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

**************

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: ‘Damien Hirst stole my cherry blossom’: artist faces plagiarism claim number 16

Art world links which caught my eye…

Damien Hirst at the opening of his Cherry Blossoms show, at the Fondation Cartier in Paris

Rip Off Artist: Damien Hirst

I’ve written before on Damien Hirst as the installed king artist of the establishment’s death cult. I even commented on the pieces now in question.

As poorly executed as Hirst’s Cherry Blossom paintings are, it seems once again the idea wasn’t even his own inspiration, but was lifted intact from another artist. This has been a pattern in Hirst’s career.

Over the years, Damien Hirst has faced more than one accusation of copying someone else’s work, with artists variously claiming to have created his diamond skull, his medicine-cabinets and his spin-paintings before he did. The one-time enfant terrible of the British art world has always denied plagiarism, although he did go as far as saying in an interview in 2018 that “all my ideas are stolen anyway”.

Now he is facing fresh allegations. His cherry blossom paintings in his latest exhibition, which has just closed in Paris, have prompted outrage from the English artist and writer Joe Machine, who says they look just like his own cherry blossom paintings.

The article features commentary by Charles Thomson, the co-founder of Remodernism.

But Charles Thomson, the artist and co-founder of the Stuckists, an international group campaigning for traditional artistry, did a double-take when he first saw Hirst’s paintings: “I thought they were Joe’s – and then I realised they were Hirst’s. If people see Joe’s work, they’re going to think he’s copied Hirst.”

Read the full article here: GUARDIAN – Damien Hirst stole my cherry blossom’: artist faces plagiarism claim number 16′

**************

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″

.

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
.
 Michele’s mode of painting could not be more different.
Michele Bledsoe “The Great Fear of Falling” acrylic on canvas 14″ x 11″
.
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

 
 

**************

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!

WE LOST A CENTURY OF CULTURE TO THE ESTABLISHMENT ART WORLD’S FAILURES AND MANIPULATIONS. THE NEXT CENTURY CAN BE OURS.

Norman Rockwell “The Connoisseur”

The American attorney and art collector John Quinn (April 14, 1870 – July 28, 1924) had a great insight about the avant-garde works he supported in the early decades of the twentieth century. He described his times as “an age of experiment rather than accomplishment.”

Quinn was describing the rise of Modern art. As early as the late 1700s, it was clear Classical art, reiterations of the ancient achievements of the Greeks, Romans, and Renaissance, did not adequately reflect the temper of the times. But what could? Modern artists bravely tried to find out.

It’s the nature of honest experimentation that failure is more common than success. In science a theory is proposed, tests are conducted, and the results are measured and analyzed, compared to the predicted outcome. But how can novel artistic experiences be rated?

Perhaps there is a fundamental test for art. Ultimately, art is a form of spiritual communication. Does the art deliver a sense of communion, connection, the eternal fellowship of humanity in a recognizable form? That would be successful art.

Much of Modern art’s attempts failed to reach those standards. Yet extreme experiments persisted, even as the appreciation dwindled. Like Spinal Tap, Modern art’s appeal became more selective. For some powerful people, that fulfilled an important non-artistic need: a new means for status signaling.

Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan

Sold for $52 million in 2017

Any old sap could like skillfully created, beautiful, and meaningful art. Elitists had to flip the script, and make embracing the failed experiments, the ugly and obscure, the new standard of rarified taste. The establishment cultivated a culture war to preserve their isolating Mandarin authority.

We are all the poorer for it. For over a century now institutional support has been funneled into art meant not to unite, but to divide. Museums, galleries, and wealthy patrons warped the course of artistic evolution towards alienation, transgression, and incompetence, all the better to shock the bourgeois they despised. One hundred plus years of inverted snobbery was inflicted upon us. We’ll never know what might have been, what aesthetic glories the land of the free could have produced, without that interference.

This Is What The Gentry Class Fills Our Museums With. Sad!

