What do you think life is about, just being hedonistic? No, life is exactly about caring for each other. With some hedonistic pleasures thrown in. It is up to you to discover pleasure in all you do...the problem is that people think this life on earth is all there is as they are disenchanted with religions.They need to discover the spirit in their existence and sometimes pray to something greater than their egos is very helpful with that. Then you might discover that helping your parents and raising your children is the most meaningful things you can do with your life.
I think that if you have graduated from a reputable art college you no longer need to fear doing technically correct art but you can let go and experiment, to keep reproducing same old pretty illustrations seems redundant unless of course that is what comes from you naturally...we as artists all have to find our style, the one that comes to you naturally. I have done realism, surrealism and abstract art and feel most at home with a funky combination of all three with a little humour thrown in. I do not feel compelled any longer to prove anything to anyone as an artist. Graduating from OCAD helped with that too...there are however artists who did not go to college but are naturally brilliant, but not that many. There are more immature artists among those that did not study art and although their work seems simplified it does not hit you as professional. For example a professional artist simplifying a woman's face is in a totally different league from an amateur, even if both add long eyelashes. The difference is in the placement of lines...a professional artist with experience will place those lines exactly where they should be to say the most and at the right angle...whereas the amateur will have them roaming all over the face because they don't understand the underlying structure of a face.
I strongly recommend studying anatomy and doing a lot of life drawing before attempting a face...
Two Worlds is about the role of women in a patriarchal society. Woman in a man’s world faces unique difficulties in the work force and at home. Not to mention sexual assault and objectification. Following the Me Too movement, women’s equality has never been more relevant.
Two Worlds also symbolizes a life led between heaven and earth and the merging of those worlds. The merging of the profane and sacred; mundane and hallowed aspects of life; between humans as flies and buddhas.
It takes courage and tears to take up the challenge of struggling with these issues and not just giving in to a comfortable, ignorant existence.
"Freud once admitted in a letter to Jung that “psychoanalysis is essentially a cure through love.” Yet while many psychotherapists might privately agree that love has some kind of role in the healing process, the word “love” is curiously absent from most of the therapeutic literature. The same is true for the word “heart.” Not only is this term missing from the psychological literature, the tone of the literature itself also lacks heart.”
Psychiatrists have their diagnostic bible and a list of pharmaceuticals at their disposable, which they adhere to religiously and have no time for love, not even five minutes except to ask how the medication is doing. And if necessary writing another prescription. The psychiatric profession has been usurped into the capitalist industry of making money as their goal and not curing anyone. Big Pharma is in charge, conveniently for these "head doctors" who can charge much more a day to our Government if they see twenty patients instead of three. To properly establish a relationship and learn about a patient requires time for listening and a lot of compassionate caring. Psychiatrists are too important for that now. And if they practice psychoanalysis according to Freud and Jung they charge a king's ransom privately. Very few people can afford that kind of long term treatment.
Institutions like CAMH do nothing now but drug therapy and they don't even use Social Workers who often have the compassionate, loving personality needed to actually help mentally ill people. They used to twenty years ago, but now have decided it is a waste of money to actually help people suffering from depression and anxiety. CAMH is too busy looking at their bottomline as it becomes a corporation. And their investments and spending money instead on very high administration salaries, especially PR.
Behind every mentally ill person is a person who has suffered trauma and abuse and snapped, people are not born with an anxiety illness or depression, unless they have brain damage of some kind. But psychiatrists would like you to believe that so they can continue with their drug plans only and use enormous amounts of tax payers money on research that for the last 100 years has resulted in very little real knowledge on how the brain works and how to fix it.
Social Workers who once were the heart of treatment for mentally people, now are regulated to collecting data on people and feeding it to the big corporate machine of CAMH.
The government run by corporations does not care about this marginalized group; waiting lists for any kind of treatment is long and more and more people are becoming mentally ill in a society void of heart and soul, a society run by Big Banks; Big Pharma and the bottomline.
And in my opinion fixing society will fix the mental illness problem in the long run, because anyone who is not effected by how demoralized and sick our society is, is the one who is really ill, without heart.
