists understand art is for everyone. We can all be stirred by beauty, moved by emotional expressions, and gratified by the experience of truth. Western civilization used to understand how art provided those uplifting states, and with Remodernism, it will do it again.

When we come out of this manufactured crisis, there will be a mighty reckoning to do. It’s been very clarifying.

Remodernism is the cure for the Postmodern disease which practically ended us all.

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

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 4: In the Belly (Not All Accidents Are Happy Ones)

Work in Progress: In the Belly 

 

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my first post, I showed the first crude underpainting. In the second post, I started making additional drawing decisions. In the third post, I started bringing out suggestions of the original vision-the whale not just as an animal, but as a gilded cage of chaos.

The painting is coming along well (see above). But working as an intuitive artist, obstacles arise which could not be foreseen. I am presented an image in my mind; they come to me in a flash, complete. It becomes my task to translate that vision into a form that can be shared, filtered through my individual artistic personality. I paint my works directly onto the canvas, without preparatory drawings, all the better to take advantage of sudden discoveries and inspirations.

However, in art as in life, there are problems that come along with the opportunities.

Pablo Picasso, that human kaleidoscope, explained something like the dilemma I recently faced in my painting, when he talked about a visit he made to his Cubist colleague, Georges Braque.

 

“I remember one evening I arrived at Braque’s studio. He was working on a large oval still life with a package of tobacco, a pipe, and all the usual paraphernalia of Cubism. I looked at it, drew back and said, ‘My poor friend, this is dreadful. I see a squirrel in your canvas.’ Braque said, ‘That’s not possible.’ I said, ‘Yes, I know, it’s paranoiac vision, but it so happens that I see a squirrel. That canvas is made to be a painting, not an optical illusion. Since people need to see something in it, you want them to see a package of tobacco, a pipe, and the other things you’re putting in. But for God’s sake, get rid of that squirrel.’

Braque stepped back a few feet and looked carefully and sure enough, he too saw the squirrel, because that kind of paranoiac vision is extremely communicable. Day after day Braque fought that squirrel. He changed the structure, the light, the composition, but the squirrel always came back, because once it was in our minds it was almost impossible to get it out. However different the forms became, the squirrel somehow always managed to return. Finally, after eight or ten days, Braque was able to turn the trick and the canvas again became a package of tobacco, a pipe, a deck of cards, and above all a Cubist painting.”

 

He Was Only 5’3″

Braque and Picasso Get Squirrelly 

So, in the process of trying to evoke a painting experience, something unbidden had worked its way onto Braque’s canvas. Or maybe Picasso was just messing with him. I wouldn’t put it past him.

But recently I had a similar misstep while working on In the Belly.

My wife, artist Michele Bledsoe, and I were working in the studio. She noticed I suddenly started raving and muttering at my painting; lost as I was in the moment, I didn’t even realize I was talking out loud.

What was the problem? While I was trying to render where my whale’s fin attached to his body, I was horrified to see an equally horrified emoji had appeared on my canvas (outlined in red, below).

Is There An Emoji For The Scream of a Lost Soul? 

This could not stand. Mumbling about “wiping that look off your face,” I attacked the problem area with more marks and shading.

When I stepped back, I saw that I had succeeded…succeeded in giving the unwanted face eyebrows and a hat.

Facing the Problem

Needless to say, I had to cover over this whole area, and start again. It happens with the methods I use. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

“I vanish while my paintings get applied to the canvas. I have the continuous experience of stepping back from the work to see it, and it’s like I’m stepping out of a trance. I’m constantly surprised by what I see has appeared on the painting, because I have no memory of doing it. Turning myself over to this receptive state allows something beyond my own capacities to take over. My best achievements are works done through me, rather than by me.”

The point of this post is, although I have the upmost respect for The Muse, sometimes she’s got a strange sense of humor. I’ve learned to laugh, enjoy the message, and move on.

 

Previous articles:

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 3: In the Belly

 

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

HUNTER BIDEN IS TRYING TO CASH IN ON THE REDEMPTIVE POWER OF ART

Hunter Biden Discovers Another Meaning for the Word “Blow” 

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

-Hunter Thompson

If the quote above were more recent, the maniacal journalist Hunter Thompson could have been describing another Hunter: Hunter Biden, the hapless offspring of the infamous political hack and dolt, Joe Biden.

