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.

 

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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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the spirit of this age?

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

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

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

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

As part of these maneuvers, art was pushed into a crisis of relevance. Elitist malfeasance has marginalized the visual arts in popular culture. In doing so, the New Aristocracy of the Well-Connected block access to powerful resources. They deny our society the inspiration to live up to ideals, the encouragement to think and feel deeply, the yearning to harmonize with truth and beauty. As a result, the mass audience has turned away.

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

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

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

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

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

What is the spirit of this age?

This is an era of joyous insurgency and new beginnings.

Welcome to Remodern America.

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

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

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

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

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

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

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

Work in Progress: In the Belly 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

He Was Only 5’3″

Braque and Picasso Get Squirrelly 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facing the Problem

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

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

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

 

Previous articles:

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

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

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

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

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

In the Belly

Evolving Imagery

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

These images show the progression.

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Watch this space for further updates!

 

Previous article:

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

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

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

In the Belly

A New Painting for the New Year

 

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

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

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

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

Albert Pinkham Ryder “Jonah”

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

 

 

Films Like The Lighthouse and Joker Signal Postmodern Totalitarianism is Losing the Culture War

The Lighthouse: A Beacon, a Warning

x

Most movies fail to achieve the status of art.

Film evokes a passive experience in its viewers. For a set period of time stimulating imagery washes over us, engaging on a superficial level, holding our attention by prodding our lizard brains with safely contained visuals of action, conflict, or eroticism.

Real art isn’t a transitory activity, relaxing while absorbing an overload of tricks and mock thrills. Experiencing real art is a slow, internal realization that grows and expands. It changes us. It takes us outside of time.

One of the main themes of this blog is that the ruling class establishment is working mightily to purge the experience of real art from our culture.  They’ve managed to make the enduring human activity of art into something isolated and irrelevant. Removing art from the people facilitates the elitist intent to lord over a befuddled, ignorant, and dispirited populace.

That being said, I don’t look to the film industry to deliver art. I like to be entertained too. But even that enjoyment has been harder to find over time. Mainstream movies have degenerated into virtue signalling wankfests, pandering to the sensibilities of woke critics and decadent yet sanctimonious industry insiders. The ruination of the movies is just another aspect of the Postmodern totalitarian gambit.

Hollywood is horrible these days. More and more productions are reduced to shrill leftist political proselytizing. It’s not like this is what audiences want either; this is a top down driven campaign. The New Aristocracy of the Well Connected are determined to shove their propaganda down our throats through every aspect of communications in their control. Thanks to the success of the Long March Through the Institutions, they pretty much control them all. Not only movies and art, but the media, government, academia, big tech, corporate boardrooms, and non-profit agencies are all in lockstep, driving the cultural Marxist agenda.

The market is glutted with homogeneous films, endless rehashes seasoned with heaps of obligatory politically correct posturing and diversity scoring keeping. It doesn’t even matter when the audiences reject the offerings. The globalist corporate studios are so huge they can afford to take a financial hit when their crappy agitprop movies fail. I’m very suspicious of book cooking and money laundering in the reported bottom lines anyway. How much of a contemporary movie’s box office comes from the manipulated Chinese marketplace? There a Hollywood movie may do well-if the ruling Communist Party wants it too. What should that tell you?

After seeing Star Wars in 1977, I spent most of my formative years dreaming of making movies. I still follow the film industry, keeping current with upcoming productions and results. It was only after I discovered painting in college that I found a better way to show my visions to the world without having to chase down expensive equipment and funding. Being a painter is an individual journey to a much more profound destination. It does not demand the compromises of working collaboratively. I recently stumbled across a small piece of evidence on how the movie producing scheme is now unfolding.

I follow film reviewer Chris Stuckmann on Youtube. I don’t always agree with him, but he presents his analysis with integrity, good humor, and a strong knowledge of film history and technique. Stuckmann wants to do more than just talk about movies. His channel covers his ongoing efforts to make his own films. I would love to see what would happen if he got a chance to apply his cinematic insights onto his own creations.

Towards the end of a recent review of a poorly made horror movie, Stuckmann gave a telling quote about what is happening behind the scenes. Pointing out an irrelevant #MeToo story line that was shoehorned into this cheap thriller, Stuckmann explains the feedback he’s been receiving from studios:

“This subplot has nothing to do with the movie, and I know exactly why it’s in there. For the past year I’ve had multiple scripts that I’ve talked to many studios about, and some have showed real interest…one of the biggest notes I’ve always gotten back is that if you included some sort of social commentary, or something that was in the news today, something that people are talking about a lot, that might make your script easier to sell.”

