Artist Quotes About America

 

Thornton Dial “Don’t Matter How Raggly The Flag, It Still Got To Tie Us Together”

“If we going to change the world, we got to look at the little man.”

Thornton Dial

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Happy Independence Day!

In large part, the creative classes are saturated in globalist propaganda. The institutional indoctrination is very thorough, and of course most funding opportunities rely on conforming to the elitist gentry agenda.  Sad!

However, there are examples of artists who spoke their minds about the fantastic nature of the American experience. In the United States our culture is currently experiencing the death throes of manipulative, oppressive Postmodernism. As we enter the new era of Remodernism, the return of art as a revelation, expect to see more artists express the ethos of liberty in deeds, words and pictures.

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Andy Warhol “Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan)”

“I met someone on the street who said wasn’t it great that we’re going to have a movie star for president, that it was so Pop, and when you think about it like that, it is great, it’s so American.”

-Andy Warhol

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Thomas Eakins “The Champion Single Sculls”

“Of course, it is well to go abroad and see the works of the old masters, but Americans… must strike out for themselves, and only by doing this will we create a great and distinctly American art.”

-Thomas Eakins

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Arthur Dove “Me and the Moon”

“What constitutes American painting?… things may be in America, but it’s what is in the artist that counts. What do we call ‘American’ outside of painting? Inventiveness, restlessness, speed, change..”

-Arthur Dove

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Jacob Lawrence “The Migration Series Panel 58”


“Maybe…humanity to you has been reduced to the sterility of the line, the cube, the circle, and the square; devoid of all feeling, cold and highly esoteric. If this is so, I can well understand why you cannot portray the true America. It is because you have lost all feeling for man.”

-Jacob Lawrence

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Willem De Kooning “Dark Pond”

“I feel sometimes an American artist must feel, like a baseball player or something – a member of a team writing American history.”

-Willem De Kooning

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Georgia O’Keeffe “Cow Skull: Red, White and Blue”

“One can not be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America and then work.”

-Georgia O’Keeffe

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Jack Kerouac “Untitled”

“I felt like a million dollars; I was adventuring in the crazy American night.”

-Jack Kerouac

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Grant Wood “Stone City, Iowa”

“I had to go to France to appreciate Iowa.”

-Grant Wood

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Richard Bledsoe “The Pop Star”

Remodernism is the latest iteration of the American character: ordinary people working as explorers and inventors, optimistic, self-reliant and productive.”

-Richard Bledsoe

 

 

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ARTISTS: Thornton Dial

The Ladies Had Knew That (1280x640)

Thornton Dial “African Jungle Picture: The Ladies Had Knew That”

I got to meet artist Thornton Dial once. In Richmond, Virginia the cooperative gallery I was a member of was hosting an exhibit of his works from the collection of Virginia Union University. I had stopped by the gallery the day before the opening and he was just leaving, having come to review the installation. He was a small,  slight man with an intensely focused demeanor. When we shook hands his grip was strong and rough, hands made hard by a lifetime of work.

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Thornton Dial “African Athlete”

Dial is a self taught artist from Alabama, born in 1928. He spent the majority of his life in obscurity, just another laborer from the rural South. Dial says of his upbringing, “I come up hard, and I didn’t want to suffer. That will make you work…I done most every kind of work a man can do. Cement work on the highways, pouring iron at Jones Foundry, loaded bricks at Harbison Walker brickyard, did some pipe fitting, worked down at the waterworks, did carpentry and house painting for different white contractors, metalwork—all kind of it—iron and steel at Pullman Standard for about thirty years. I’m a working man.”

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“If we going to change the world, we got to look at the little man.” Thornton Dial 

Dial was in his 50s when he got laid off from his job and started welding patio furniture and his own sculptural ideas. His creations caught the attention of art collectors, which started slow rise in recognition. With the support of a patron named Bill Arnett, Dial started to create epic mixed media reliefs and mural sized assemblages, massive installations of salvaged industrial materials gracefully transformed into layered, textured environments. It’s hard to capture their complexity in photographs.

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Thornton Dial “Don’t Matter How Raggly The Flag, It Still Got To Tie Us Together”

(mattress coils, chicken wire, clothing, can lids, found metal, plastic twine, wire, Splash Zone compound, enamel, spray paint, on canvas on wood)

This is where the inherent biases and hypocrisies of the establishment art world become apparent. Despite the accomplishment of his works, the cultural elites were more comfortable pigeonholing him into categories like folk or outsider art, denying him his rightful place as a major figure in the artistic development of the United States. In their minds there’s no place among the officially credentialed for a poetic visionary who can’t even read or write.

There are some signs this is changing, and the arbitrary distinctions imposed by the establishment are breaking down. Redemption for the jaded, insular art world is going to have to come from outside their rigid dogmas and corrupt hierarchies.

Thornton Dial says it best: “I know that I don’t have to ask nobody for a license to make art. My art talk about that freedom. People have fought for freedom all over the world. I try to show that struggle. It is a war to be fought. We’re trying to win it.

“It seem like some people believe that just because I ain’t got no education, say I must be too ignorant for art. Seem like some people always going to value the Negro that way. I believe I have proved that my art is about ideas, and about life, and the experience of the world. I have tried to learn how to explain everything I have did. I tried to name everything that could be named about that experience, and if a person still see ignorance in me, he might just be looking into his own self. God made everything so clear that even a fool could not err. At least, even a fool ought to not. Education mean different things. I ain’t never been much good at talking about stuff. I always just done the stuff I had a mind to do. My art do my talking.”

 Struggling Tiger in Hard Times

Thornton Dial “Struggling Tiger in Hard Times”

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Thornton Dial “Memory of the Ladies That Gave Us the Good Life”