Younger Biden and his dad are players in the combination criminal enterprise and psy-op gambit that is our current New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. As such, they are supposed to be above any consequences for their various idiocies and misdeeds. But Hunter Biden has been such a visibly public mess he has earned some critical scrutiny. From dating his recently deceased brother’s widow, to being booted from the Navy for cocaine use while daddy was Vice-President; from acting as bagman for traitorous international bribery schemes, to impregnating Arkansas strippers; Hunter exposes blatant corruption right in the inner circle of those who would rule over us as our superiors.

I do not expect the obviously senile Joe Biden will be President, or even the Democrat nominee. He’s a place holder, keeping the position open for She Who Must Not Be Named Yet Because No Way She Has the Stamina to Campaign. Rhymes with “Pillory Swinton.” But the stink of scandal must be lifted from around the pretend front runner. Buried under the media’s histrionic Wuhan Virus narrative was the recent news Hunter has settled with his stripper baby mama for an undisclosed sum, which also left his dubious finances undisclosed. But how else can the handlers flip the script for the dim son who keeps getting caught?

They’ve come up with a novel scheme. Suddenly, via the New York Times, we find the out the ne’er-do-well coke fueled lecher and money launderer…is actually a sensitive artist.

Hey, it’s worked for some other political boogeymen, from George W. Bush, to Winston Churchill. Showing an engagement with art softened the cultural perspective on these divisive characters. So the spin is being spun for the Hunter Biden redemption story arc. He already scooped up a trophy wife after a week long relationship-see, womanizing bad boy no more! But trying to shoehorn Hunter into the role of formerly-troubled creative is going to take a lot more work.

The Gray Lady gushes in the nauseatingly titled There’s a New Artist in Town. The Name Is Biden:

 “As an undiscovered artist, he is better situated than most: living in a rented, 2,000-square-foot house in the Hollywood Hills off Mulholland Drive, with a Porsche Panamera in the driveway, plenty of natural light and a pool house he has transformed into an art studio.”

What is his art? It seems to be mainly blowing ink around into abstractions that might suggest nature imagery. This is a project I literally did in elementary school art classes, but without any press coverage involved. Calling yourself an abstract artist removes any expectation there needs to be talent or skill displayed in the finished products.

 

Hunter Biden’s “Art” 

Honestly, Hunter Biden comes from such an institutionally fraudulent machine, I question if he even made these weak efforts himself. Are we supposed to believe he was honing his artistic skills between drug fueled orgies and collecting kickbacks? Are these works just props, the studio just a set, made to give the appearance of a changed man? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Or is the art world just an extension of the same cons he’s used to? Graft, influence peddling, tax evasion, insider deals, market manipulation-yep, that’s the contemporary art market all right. And then there’s this: one of Hunter’s “art-world connections:”

Biden’s Art World Hookup: The Name Says It All

 

As reported in Artnet News:

“For a period in 2018, Biden could be seen stopping by art openings and parties on the Lower East Side, and attended a runway show for the hip downtown fashion brand Lou Dallas. Sources said that many of his art-world connections came through his relationship with Zoe Kestan, the lingerie entrepreneur who is better known by her Instagram handle @weed_slut_420.”

So we are supposed to accept that Hunter Biden has left his sordid past behind and embraced the rarefied existence of an artist. We should overlook that under elitist mismanagement, the alienating and irrelevant visual arts institutions are just another venue for corruption, financial games, and the abuse of power. This stuff is so clumsy and obvious these days. Either the establishment just doesn’t care enough to do convincing hoaxes any more, or they are too dumb to pull them off effectively. It could be both!

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

 

“Hierarchy is a natural phenomenon. It exists for all forms of life. Humanity is unique in that we form our power structures based on thought instead of the more typical biological imperative of brute force. We’ve used our minds to make ourselves the acting masters of the world. We’ve created systems that sustain vast populations.