Forget about quality. The message is SJW posturing is mandatory if a creative is to get any major opportunities. Parroting the progressive line guarantees favorable reviews and support from fellow travelling film wonks. however there are signs the apparatchik monopoly may be slipping.

The non-stop ideological haranguing really soured me on film. For years I hardly ever went to a theater to see a new release, waiting for dvds or streaming. Now something is changing. In 2019 I actually went to the movies three times, which I probably haven’t done in at least a decade. I saw, and enjoyed, Midsommar, Joker, and The Lighthouse. These smaller releases, lumped into the niche genres of horror and super hero movies, show a pattern of defiance against the stifling status quo. I see how they indicate an evolving direction for the zeitgeist which is not following the political/media combine plan.

Once the spirit of an age turns against the powers that be, nothing can save their prestige and power. It’s only a question of how damaging their downfall will be.

So what was in these movies that made them different? Note: there will be some spoilers in the discussion below.

Stop, Children, What’s That Sound: Midsommar 

 

Midsommar was the most flawed.  I attended this one based on the director Ari Aster’s powerful first film, Hereditary. Midsommar couldn’t match the infernally machined plot of Hereditary, or actress Toni Collette’s fiery performance as a grieving artist and mother. Midsommar had the conventional horror trope of college student types lined up to be massacred, but in an unexpected setting: under the bright sunshine, in flower strewn fields. The villains are equally sunny collectivists, smiling as they dispense hallucinogens, torture and death. Midsommar worked best in evoking an uncanny atmosphere and showing off trippy visuals. Still, the movie exposes the nasty murderous pagan impulses underpinning Green New Deal style objectives. The fanatics seem so well-intentioned, right up to point when they commit acts of cruelty and slaughter; not the typical Hollywood attitude towards back-to-the-land commune dwellers.

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The Success of Joker is No Laughing Matter 

I dropped out of the seemingly endless and increasingly monotonous super hero movie grind ages ago.  Joker was different. It intrigued me with its gritty but luminous trailers. Joaquin Phoenix has turned in many intense performances before. But what got me to buy a ticket was the cancel culture frenzy which took aim at this movie.

A lot of hysterical commentary got vented about how sinister right wing incel violence was bound to erupt due to this movie about a downtrodden clown gone wrong. Well, the projections about bloodshed were baseless, but the SJWs were right to recognize the threat the movie posed to their dogmas.

Set in the 1980s, the film repeats beats from Martin Scorsese’s dystopian 1970s films. ‘ While contemporary critics are desperate to tie the Joker’s decline and fall as a symptom of Orange Man Bad’s America, a different comparison is more apt. Joker gives a depiction of Gotham as a typical Democrat run urban shithole, and the suffering of those trapped in the blue state model. The out of control crime, filth, decay, and discord is happening today in cities from San Francisco to New York, from Los Angles to Chicago. All these blighted places have been under corrupt progressive dominance for decades.

Joker skewers media malfeasance as well, another sore spot for the activists. They hated this movie, but their efforts at fear-mongering and boycotting failed. Joker is going to make a billion dollars. It’s the top grossing R rated movie ever.

In the case of Joker,  massive audiences ignored demands to obey the latest politically correct diktats. A gap exists between the cultural commissars and the people, and that gap is growing. It helped that the movie made corrosion look colorful through comely cinematography. There were enough hints of the Batman mythos to provide fan service. Phoenix delivers an engrossing take on gross humanity, a delusional villain who still elicits some compassion as he dances down as an engine of destruction.

But the strongest film I watched this year was The Lighthouse. It’s also the film that most effectively demonstrates an aspect of the new spirit which is stirring-which is actually very old spirit indeed.

The Lighthouse

Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Man, Man vs. Himself

On the surface, the story is about two men either going mad or being bewitched, fueled by isolation and drink. It works on that primary level very well, but there’s more to it. The Lighthouse is influenced by Western cultural information that has long been ignored or attacked by what are supposed to be our cultural institutions. This creepy little period piece draws power by partaking in the rich traditional stories society used to treasure. It echoes the great works of religion, mythology, and literature which formed the West, and informed the generations who built up an amazing civilization.

This isn’t an academic exercise, where you play spot the references to prove how clever you are. This is visceral, a gut level reverberation; archetypal frenzy channeled. The same spirit which drove the geniuses of the past is effectively evoked in The Lighthouse, telling its own unique variation on timeless themes.

Once the hinted heritages on display would have been kind of shared language, common knowledge for all. That has been stifled by our governing class, on purpose.

I was thrilled to see and hear moments that recalled classical myths, the Old Testament, Coleridge, Melville, and Shakespeare. There’s some David Mamet, Samuel Beckett, and H.P. Lovecraft in there too. Imagery took form like the artistry of Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, and William Blake.