It’s even worse now, in the Postmodern era. As I scan the art world’s official organs, I see nothing but partisan propaganda, leftist activism misidentified as art. These feeble efforts are deader than Lenin in his glass coffin, but all those who aspire to belong to the ruling caste must shuffle past and pay homage.

One of Postmodern Art Star Banksy’s Half Assed Editorial Cartoons Masquerading as Art

Those who we trusted as the caretakers of our culture betrayed us. We’ve had no support for art that reflects the true character of the United States, our might, goodness, and freedom. But the times are changing, and art can lead the way.

Cultural thought leaders look stupid propping up the absurdity they’ve made into the status quo. They’ve got no creditability left to squander. Their institutions are beyond reform. It’s time to start over. It’s a good place to be, because an American’s natural habitat is the frontier.

Even as Postmodernism undergoes its death throes, a new understanding is rising in the populace. The people are regaining the powers which have been usurped from them. This is the beginning of the Remodern era, and it’s informed by American principles. As I state in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

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. We don’t grovel before the current cultural gatekeepers, we want to interact with everyone. We are story tellers. We make a complex art for complex times. We are the swing of the pendulum.

The “art as experiment” analogy really isn’t quite satisfactory, because art is not like science, and conflating the two has been disastrous for our society. Elitists defensively over-intellectualized art, which is most effective as a visceral, soulful experience.

Billy Childish, an English artist who first codified Remodernism with painter Charles Thomson in 1999, described a hands-on strategy for the way forward. “The idea is painting, not having ideas about painting…In many ways I sort of like to look on myself as amateur in everything I do. The amateur does things for love, and belief, not for the mortgage.”

That’s the spirit. Look at what “amateur” politician Donald Trump achieved. He put the experts to shame – or rather, he exposed they were lying about their true goals and intentions.

Just like in our politics, no solutions for art’s crisis of relevance will come out of the corrupted hierarchies of the current professional classes. Fortunately, we don’t need anyone’s permission to create a faithful depiction of who we truly are, in art and politics both. Let’s get on with it.

**************

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: “Talent Is Vastly Overrated” Billy Childish’s Anti-Guide to Succeeding in the Art World

Art world links which caught my eye…

Image 9

Billy Childish “Self Portrait in Hat” 2015

In 1999 English artists Charles Thomson and Billy Childish cofounded Stuckism, the first Remodern art movement. Thomson remained engaged and guided Stuckism into a global phenomenon.  Childish left the group to follow his own idiosyncratic course.

In this 2015 interview, Childish shares his philosophy on creativity and life.

I don’t look for validation from other people. In music, I never thought that we weren’t as good as anybody else. I thought we were better than anybody else. When we were in the Pop Rivets and we made our records, people asked us if we wanted to be successful. Even as 18-year-old kids, we said, “As far as we’re concerned, we are successful. We’re doing what we want to do.” I’m probably a bit like that it painting as well. I’m innately confident, even in inability.

The thing I like about painting, you see, is painting. I’m not interested in the aftermath so much. I just happen to be someone with an artistic nature, so I like doing art. That’s something that plays out, but it doesn’t define me. The paintings rely on me—I don’t rely on the paintings. They’re just stuff. They do have some value to some people, but, really, anything that’s any good will hopefully lead you to you, not to the object. We’re looking for ourselves, not to own the Mona Lisa…

You have to have the guts to engage with your own spiritual journey, which is what life is for. It can be reflected in art, but art won’t take you there on its own. It’s not good enough. You actually have to use your inquiring mind and question yourself and the bullshit of things. You have to avoid getting tied up in intellectual and ironic gameplay, which will not liberate you. We want freedom, we want liberation, and you’re not going to get it in postmodernism. You’re going to get it through authentic engagement.

Read the full article here: ARTSPACE – “Talent Is Vastly Overrated” Billy Childish’s Anti-Guide to Succeeding in the Art World

**************

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: Stuck in Covid-A Stuckist Virtual Art Exhibit

May be art of one or more people and text

An online exhibit of Stuckist artists regarding the WooHoo Flu. Michele Bledsoe and I contributed works.