“However, our comfortable dominance introduces a potentially dangerous flaw. Our hard won heritage of civilization has created an environment where the apex positions in society no longer have to be earned. Status is bestowed for any number of arbitrary reasons: family ancestry, inherited money, sociopathic determination, political expediency, effective networking, or boutique servicing. This means those who wind up at the top might not really belong there at all. In America, there’s no better example of this absurdity than our current crop of politically educated bicoastal elitists.

“It’s why the establishment types put so much emphasis on credentials, instead of real world achievements. It’s why so many of them spend vast amounts of money on useless college degrees. The collection of resume-polishers is endowed with vast prestige. “Failing up” is a common establishment phenomenon; botch your current role, and get moved to the next rung up the ladder. The inner party takes care of its own.

“While many professions require rigorous training, that’s not true of many forms of our current establishment’s closed system of accreditation. What establishment-approved credentials often do is certify membership in the club. Those who have successfully navigated the filtering system proved they can play the reindeer games of the elitists. They will hold the correct opinions, support the same views, and signal the same virtues as the rest of the special tribe.

“Sadly, our elites have shown themselves to be far from truly advanced. Their actions expose them as defective characters, propped up in positions far beyond their capacities. Of course these pretenders embraced the fog of Postmodernism as a means to cover up their fundamental incompetence.”

 

Getting a serious write up in in the Times for juvenile art stylings is quite a credential polisher. But no amount of unearned accolades can create a legitimate artistic experience.

 

Say Cheese: Hunter Biden

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

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 3: In the Belly

In the Belly: 

Colors Developing 

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I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my first post, I showed the first crude underpainting. In the second post, I started making additional drawing decisions.

I ended up rejecting some of the drawing elements shown last time. The figure was all wrong. I covered it over with a skein of gold.

And that’s when things started to go strange.

Because I never intended this to be a realistic depiction of a whale. The vision I had showed me Jonah not inside a sea mammal, but in a gilded cage of chaos. I rendered the figure again in a more dynamic pose-from the fetal position, to a more reaching out posture, limbs akimbo. This change is philosophically meaningful. It’s exciting to figure it out as I work. The painting tells me about myself, and my own mental, emotional and spiritual states.

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

“Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation. We are showing particular things about ourselves that can also be universally recognized. Our art symbolically represents flawed, searching humanity participating in birth, existence, growth, and death. It is mysterious and moving, comic and tragic, clumsy and elegant. Remodernism is a celebration of the beauty and weirdness of the life God has granted us.”

 

This painting is taking a hallucinatory turn. Watch this space for future updates!

Take a Trip 

 

Previous articles:

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

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

Feminist Art Activists the Guerrilla Girls Will Tell You What Kind of Art You Are Allowed to Enjoy

The Guerrilla Girls Go Bananas in 1987 

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“Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.”

-Niccolo Machiavelli

Not just men. Women are part of that traditional use of “men,” to mean humankind.

Case in point: The Guerrilla Girls.

Few outside of the art bubble know about the monkey shines of the Guerrilla Girls. Briefly, the Guerrilla Girls are a feminist arts activist group formed in 1985. Their shtick is that art, like the rest of Western Civilization, is sexist and needs a do-over. They wear gorilla masks to hide their identities, and adopt the names of female artists of the past. They do so as they claim the art world would retaliate against them for their criticism. The secrecy gimmick emboldens the Girls: “… put a mask on.” suggests Guerrilla Girl spokesperson Not-Really-Frida-Kahlo. “You’ll be surprised what comes out of your mouth.”

The group is still active today; there’s currently an exhibit of their propaganda posters up in the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

On their own website, the Girls describe themselves:

The Guerrilla Girls are feminist activist artists. We wear gorilla masks in public and use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias as well as corruption in politics, art, film, and pop culture. Our anonymity keeps the focus on the issues, and away from who we might be: we could be anyone and we are everywhere. We believe in an intersectional feminism that fights discrimination and supports human rights for all people and all genders. We undermine the idea of a mainstream narrative by revealing the understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. We have done hundreds of projects (posters, actions, books, videos, stickers) all over the world. We also do interventions and exhibitions at museums, blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices…

That’s a whole heap of Woke to try and choke down, but it’s a teachable moment, as we are so often told these days. Let’s critique these self-appointed cultural commissars.