My recent painting "Coven" is about how people are forced to become alike when they join a group, or are inducted into a profession or religion or a political sect or material status. In some cases if they stick to their individuality they are harassed or even fired. Psychiatric labels add to the mix by pointing to similarities with people who are different yet share common attributes, so we have a coven of "challenged folks" or "autistic" children.
We live in a world of charmed circles, elites in-groups, or rejects of society like the homeless. Thus we don’t have to real see individuals in that group, or feel for them.
Originally the word coven described witches, women who exalted nature and believed in magic and were hung for it. They were not seen as individual women but an anti-religious cult, religions propagated by men. And we now see the result of maligning these women, eco failure en mass.
Our society wants to see groups and organize accordingly. Individuality is not allowed; too much bother to relate to a person at that level. It would require intimacy, compassion and interest, a coming out of our ego to really see another human being. A fear of being touched by another's view, a fear of the unravelling of one's fragile ego.
When I began studying Buddhism with a teacher, the first thing I heard was to stop striving for perfectionism and stop being proactive. These were very much values of the West.
Instead we were to love ourselves unconditionally with all our faults and we were to name them all. The goal being to let go of our identities we have imposed on ourself and being more and more authentic and spontaneous in our relationship with the world.
The New Age movement in the West managed to bastardize Buddhist's teachings to conform to their ideal of perfectionism and proactivity. So they have convinced people to do affirmations, a very proactive approach and be positive regardless of how they really feel and practice political correctness. Also they have even found a way to lay guilt trips on sick people by telling them it is all in the mind and obviously their mind is not functioning properly.
This is as far away as possible from Zen or other Buddhist practices...and the pathetic result is that young people are imprisoned within themselves and their lives more than ever before...and losing unconditional acceptance for their own flaws, because they are not allowed to admit to them, they are more intolerant and judgemental of others, thus losing empathy for the suffering of others. Which makes them egotistical navel gazers, happily relating to only machines.
Life is messy...machines are very orderly.
It is no wonder fascism is on the rise in the world.
THE WEST (NEW AGE) HAS TURNED MEDITATION INTO A SELF-MASTURBATORY USELESS ACT! YET ANOTHER DRUG FOR THE MASSES! YEAR 2020 MAKE IT A YEAR OF ACTION!
"Science Has Proven That Group Meditation Literally Changes The World" - Higher Perspective
So why is the world only getting worse I ask???
By their works you shall know them!
Maybe because people are so damn egotistical they don't realize that they can't change anything like that, only God can change the world with his thoughts and God-like people. People like Rumi, Jesus, Buddha and a few mystics could, There aren't any in our dark age, just charlatans.
It is easy to sit in meditation.
But not so easy to give a leg up to your fellow man in a real way. Never mind giving up greed and capitalism so others may live including the future generation, but offering a meal to the homeless, etc...fighting for them in a real way, protesting and bombarding governments with demands and writing to your reps...not just posting through FB...that is easy.. putting money where your mouth is...like Jane Fonda...getting out there…
Communing in meditation with God is good if you are not distorting what you are experiencing, which most people are, namely good feel semi sexual experience for prayer and communion with God...but that is nothing if we continue to pollute people's lives and the environment and the rich remain immune to the plight of the masses.
Meditating on your own is really only using meditation as a drug to make yourself feel good and delude yourself into thinking that you are helping the world. REAL meditation as practiced by people in the east takes a teacher and is VERY difficult, requiring much suffering and sacrifice on your part. The teacher is there to keep your ego in check and keep you humble. What we do on our own is NOT meditation it is self masturbation. And that is what the New Age has been, self-masturbating Capitalism.
The REAL kind of mediation makes you end up feeding the homeless.
For a curator to post with duct tape a rotten banana on a museum wall and price it at $120,000 is a statement in itself that says …”we don’t value today’s art; artists are worthless and have nothing to say of value and what they produce is rotten, stinks and doesn’t last."
And maybe I think they are right!
Anyone that shits on a canvas now is an artist. No training or education or study of art history needed. All you need really are good connections and a good looking demeanour with a charming personality and people will throw money at you no matter what you produce. Like Jeff Koons, who bamboozled high society into making him a millionaire by pretending bunnies are the rad fad of today’s art world.