See the show here: The Forest Hill Stuckists

Read about the founding of the Stuckist art movement here: ARTISTS: Charles Thomson is Stuck in the Remodern

**************

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

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!

This Plague Psychodrama is Peak Postmodernism. Its Retreat Will Lead to Remodern Renewal.

Surviving Beyond Our Time Inside the Beast

“In the Belly” Richard Bledsoe acrylic on canvas 30″ x 40″

art

A virus is ravaging the world. I don’t mean the one hyped in every headline, referred to by whichever accountability-dodging misnomer  we’re supposed to call it this week. That affliction is the ultimate in Chinese take out-as in take out global stability and prosperity.

This other virus is one that sickens the soul. It’s been a raging pandemic for at least 50 years. The institutions we once relied on for societal preservation and advancement were converted into hosts for this ailment long ago, and spread its maladies amongst us all. It also was created by Communists. The disease is Postmodernism, and the current assaults on civilization being done in the name of safety has exposed the festering disorder that is the Postmodern ethos.

A core Postmodern idea is that language shapes reality, and by controlling language the ruling establishment can reshape the universe. This hubris has brought us all to catastrophe.

Postmodernism is the operational system of global elitists. Following the precepts of Postmodernism acts as a surrogate for competence and accomplishment for the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected.  It’s a structure designed not for efficiency, but to filter out any threats to the entitlements of the current governing class.

The establishment status quo had been under assault like never before. I will even go so far to say they were losing. Populist uprisings around the world were gaining traction. We were questioning why such incompetent, selfish hypocrites were in charge, demanding respect they never earned, producing terrible results over and over again.

The Postmodern elites had no valid answer. It was all starting to slip away from them. So they went kamikaze. They determined it was better for them to crash civilization rather than lose the power and prestige they’d seized in the corrupt Postmodern hierarchy. They took advantage of a virus which was potentially a little more dangerous than the usual flu (unleashed on purpose or on accident, who can say?), and created the mother of all false flag operations, the Woo Hoo Floo Hysteria.

In my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, I identified 5 factors of how Postmodernism enslaves humans, in their physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and essential capacities. The list I have there is easily adopted to the PSYOP we are living through.

Understanding the Corona Virus Response Through the 5 Factors of Postmodernism 

  1. The Physical: The Embezzled Object

Postmodernism doesn’t create, it steals. It doesn’t encourage growth, it stifles and limits. The Hysteria stole the idea of quarantine (physically isolating the sick) and perverted it to mean locking up everyone. We are all expected to cower in our safe spaces, and let the world rot.

2. The Intellectual: Revolting Relativism

Postmodernists understand objective standards are an obstacle to their desire for unaccountable power. They believe there is no such thing as truth, just whatever it takes at that moment to get their way. So through the Hysteria we’ve been constantly lied to, by the government, the media, academia. A disease that is only a real threat to the elderly or already ill has been recast as an extinction level event.

We are supposed to overlook that the casualty numbers are being inflated by those who may have the virus, but died from other grave preexisting conditions. We are not supposed to understand the sadly high death counts were boosted by Democrat governors ordering sick people into the vulnerable populations of nursing homes, and banning potentially helpful drugs. Still, as facts disprove the wild claims, the Postmodern managerial class just change the subject and move the goalposts, never acknowledging how incredibly wrong they’ve been every step of the way.

3. The Emotional: Unscrupulous Affectation

We are all supposed to act like we are living through a combination of The Stand and the zombie apocalypse. And yet, even though your local businesses are shut down, churches are shuttered in violation of our constitutional rights, and restaurant closures are wrecking the food supply chains, it’s just dandy to go to Walmart and Home Depot. The cognitive dissonance, it burns.