What is their point? They claim discrimination has prevented women from being recognized as artists-although they borrow the names of celebrated female artists for their pseudonyms. Contradictions are no obstacles for cultural Marxists; they just double think their way through that stuff.

As far as the type of art placed in museums, they claim there aren’t enough women artists represented, but there are too many female nudes. That’s right, the symbolic significance of the female form as a manifestation of the mystery and beauty of life is problematic and must be suppressed. You perverts need to check your male gaze privilege, it is double plus ungood.

As far as the quality of the contributions the Guerrilla Girls have made to our shared cultural life, here’s Exhibit A: one of their posters. Let it act as conclusive proof not only can the Left not meme, they make lousy art as well.

When Racists Attack: It’s Not Bigotry When They Do It 

Exhibit B, the masks, because nothing screams integrity like claiming you are bravely making a principled stand, while trying to hide yourself as you do it. Trying to advance identity politics with no identification is a cop out. Nevertheless, the Guerrilla Girls are just carrying on a fine tradition activists have followed for decades:

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Birds of a Feather

Exhibit C, it’s absurd to assert these feminist activists would face any consequences if their identities were known. The establishment art world has long been a huge promoter of the Postmodern virtue of  organized and vocal misandry. In the great intersectional faction wars waged for elitist social status, transgressive females attacking the patriarchy were the cutting edge best, they were lionized. Or they used to be, until the new T in the LGBTQSUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS community started stealing their limelight.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if male artists who identified as females started to undermine women’s advances in the arts, just like they are devastating women’s sports? Well, you can’t scramble a deconstructive Marxist omelet without breaking some eggs, hearts, and sanity.

As far as what might actually happen to the artists if the gorilla masks came off, we have some examples.

As I was researching this article, I came across references from multiple sources that two alleged group members had their identities revealed in a court case. And yet none of the articles actually stated what the names were. It was funny. The exposed artists had been memory holed so effectively, you would have thought they were CIA agents planted in the White House to fabricate “whistleblower” claims.

Finally, I found an article the censors had missed, from the New Yorker in 2005:

As the Girls’ dominion began to grow—they incorporated as Guerrilla Girls, Inc., in 1999—tensions developed within the group. After 2000, the Girls weathered what they came to refer to as “the banana split.” A branch of the group devoted to fighting discrimination in the theatre now performs around the country under the name Guerrilla Girls on Tour, and an online enterprise split off, too, calling itself GuerrillaGirlsBroadBand. In October, 2003, on behalf of Guerrilla Girls, Inc., two of the original Girls, “Frida Kahlo” and “Käthe Kollwitz,” filed a federal lawsuit against the on-tour and broadband entities, and against several of their former colleagues, including Gertrude Stein, charging them with, among other things, copyright and trademark infringement and unjust enrichment. What bothered the defendants and the other Girls as much as the lawsuit was the fact that the two plaintiffs, in filing the case, chose to identify themselves by their real names. As litigants, Kahlo and Kollwitz unmasked themselves to become plain old Jerilea Zempel and Erika Rothenberg.

Funny how these righteous progressive warriors got enmeshed in a litigious struggle over money and brand names. Regardless, we can now review creations made these two participants, and consider if there was a patriarchal conspiracy needed to thwart their artistic careers. You be the judge:

 

“Guns and Rosettes,” crocheted tank cozy by Jerilea Zemple

Tanks for Nothing 

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“The Right to Life Boutique” mixed media by Erika Rothenberg 

The Massacre of the Innocents as a Punchline 

These tired examples of leftist dogma are what these tired examples of wannabes produce in their ongoing attempt to replace artistic merit with politics. And yet, despite being outed as Guerrilla Girls, and producing these doubtful results, their careers aren’t suffering. There are pages of listings for exhibits and articles for them. The Guerrilla Girl gimmick paid off.

The Guerrilla Girls are like the feeble media art star Banksy: They get to play at being oppressed rebels while actually doing nothing but advancing the Postmodern establishment’s cherished progressive tropes, and being rewarded for it.