A viewer doesn’t need to recognize the ghosts of the canon crowding into the frames to be enthralled by the film. It stands on its own merits. It’s a visionary, tense work. But seeing those salutes to the accomplishments and knowledge of our forefathers adds potent nuance.

The movie also handles the past as its own distinct character. It doesn’t feel like today’s sensibilities just dressed up in costumes, which is the typical default Hollywood shtick. Another era seems present in every detail.

The Postmodern philosophy has been used as a bulldozer against our culture. The agenda has been for a great leveling to take place, to knock over the soaring achievements of Western civilization. Our elites are grinding our legacy into rubble under the treads of their reckless pursuit for power. But a new philosophy has emerged, to counter the planned destruction. Like always, this new direction first appeared in the arts.

In 2000, Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, two British artists, wrote a statement years ahead of its time. The Remodernism Manifesto delivered a compelling alternative to the lies and presumptions of the Postmodern contemporary arts-and by extension, the practices of the whole rotten establishment. They were the first ones I saw who declared what could come after the fall of the corrupt Postmodern ethos; a self-determining Remodern era, where the great advances of the past can be built upon, instead of trashed.

These founding artists inspired creatives around the world. They created an open source art movement for the 21st century. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

 

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. Remoderism is disruptive innovation applied to the moribund art world.

What you have in the arts, ultimately you will have everywhere. The arts show us how to be. When Andrew Breitbart stated “Politics is downstream from culture,” he was reiterating what mystic artist William Blake knew: “Empire follows art and not vice versa…”

This model is upheld by the changes I’ve seen unfolding over the 20 years since Childish and Thomson wrote down their ideas about art. They called for a DIY, spiritually driven revolt against the status quo in the incompetent and arrogant well-connected art world. Extrapolate that, and the message is clear.

Our betters, are not. Our servants aren’t serving. They have squandered their credibility, and have no authority. It’s time for the rest of us to outgrow the limitations the elites try to force upon us. That message isn’t just about art anymore.

Postmodernism is a form of dysfunctional global tyranny that must be opposed. The Remodern hunger for renewal is driving the populist insurgencies remaking the world.

I also see some of the same stubborn insistence on expressing a unique voice in these three 2019 movies. If the covert independence these films represent continue make it through the establishment filters, I’ll be going to the movies a lot more.

The Lighthouse: Yo Ho Ho 

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you! 

STUDIO: Highlights from my Image Morgue

Inspiring Imagery Fuels the Image Bank in my Mind 

 

An update of an earlier post on how I collect the images I need to create my work:

 

STUDIO: The Image Morgue (May 20, 2016) 

These fragments I have shored against my ruin: a sample of my reference material

“The model is not to be copied, but to be realized.”

-Robert Henri

In painting, there really are no rules. But understanding painting as I do, there is a prevalent practice these days which I find completely undermines the integrity of the act.

Projector artists. Artists who cheat themselves and their audience by projecting an image onto their canvas and doing a paint-by-numbers routine to create their works. Artists like this have reduced themselves to a mere cog in a mechanical reproduction process, not creating, but taking dictation from their gadgets. They let their tools make their discoveries for them. It is an inferior mode of creation.

If you’re an artist, do your own rendering.

Now I am not rejecting the use of source material. I learned the hard way, through years of artistic practice, I lack the omnipotent powers of observation and recall to paint strictly out of my own mind and produce the results I want.

How do a frog’s legs attach to its body? How many wings does a mosquito have? What is the musculature of a horse? These are just some of the composition problems I have encountered. I can’t see clearly enough into my memory to reach the level of realism I want in my paintings.

So I use source material. Not all the time, but when it’s important to get something right, and I can’t summon the depth of detail I’d like to. When needed, I find photographs on the internet of what I want to portray, print them out, and study them.

But then-and this is the really important part-I put the photograph down, and paint what I remember about it, what I learned about it.

The image passes through the filters of my consciousness and becomes more me. And that is vital in art: depicting your own unique sensibility…

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I’ve been busy since I wrote that post, I’ve made many paintings, and envisioned many more.

This morning I added a picture to my digital image morgue folder for a new painting I’m contemplating. I haven’t printed it out yet because the painting is not yet begun:

  Ancient Olive Tree

 

I started browsing through the folder. Some of images have been used in paintings, possibly in ways you’d never recognize. Others were more particular and identifiable. I wanted to share this window into the workings of my creative procedures. These are some of the pictures which have caught my attention, out of the endless resources of the internet.

 

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As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, art isn’t about just reproducing appearances.

 

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

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

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

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!