4. The Spiritual: Craven Conformity

It’s become easy to see who’s eager to signal their virtue of following the destructive, fraudulent Postmodern World Order; it’s those useless face masks. There’s some extra cringe on both ends of the spectrum: those who wear them, but crumpled up under their noses or chins, or the dumb asses I see driving by, alone in their cars, face masks in place. The face mask is the 2020 version of the pussy hat, and makes just about as much sense.

5. The Essence: Power

This is what it’s all about, in the end. The power of the establishment to be arbitrary. Vindictive. Asinine. They will force you to submit, and they will punish you for daring to live your life apart from their micromanaging dominance.

ART

Ironically, the Postmodern shutdown could to lead to a great reopening-a new way of life freed from the clutches of the controlling technocrats who’ve ruled us. It’s been my prediction for a long time, although I never would have guessed it would have taken this form.

I’m just a guy who likes to make art. I wanted to share my ideas about art and and how it relates to life, so I started a blog, and wrote a book. The vital human experience of art is beyond anything as tainted as politics. But because of the Postmodern corruption that holds sway over us all, I must communicate on that ideological level, as a citizen. These days, my art could be considered political by not being political.

But art showed me what was coming. It’s like Andrew Breitbart said: “”Politics is downstream from culture.” He was reiterating the wisdom of the 18th century visionary artist William Blake: “Empire follows art, and not vice versa…”

Remodernism is a governing philosophy rising to take the place of the dying dinosaur Postmodernism. These vicious death throes of Postmodernism happening now are only delaying its inevitable collapse.

Remodernism was first codified in 2000 by two English artists, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. Even though it addresses art, it applies to the cultural zeitgeist as a whole, worldwide. Its time has come. As I state in my book, Remodern America:

 

Billy Childish and Charles Thomson called Remodernism a mandate for a spiritual renaissance in the arts. The manifestation of this renewal is connectivity: using art as a means of connecting with ourselves, each other, and the divine, in a meaningful way. Far from the fragmentation of the Modernists, and the divisiveness of the Postmodernists, Remodernism is the pursuit of unity.

Kinship usually means family connections. Remodernism knows what real religions know: all people are family, and every individual is equally worthy of caring and respect. Like a family, we each have our own interests and talents. Remodernist artists see creative expression as their way to know themselves, to bond with others, and to learn more about life…

The spirit of kinship inspires concern for the well-being of others. Being drawn outside the limitations of our own self-interest allows us to operate in the most effective state anyone can achieve: love…

It’s a mistake to think of love as an emotion. Even though it stirs our deepest feelings, love is more than those feelings. Love is the principle that guides existence. It’s behaving with wisdom. Love instructs that life is a gift and we are all one, so we need to act accordingly.

Modernists were so fixated on what was changing they forgot about what endures. The Postmodernists were too selfish to respond to the promptings of love. This willful lack of love undermined Western civilization, but the lack of love is also what doomed those efforts to redefine humanity. Without the foundation of love, all other factors collapse.

Remodernism invests love back into the culture. Not the phony leftist hippie sloganeering about love that the Baby Boom generation indulged in, but the genuine article. Remodernism sees art as a conduit for shareable moments of beauty, enjoyment, comprehension, and truth. Assembling these elements together approaches a state of grace, which is the ultimate expression of the love bestowed on us by our Creator. We are called to follow His example.

The grace of love is that timeless, indescribable element found in all great artworks, from across all times and all cultures. That element still is accessible today, despite the failure of the establishment art world to provide it.

Graceful love, so long neglected by our arts institutions, is what gives Remodern art the power to bring everyone together. The engagement, curiosity, enthusiasm and kinship Remodernism delivers all originate in love. With this love, Remodernism makes art into an integrated, holistic experience again.

Remodernism is accessible to anyone who aspires to use art to inspire. It even extends to the deluded Postmodernist fools who sought to control us. They need to rejoin with humanity, and to learn their rightful place: standing along with the rest of us, side by side. Love is forgiving.