The saddest thing here is how the Guerrilla Girls were ahead of their time; since the 1980s the establishment art world has increasingly relied on conflating art and activism. The Marxist march through the institutions demands the totalitarian approach that everything must be all political, all the time. The airing of grievances is supposed to be the art of our era. A lust for collective retribution is supposed to drown out the lack of artistic merit. And virtue signalling meltdowns, such as the Guerrilla Girls championed, are the new artistic methodology. As I describe in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

 

Postmodernists compensate for the lack of a genuine inner life by showing off what they think is expected of them. Postmodernists pretend to feel whatever their situational ethics informs them is the politically correct way to feel. Their stance is perpetual posturing.

In this delusional state, they misname their ravenous appetite for domination as “pragmatism.” Their version of pragmatism basically means they get their way, always. Yet their position is essentially one of weakness. Having no substance of their own, they are reduced to living vampire-like, trying to suck resources and obedience out of society, while offering nothing useful in return.

It’s hard to get normal people to cooperate with this hunger, since Postmodernists are fundamentally bottomless maws in desperate need of validation. There is no end to their demands. But the Postmodernists have a strategy for petty tyranny so simple it’s known to two year olds; they whip their unregulated emotions into what they hope is an intimidating frenzy.

Adrift in a world unstructured except by their own unearned sense of superiority, Postmodernists know nothing about impulse control, or respect for others. Nothing gets these special snowflakes more offended than a challenge to their imaginary entitlement and arbitrary righteousness. Look at college campuses these days for many, many examples of this behavior. There’s no true passion or commitment behind these tantrums; they’re putting on a show as a crude attempt at manipulation. They seek justification for the sadistic pleasure of lashing out blindly. Never believe whatever the stated social justice cause of the moment is supposed to be about; it’s just a hypocritical excuse to act barbaric.

So what’s next for the Guerrilla Girls, apart from the usual laudatory museum and gallery exhibits, academic fawning, international speaking gigs, and media tongue baths?

Their website volunteers: “More creative complaining!! More interventions!! More resistance!!”

Nothing about art, of course. It’s all about power, the highest aspiration of the failing Postmodern elites.

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

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

In the Belly

Evolving Imagery

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my previous post, I showed the first crude underpainting for a piece that I will be working on for the next several months.

These images show the progression.

Even though my paintings originate in inspirational visions, where I am shown what the imagery needs to be, it’s up to me to make that image appear through painterly technique. It’s hard to translate the subtlety of thought into tangible forms. But that is the fun and challenge of being an intuitive painter.

I don’t make preparatory drawings to figure out compositions. I paint the picture directly out onto the canvas. My process involves lots of editings and revisions along the way.

Having Jonah in there is vital to this work. This is how I put him in initially.  The painting has changed greatly from these early stages.

 

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

Making a painting becomes more than just a matter of how to represent something. It symbolizes the artist’s engagement with life. We want so much to make an image that says, “This is who I am, and this is what I saw.”

When we do it right, everyone who sees it will find that image inside themselves as well. It becomes a moment we share, and which can be visited over and over, with new understandings always unfolding. This is the power of art.

Ultimately a painter doesn’t replicate the real world, but creates a world in the painting that exists nowhere else. There are no limits for a painter; every decision in the work can be freely made to best suit the desired result.

Watch this space for further updates!

 

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STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

 

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

The Ace of Spades HQ Mid-Morning Art Thread is Fighting the Culture War

 

Art is for Morons at AoSHQ 

Art

Long before a certain drunken would-be tyrant segregated huge segments of Americans into a basket of Deplorables, some brave souls had already self-identified as a Moron Horde.

This endearment refers to the proud followers of the mighty  Ace of Spades HQ blog.  It’s a site I visit multiple times daily, eager for the latest sardonic commentary on the news of the day. The humor there is biting, the wit caustic, the tone irreverent. Ace is a nice counterbalance for all the serious yet prim hot takes offered throughout so many other sites of the conservative blogosphere. Because despite it’s studiously immature style, the analysis on Ace is sharp and illuminating. Its consistent disrespect towards pretentious elites is a fine old American tradition, and is especially needed these days, as we enter a new phase of the existential struggle for the future of this nation.

