“ART IS FOR EVERYONE” A Pop Up Gallery Experience at SEEDs For Autism

Remodern America Presents:

ART IS FOR EVERYONE: A POP UP GALLERY EXPERIENCE AT SEEDS FOR AUTISM

Seeds For Autism Hosts Group Art Exhibit

PHOENIX, AZ – Local artists present a pop up gallery experience at Seeds for Autism. Community artists and the talented participants at Seeds for Autism present a special one night show on Friday, May 27, 2022, 6pm to 8pm. 

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

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

This event was created to raise awareness and support for the life-changing program at SEEDs for Autism. Participating artists will be donating 50% of all sales to SEEDs.

ADMISSION IS FREE!

SEEDs for Autism
3420 S. 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85040

602-253-4471

https://www.seedsforautism.org/

Richard Bledsoe “That’s A Moray” acrylic on canvas 20″ x 20″

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Robert Henri

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

Just in Time for the Apocalypse: Albrecht Durer and a Different Take on the Symbolism of the Four Horsemen

Albrecht Durer “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” , woodcut, 15-1/4″ x 11-7/16″ (1498)

[1] And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. [2] And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

[3] And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. [4] And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

[5] And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. [6] And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

[7] And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. [8] And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Revelation 6:1-8

Back in in my freshman year of college, even though I had plenty of art assignments to focus on, I still pursued reading in esoteric subjects which fascinated me. We had a great library at the university, just about a block from my dorm. I was socially awkward, so I had free time. I browsed for hours, looking up whatever crossed my mind.

It was in this side reading I encountered a concept which shaped my understanding of reality ever since.

I can’t remember the title of the book I stumbled across, or the name of the author. He may have been a rabbi.

The subject of the non-fiction book may have been religion, or symbolism, or philosophy. It might have even been self-help; I was looking for advice about my social awkwardness.

Whatever the main point of the book was, this forgotten writer discussed in passing what we call the Four Horsemen, as described in the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation.

I learned growing up Revelation (often misidentified in the plural form of “Revelations”) was written by John the Apostle, one of the original disciples of Jesus. Scholars dispute this, but as current events prove, credentialed experts are almost always wrong about everything, especially in their own fields of study.

No matter who wrote it, Revelation presents a hallucinogenic recounting of the Apocalypse. People think Apocalypse means the end of the world, but the word is taken from a Greek term meaning “revealing,” or “uncovering.”

The Bible describes the unsealed riders being turned loose, their mounts, and what they do, but does not name them. The traditional identities given to these terrible figures are Pestilence (white horse and bow), War (red horse and sword), Famine (black horse and scales), and Death (pale horse, with Hell following).

These days many think we are four for four as far as prophecy fulfillment goes, although at the moment Famine looks like he’s yet to really make his move. He’s still in the starting gate, the planned front runner for the next phase in the World Economic Forum’s genocidal assault on humanity.

The best image of the Horsemen I know of comes from the work of German artist Albrecht Durer (May 21, 1471-April 6, 1528). In 1498, less than fifty years after Johannes Gutenberg published his revolutionary copy of the Bible, Durer became the first artist to print and copyright his own book: Apocalipsis Cum Figuris, The Apocalypse with Pictures. Many at the time believed the year 1500 would be the end times, so the folio was topical.

The Four Horsemen was Durer’s greatest hit from the album of fifteen illustrations. The woodcut, originally printed from a plate carved from pear wood, depicts the charge of the forces of destruction, trampling representatives of humanity under the hooves of their horses. Durer was an incredible draftsman, and rendered a horrific scene with naturalistic details and a powerful, diagonal composition. In Durer’s uncolored prints, the riders can be identified by the implements they bear; the Pale Rider gets the devil’s traditional pitchfork. 

The beauty of symbols is they can mean more than one thing. The mysterious, inspirational library book I read suggested an alternative interpretation for the Horseman. Rather than manifestations of God’s wrath, the riders can be seen as four aspects of the human consciousness.

The White Horseman with the bow and crown goes out to conquer. The purity of white, the far reaching range of a bow, and the acts of conquest suggest man’s Spiritual nature.

The Red Horseman with his sword takes peace from the land. The fiery appearance of red, the cutting sword, and the trouble inflicted is like man’s Emotional states.

The Black Horseman with his scales is measuring and stingy. The concealing nature of black, the counting and the withholding communications are Intellectual stances.

The Pale Horseman bringing death and suffering can be seen as our Physical selves, the pallid, fleshy parts of us that break down and die.

Even though there is more to Revelation that this brief segment, I saw the wisdom in the model it suggested. I’ve gone through life looking for physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual health. The best resource for harmonizing those elements is represented by another complex symbolic animal of the Apocalypse: the Lamb.

We are undergoing a revelation right now as a culture. It is apocalyptic in that what was once hidden is now coming to light. The WooHoo floo, vaxxx hysteria, the election, planned destruction, puppets and their masters, Durham’s investigation; we don’t know the real stories, just the manufactured narratives.