The digital age is a great facilitator of producing kitsch. You don’t need to draw anymore, just produce a trace on your Tablet in Art Rage. And if you have money you can print it life size and sell it in Miami. Painting is so hard to sell these days because it still smacks of art school and effort and talent, except of course if you are wedded to abstract art, where none of that matters.
I think I never bought into total abstract art because it felt like I was cheating people, pulling the wool over their eyes, even if I had a degree from College. That is just me. I am sure a lot of talented and educated artists have produced wonderful abstract art. But unfortunately a lot of uneducated untalented people could also do that and did.
I stopped teaching art to adults because they learned one thing and then produced a million abstract pieces that they sold to decorators. Voila, they were now artist with no intuitive feel for it or anything to convey of any meaning. Art became a wall decoration and not what it was meant to be, a statement of a personal vision. Now people when they see art that expresses something real, walk away from it. As do the galleries looking for slick products to sell.
OCADU is trying to produce Creative Thinkers, not Artists, thus so much verbiage oral and written is produced about stuff that you really can’t talk about without having gone through a personal intuitive process. Creative Thinkers are born and not made, as they are yet to discover.
As a culture and a society we are at a place in art, that is fair to express with a rotten banana, a creative expression of it indeed.
We are living in a dark age where monsters thrive... We have discovered the truth of Capitalism which is a ploy to kill Nature and exploit people through promising them the American dream and the binding of women, who had the closest relationship with Nature, keeping them down...where religion has even become perverted, wanting to be a corporation making money...as did health centres and other public institutions, where art is a meaningless commodity and artists the biggest near homeless community. Where art administrators make more money and get more grants from government than artists, who are there just to be exploited by them.
Trump is just a lackie of the Corporate environment...when it is one business there is still integrity but when they form monopolies they become divorced from the human element...and after awhile people are just a number on a spreadsheet!
Art and the artist have slid down a steep tunnel since Rembrandt was declared a genius. Initially the solitary genius was creating from a spiritual transcendent base, solitary, and inspired, like a prophet, in touch with the unseen, his consciousness foreseeing the future. He shunned the marketplace fleeing from temporal entanglements. Selling was selling out. An artist either had patrons, or like Van Gogh nobly starved or were given donations, not unlike religious institutions from family and friends. Some of course had money to begin with.
Soon after the war industry became more dominant as countries were rebuilding themselves. So now an artist was no longer an oracle but a professional, like a lawyer of doctor, who went to school to learn a skill. A profession is not a vocation but also not just a job. Professionals could be made, you did not have to have an inborn talent but could acquire enough skills to become n artist. As a professional an artist had to maintain a set of standards like beauty, discipline, etc. Artists were expected to enter the marketplace but only in the refined circles of academia, commercial art venues, or galleries.
However that too changed, with the advent of fewer resources and higher costs of living, the artist is now not even a professional but an “entrepreneur”. Now we’re all supposed to be our own business, our own agent, our own marketing, production, and accounting departments. Entrepreneurialism is being sold to us as an opportunity.
Artists are no longer seeking patrons but customers. They no longer have time to put in the hours to hone their skills, they are too busy networking, cold calling and being business people. Art has changed drastically from an inspiration or even a craft to a consumer good. So artists are at the mercy of what consumers like and what can sell and their minds are invaded by this.
In the light of these changes, standards in art are secondary to what consumers prefer and what sells. Aesthetics as such which took over from spiritual inspiration now need to yield to the common denominator, what will someone buy. Galleries too, no longer look for inspiring, original artists but ones that make what their clients will purchase.
Everyone’s opinion has equal value. We no longer need educated art historians to tell us what is good art. As a result the whole notion of good versus bad art has disappeared. Anything anyone can sell is deemed to be good art. The customer is always right.
Artists who still believe they have something of value to contribute to the world, something to say are becoming few and far between and very rarely are shown in present day galleries. Museums are prone to display traditional work because they are confused like the rest of the world about what is art. And people like Jeff Koons, skilled manipulators and entertainers, are playing the game that was once reserved for Wall Street.