As an artist, a regular feature of Ace caught my attention. It’s called the Mid-Morning Art Thread. Usually on weekday mornings, after an effective aggregate of the daily news arranged by moderator J.J. Sefton, another moderator, CBD, posts an image of a work of art to start a new thread. (CBD stands for “Charlie Brown’s Dildo.” That’s a mental image I work very hard to resist.)

A great range of works have been displayed, from Old Masters to art of this century, and everything in between. Occasionally a contributor named Kris will add some intelligent art historical analysis of the piece. The self proclaimed Morons are free then to comment, though it is requested the first 100 comments stay on the art topic at hand. Once a new thread gets started later in the day, comments are closed for the Art thread, so time is short. Being Ace, the commentators don’t hold back.

The art works offered up inspire snap judgments, a whole range of reactions: praise, abuse, informed anecdotes, puns, limericks, lewdness, inside jokes and pop culture references all appear in rapid fire succession. It’s endlessly entertaining. But I feel there’s something important happening here, mixed in with the calls for “more bewbs” and warnings about where snipers might be concealed in the artistic scenery.

I’ve written before about how the Postmodern establishment is working hard to exterminate the experience of real art from our culture. They believe, correctly, that losing art will undermine our society, and make us easier to control. They have been hugely successful.

For example: Quick, name your favorite living American artist.

If you are like most people I’ve met from outside the art bubble, you can’t do it. You don’t have one. Elitist mismanagement has marginalized the arts in the West, and caused a crisis of relevance. We have not lost art, it has been stolen from us.

Part of this theft is to cut us off from our artistic heritage, the art of more creatively accomplished ages not degraded by the Postmodern disease. Per the latest corrupt Ivy League agenda, the soaring achievements of the past are now nothing but grist for the grievance mill, yet another field to be choked out by Wokeness.

Another part of the stealing of art has been accomplished by over-intellectualizing it. The assumptions of academia have indoctrinated us all into the “correct” ways to think about art. This pedantic approach is used as a weapon to convince people art is not for them, just because they don’t “get” the pieces of politicized crap our cultural institutions have inflicted on us as surrogates for real art.

The Mid-Morning Art Thread is a remedy to that totalitarian snobbery. It gives us a straightforward presentation of our legacy, offered up freely to the public for their insights, appreciation or rejection, no Yale stamp of approval needed.

People don’t need to “get” real art; you experience it. It’s a visceral reaction, open to everyone. Honestly it’s probably impossible to put into words just why it makes you feel the way you do, but you know it when you see it. The more you see of it, the richer your life becomes.

The elites want you to live in spiritual poverty. By consistently putting artworks in front of an audience that might not have realized how art is vital to their human development, the Ace Mid-Morning Art Thread is creating wealth beyond measure. These sarcastic Moron pundits are doing their part to carry on the glory of Western Civilization, at the same time our ruling classes are doing their worst to try to bring it down.

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

Postmodernism has been a Trojan horse for the same old power games that have kept humanity at bay for eons. Postmodernism is a betrayal of America’s ideals and accomplishments; Postmodernism has caused much damage acting treacherously from inside our own cultural institutions.

The elites had a great vision for America. They would wreck our culture and trash our heritage, and be the managers over our decline. They’ve been implementing their program for at least 100 years. However, in their long march through the institutions, they overlooked part of what makes America unique. We aren’t compelled to follow our “leaders.” We definitely aren’t going to follow them off a cliff.

Many compare the United States to earlier empires that declined and fell. The familiar pattern is happening here and now. Elitist mismanagement and ennui is encouraging social breakdowns. History demonstrates it’s only a matter of time until the barbarians overrun their dominion. The existing society will be overthrown by primitives from outside the complex system of assumptions and niceties cherished by the ruling class.

The great news is, here in the United States, we are our own barbarians. Understand the current upper echelons are predominately not representative of the American way of life. They’ve been compromised by Postmodern delusions about their own omnipotence, and it’s ruined them. They should have studied Classical literature. It clearly warns about the perils of hubris.

To these upper crust pretenders, nothing is more backwards and uncivilized than their own fellow citizens, who cling to such notions as God, guns, and honor. Yet these traditional Americans are exactly the people who are best positioned to put an end to the current elitist shenanigans for good. Far from not understanding their Postmodern poses, we understand them all too well.