It’s staggering how much we’ve all been deceived, and for how long. It’s going to be judgement day for many people, especially those who utilized Postmodern strategies of deception and groupthink as their means of power.

Evil is in its death throes and it’s causing much damage, but fundamentally this is an era of rebirth. What is passing away is an entrenched system that could not sustain its delusions any longer.

We aren’t at the end. We are at a reboot of the culture. We will run better once we clear up the rotten aristocratic caste which is locked up and glitching right before our eyes.

I’ve seen this coming for a long time, through my involvement in the art world. The visionary artist William Blake explained it: “Empire follows art, and not vice versa.”

Over my decades involved in the art scene, I saw the establishment art world increasingly exposed as a corrupt joke.

I discovered a powerful alternative way of art proposed by two English artists, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson. They defined a replacement for the globalist scheme of Postmodernism with a practical, populist appreciation of art called Remodernism. It grew into an international art movement, the Stuckists, which has inspired creatives around the world with a DIY spirit far removed from the political posturing that goes on in the elitist art cult.

I saw in these events a pattern I knew the world would follow.

The mighty would fall once the people had enough of their BS. We will bypass their precious assumptions and entitlements, and make them obsolete. We are out-evolving them.

As I said in my 2018 book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Art is a more enduring and vital human experience than the power games of a greedy and fraudulent ruling class. The managers crashed the culture in pursuit of their agenda. They defend their usurped authority and privileges with doublethink, misdirection, and intimidation. Their time has run out. Reality is crashing back through their carefully constructed facades, and a time of reckoning has come. Enduring changes start in the arts. Remodernism defeats Postmodern desecration.

In the meantime, if anyone recognizes the helpful book which discussed the Four Horsemen I stumbled across so many years ago, please leave a comment. I’d love to read 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 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: New Painting “Sea Floor”

Richard Bledsoe “Sea Floor” acrylic on canvas 16″ x 12″

2022 got off to a great start, when I finished a painting on New Year’s Day called Reef. Now, in my second painting of 2022, I keep working on the same subject matter. After watching countless nature documentaries, I realized any colors and shapes can be applied to the complex ecosystem of a coral reef. I invented this imagery, keeping it all loose and aquatic.

Keep exploring the depths!

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

DAILY ART FIX: New Painting “Reef”

Richard Bledsoe “Reef” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 24″

2022 got off to a great start, when I finished a painting on New Year’s Day. After watching countless nature documentaries, I realized any colors and shapes can be applied to the complex ecosystem of a coral reef. I invented this imagery, keeping it all loose and aquatic.

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

DAILY ART FIX: Theme Songs for Our Artistic Methods

From June 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

The lyrics:

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

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

-The Remodernism Manifesto

 
 

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

DAILY ART FIX: New Painting “Ladies Who Lunch”

Completed in November 2021

Richard Bledsoe “Ladies Who Lunch” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 36″

I work from visions I receive. Since my earliest artistic fascinations were linked to dinosaurs, they often appear in my paintings as powerful symbols.

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

ARTISTS: Leonard Greco

Leonard Greco “Self Portrait of the Artist as Saint Anthony of the Desert Facing Death” Oil on panel 18″ x 24″ inches 2020

Just as art provides a microcosm of life, the current state of the establishment art world provides a microcosm of the real world. Our cultural institutions have become massively tainted and  dysfunctional. The failures we are enduring were not inevitable or accidental; rather, they are the result of systematic, calculated actions by a corrupt cabal. They’ve betrayed the legitimate functions of the institutions they’ve usurped in favor of their own self-aggrandizing agendas; their rotten practices range from the financial to the spiritual.

But I have great hope for the future, because while the institutions are infiltrated and compromised, the human need for artistic accomplish persists in the people. True art survives outside the ruthlessly filtered cloisters the elitists have cultivated.

My beliefs are confirmed by artists like Leonard Greco. He is pursuing a deeply personal vision, combining native talent with all the skill and craft a lifetime of patient dedication can provide. His imagery is grotesque and surreal, in the tradition of masters like Hieronymus Bosch and Jan Brueghel. While monstrous, the works manage to be beautiful and comical as well.

Greco acknowledges humanity’s conflicts and fallen nature like a medieval morality play or a fairy tale might. There is transcendence in the beauty of his vibrant colors, the complex compositions, and the precise resolution he brings to his paintings and sculptures. He does not shy away from the darkness, but uses art to show the redemption of graceful love. Greco understands how the eternal function of art as an expression and a means for inspiration.

Leonard Greco “Saint George & the Dragon” Oil on panel 16″ x 20″ 2021

Leonard Greco was gracious enough to share some comments on his art and methods in a recent email exchange.

QUESTION: How did you initially get involved in the visual arts? Who were some of your inspirations?

Leonard Greco: There hasn’t been a period of my life where art-making wasn’t a significant element of my identity. Early on I picked up pencil and brush. I was fortunate in having an eccentric grandmother who was very creative, a gifted amateur in all manner of artistic expression: oil painting, stained glass, fine jewelry making, silversmithing, set design.