Remodernism resolves the confusions and heals the breaches imposed on society during Modernism and Postmodernism. It is the triumphant renewal of Western values. After years of destruction, the reconstruction will take extensive efforts, but it will be spectacular.

 

*************

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

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

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

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

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?

.

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.

***********

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 

***********

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 AWFUL ARTIST BEHIND THE $120,000 BANANA

 

 

Tally This Banana

It was the zany story of the week. A prank so dumb, it was like it was tailor-made for Morning Zoo DJs.

At the glitzy swap meet of Miami Basel, a contemporary artist offered a banana duct taped to a wall for $120,000.00. The punchline is, somebody bought it.

This is about the only scenario when contemporary art gains mass media traction: when something stupid sells for lots of money. Then it becomes a snarky variation on a human interest story.

The fruit is a big hit. It’s called “Comedian,” which is a valid accusation. It was an edition of 3, and the whole bunch sold, each with their genuine certificate of authenticity. A performance artist tried to hitch his wagon to this star by eating the banana. He was not arrested for the art theft. A crisis was averted when the piece was reinstalled by simply taping another banana up.

Ultimately the fruit had to go, after admiring crowds could not be peeled away from it. It was quite the Snapchat destination for fair attendees.

These days, what else do you need?

This silly conceptual piece is actually behind the times. Our Marxist tainted cultural industries are hyping that the hot action now is in political art, and identity art, and identity politics pretending to be art. Putting out a goofy art object that presents kitsch as an ironic comment on the evil of market forces is so 2013. It’s also a lot tamer than other pieces this particular Italian artist is infamous for.

Maurizio Cattelan is what they call Conceptual. He doesn’t make the art displayed with his name on it. He just has an idea. He can’t be bothered to learn any of the skills needed to present the idea, so he hires people with actual talent to make it on his behalf. I don’t think he even taped the banana to the wall himself.

We laugh at this guy, and the dolts that paid him, but there is something more sinister inherent in this not-so-cheap gag. Cattelan’s body of work reveal him as a partisan for the destruction of our culture. The Postmodern crusade is waged on all fronts. It’s a relentless attempt to belittle and bully us all into submission.

The banana is just the latest variation on the endless Leftist quest to undermine and stifle human achievement.

These other works made in the name of Maurizio Cattelan demonstrate his character.

Like Pope John Paul II, crushed under a meteor.

Maurizio Cattelan, The Ninth Hour 

.

Or school boy Hitler at prayer:

Maurizio Cattelan, Him 

Or a big American style FU to the Italian Stock exchange.

Maurizio Cattelan, Love

Duty and nature both call a policewoman. What is it with these elitists and their scatological fixations?

.-

Maurizio Cattelan, Petra

.

Another one. His tribute to the United States, a golden toilet. Bonus: this one was used by the Guggenheim to insult Orange Man Bad! 

 

Maurizio Cattelan, America

.

Our establishment wants to exterminate the experience of real art from our lives. Promoting junk like this keeps art safely irrelevant, a timeless human engagement rebranded as a weird plaything for the wealthy. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

“The establishment art world is just another brigade of shock troops serving the elites. All the administrators want is to preserve the status quo of their ill-gotten and severely abused authority. The apex operators of the global Postmodernists are ruthless in advancing their own interests, and will use any and all tactics available for their own advantage. Postmodern art is one of their weapons.

“Under the malign influence of Postmodernism, we’ve been lied to about the nature of creative expression, seen our culture cheapened into an elaborate swindle, and even had art itself betrayed into a form of abuse.”

The good news is the upheavals occurring across the globe show the Postmodern delusion is in its death throes. The nasty deconstruction typified by artists like Cattelan is at a dead end.

The bad news is the destruction that may happen during this massive shift of consciousness. The new times beginning, the Remodern era,will be an age of reconstruction.

It’s a vast project, but uplifting, honesty artistry will be needed to bring unity to our communities.

***********

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!