It will be traditional Americans who rise up to clear away the rubble of the establishment’s failures and decadence. America has an amazing record of achievement, when we put our values into action. We have the wisdom which Postmodernists thought they were too smart to need.

America isn’t dying. It’s the artificially imposed Postmodern worldview which is disintegrating. Remodern Americans will carry on, better than ever.

 

 

Edit: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other articles for more commentary on the state of the arts. 

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

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

In the Belly

A New Painting for the New Year

 

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. The image above is my first crude underpainting for a piece that I will be working on for the next several months.

The current subject came to me in a vision, as my imagery often does.

Right now I don’t have to fulfill any commission. I don’t have create a piece for any particular theme show or call for entries. Being so free to choose out of the many painting ideas I have could be challenging. However, as an intuitive artist, I am provided guidance. I know the right idea to proceed with because it’s the one I keep thinking about. I can’t get it out of my mind. I’m going to need to paint it out.

The story of Jonah describes a man who tried to dodge his responsibilities, and wound up being swallowed by a great fish-temporarily. One of my favorite artists, Albert Pinkham Ryder, painted this subject before.

Albert Pinkham Ryder “Jonah”

 

I have visited this theme before, in a small work.

Richard Bledsoe “Leviathan My Friend” acrylic on canvas 12″ x 12″  

2020 looks like it’s going to be the year of getting stuff done. We can’t remain the bellies of the various beast that consume us. We must do the work we are called to. That is the energy I am pouring into this new piece.

It’s powerful theme, that everyone can relate to in some way. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

 

 

As I work on the paintings, I come to interpret them. Patrons will often share insights with me on my works as well, telling me meanings that I didn’t even realize, but which become clear once indicated.

Such is the seductive beauty of symbolic expression; even when manifesting universal archetypes, a symbol caresses the spectator in an intimate manner. While symbols can communicate concepts shared in common, each person experiences the thrill of recognition in a unique way, different as fingerprints.

 

I will periodically post updates on this work, and share the progress.

 

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

 

 

While Yoko Ono Makes For an Amusing Meme, There is Nothing Funny About Her Radical Roots

Imagine Yoko Ono Was An Artist

I Wonder If You Can 

In 1966, long before some art scene shyster taped a banana to a wall for a $120,000 tally, a Japanese artist offered up her own fruity display in a London art gallery.

Art

Wikipedia gives a deadpan description of the alleged artwork, Apple: “The work consists of an apple on top of a plexiglass stand. A brass plaque bearing the word ‘APPLE’ is fixed to the front of the stand.” Just in case you couldn’t tell.

Art Yoko Ont

This apple caught the eye of Beatle John Lennon. It inspired a meet-cute moment between the artistes, when the cheeky Lennon took a bite out of the display, to the annoyance of its presenter, Yoko Ono. Of course, she forgave him, and the rest is history.

Art Yoko Ono

(As an aside, this produce did not produce the name Apple Corps Limited, the music corporation of the Beatles. Paul McCartney had basic beginnings in mind, as in the primer mantra “A is for Apple.” Plus he was inspired by an actual work of art, Le Jeu de Mourre, a painting by Surrealist Rene Magritte.)

 

Rene Magritte, Le Jeu de Mourre

This is an Apple, Not a Banana

The subsequent Lennon/Ono partnership is often blamed for the breakup of the Beatles, although there were many other factors festering within the group itself: personal rivalries, the death of band manager Brian Epstein, fallout from an unsuccessful dalliance with an Indian guru, and scads of LSD have all been noted. An acid-fried brain could explain how Lennon fell so completely in thrall with a Conceptual Art con artist, to the point of abandoning both his family and musical brothers.

Post Beatles, John and Yoko strayed into heroin, agitprop politics, and avant-garde posturing. It was an era of radical chic, and they followed the trends. Footage of angry and unstable Lennon raving about peace and love is a great example of cognitive dissonance. Like all the other anti-war activists, the celebrity couple were either dupes or willing advocates not for peace, but for the victory of communist totalitarianism.