We saw one another infrequently, but I treasure the memories of time spent in her thrilling company, she was certainly a great, if erratic, inspiration. 

Q: How do you create your paintings?  

 LG: I’m primarily a painter in oil. I am also an avid draughtsman, my painting start first in copious pencil studies ( I try to draw daily). I then, once I have a mental roadmap, begin the painting process. This process is laborious, in part because I am self taught and very well may be reinventing the wheel but also because the paintings I most admire, namely northern medieval and Renaissance panel paintings, possess a fastidious lapidary finish. Wishing to emulate that effect takes a great deal of time. I work with absurdly small brushes and there are far too many studio days when the territory claimed is mere inches of the canvas. 

In addition to easel painting I also create textile art, frequently near life sized fiber constructions that I call “stuffed paintings”; they are hybrid works, part sculpture, part painting.


Leonard Greco “Robin Goodfellow” Mixed textile Life size 2019


Q: What do you hope to convey through your work? 

LG: I wish to create a mythic timeless space that in spite of its  unreality resonates as familiar. I am inspired by my dreams which are rich, highly symbolic and frequently terrifying. They possess a dim grey light , frequently shadowless, I try to capture that haunting atmosphere. 

I am also trying to convey the universal truths we humans share, truths concerning life, death, one’s soul, worldliness in all its fraught excesses  and the pursuit of the true, highly individual light given to us by our Maker. This search I think is best sought through myth and story telling. I am essentially a myth maker, a Fairy-taler.

Leonard Greco “The Knight’s Tale (after Chaucer)” Acrylic on canvas panel 18″ x 24″ 2020



Q: What have been some of the highlights of your artistic journey and career?


LG: Very early on I had unearned solo shows, I was far too young, far too undeveloped and frankly just naive, smug and stupid. Since those halcyon youthful days there has been time spent in the desert of isolation and inwardness. I had the good fortune to have a solo show called Leonard Greco’s Fairyland in 2019 (  https://leonardgreco.me/fairyland/ ) one more deserved, more intentional and most gratifying. Since that time I’ve acquired more collectors, have been included in more exhibitions ( including permanent collections) and looking forward to further collaborations and opportunities. But it’s been an arduous and discouraging journey, to be an artist requires  courage, tenacity, grueling, frequently unrewarded labor and limitless faith.
 

Q: Are you optimistic about the direction the arts are going in? Why? 


LG: I am not. Pessimism is so easy to succumb to and every century has had its doomsayers yet I am hard pressed not to feel a sense of despair when confronting a society of art elites hellbent on disregarding the history, beauty, craft and spirituality of our shared Western tradition. Without indulging in a screed against identity obsessed post modernism, what I encounter routinely in public museums and private galleries leaves me disheartened, cynical, uninspired and bluntly, quite bored. I never imagined being bored by contemporary art.
 

Q: Why does art matter in the 21st century? 

LG: For starters I hope for a 22nd century, one that can look back to the 21st and reflect upon how fascinating and creative we were. Century after century, man has spoken to the next age. Through literature , art , music we send forth our best, for ourselves, for our Maker, for our contemporaries and in some way for our future kin. The art making of our day frequently reflects narcissistically upon a cynical,  ironic age, one not given to a pursuit broader than pleasure and paper thin superficiality and when it does venture beyond its own navel, focuses not on eternal truths but instead is devoted to an identity politics of grudges, chip-on-the-shoulder score settling, a highly honed aesthetic of anger and retribution. It rarely creates engaging, inspiring or enlightening art. I require art that nourishes, nurtures and inspires my fullest aspirations, all too often when I am confronted with contemporary work deemed  “meaningful” or “ powerful” by the art elites, I am instead left with a sense of extreme impoverishment.

Q: Why does art matter to you?

LG: It saved me, it offered hope and a sense of purpose. That’s so overblown and absurdly dramatic but it’s true. My boyhood was one of poverty, materially and spiritually. There was great violence in my home as well, little peace and no beauty other than the natural God given sort. Yet somehow, miraculously, in our attic there were discarded family treasures: old Bibles, Victorian scrapbooks and most tantalizingly, art history books belonging to my above mentioned Nana. Thumbing through these books, possessing what now would be considered the most minimal of images, I was nonetheless transported to the world of the ancient Egyptians, the vase paintings of the Greeks, the Medici court. It was a revelation, I wanted desperately to draw like Durer, I recall specifically taking pencil to tablet and with Durer’s patch of turf in mind, meticulously recording a dandelion. 

My life was so desolate in my youth, deep, seemingly unbearable depressions, despair and shame  in being a misunderstood gay kid , suicidal fantasies and yet through it all I drew. This determined practice allowed me to see myself as an artist despite the odds; the odds are still there yet I still cling to hope for what else is there?

Visit Leonard Greco on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/leonardgrecoart/

Leonard Greco “The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus” Oil on canvas 48″ x 36″ 2019

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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

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

Art world links which caught my eye…

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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

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

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

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

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

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

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