Ever since Yoko Ono rose to prominence, fairly or not, she’s become a trope. To call someone a Yoko implies they are an off-putting, gold-digging interloper who sabotages a successful person’s situation.

Yoko Ono Art

Yoko Ono Art

That reputation inspired the meme currently circulating regarding the whipping of the Harry Formerly Known as Prince.

Yoko Ono Art

Yoko Ono Art

Yet Ono did largely give up her own art career in favor of performing collaboratively with Lennon. She added her avante-garde vocal stylings to Lennon’s recordings, wailing like Woody Woodpecker hammering away at John Cage’s skull. Without her infamous caterwauling, the New Wave dance band the B-52s would have lacked a key influence for their sound.

Because of Yoko’s sacrifice, we were deprived of more gems like Apple, and these other masterpieces:

Cut

The artist stripped bare by her audience, even. A performance where spectators were invited to snip away Miss Ono’s clothing piece by piece.

Yoko Ono Art 

 

Object in Three Parts – Revolution

A display of the pill, a condom, and a diaphragm. How hard was this to conceive?

Yoko Ono Art

Painting to Hammer a Nail

Another participation piece, where patrons can create their own nail art. (Some assembly required).

Yoko Ono Art 

Yoko Ono Art 

Bag Piece

In which Yoko put herself into a big bag in public, for reasons.

Yoko Ono Art

Anyone not part of the Postmodern cult would scoff at such absurd gestures and banal results. And yet, ironically, Yoko Ono was actually far ahead of her time, as far as the arts establishment is concerned. Her obnoxious mix of underdeveloped offerings, woke politics, and defensive obliqueness are the common poses affected in the bleeding edge contemporary art scene today. Where Yoko herself learned these strategies is a troubling heritage.

Yoko Ono Art

Yoko Ono originally gained notoriety as a member of the Fluxus art movement of the swinging 60’s. As part of the elite’s on-going mission to remove concerns like technical prowess  and coherence from art, Fluxus was celebrated as a Dada do-over, yet another challenge to the stuffy idea that art involves the skillful creation of a tangible object.

Yoko Ono Art

In addition to promoting Conceptual art, the Fluxus community was identified by founder George Maciunas as a radical leftwing movement, dedicated to spawning art communes modeled after the glorious collectivist farms of the Soviet Union. When attempted, these ventures predictably failed to thrive.

Yoko Ono Art 

Maciunas created a manifesto to hype his ideas. Filled with Marxist fervor, this slight and incoherent rant gave insight into the radicals’ methodology: they would seize power by destroying the legacies of Western civilization. This would be accomplished by the rejection and manipulation of commonly understood language and concepts.

 

 

I Read the News Today, Oh Boy:  A Maciunas Fluxus Manifesto 

Unfortunately, “Empire follows art and not vice versa,” as the visionary artist William Blake observed. The mid-century leftist partisanship, misdirection and deconstruction enacted by a bunch of pretentious flakes in art galleries snowballed into the standard operating procedures of our institutions today. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

 

The arrogant ruling class is possessed by Postmodernism. They’re all in on the idea that tearing down the traditions and standards of Western civilization will cement their grasp on unaccountable power.

Once you understand that, the promotion of Postmodern art as the pinnacle of artistic achievement becomes understandable. It explains the Orwellian efforts behind the elevation of mindless attention-seeking as an attempted substitute for values, achievements and principles. Hyping soulless, unskilled art has a toxic, weakening effect on society as a whole.

Postmodern art is a tool of oppression.

But what about Yoko? One can’t coast on reputation forever, so she occasionally tries to hammer out another artwork.

In 2012, in the spirit of mushy multicultural Londonistan’s take on the Olympics, Yoko was trotted out as a Postmodern Old Master. Her new work To The Light  consisted mainly of three heaps of dirt, a faded vintage War Is Over poster, and lots of hype around the empty slogan “Imagine Peace,” which was conveniently available on commemorative towels and water bottles .

It’s amazing Yoko’s still producing work of the same quality that she did in the 1960s! And by same quality, I mean a total lack of it.

One can only wonder if the 100 million victims of the communist collectivism she advocates are part of her imagination.

To the Light

Ono She’s at It Again 

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