I am really peeved at Canadian Art magazine that has been funded for years and years by tax payers working in factories and has only featured their favourite rich artists, friends of friends and now when the art world is talking about the return of painting and appreciation of it, Canadian Art wrote a big spread about "Unpainting". Okay so a cut out of a head from a magazine glued on canvas is more interesting than a painting...? hardly. Videos are all deadly, just the blue light alone is killing our eyes and above all none of the digital stuff produced will last longer than 10 years, so collectors are screwed. Most performance art is boring, much better to watch a good movie, with dialogue and decent acting. I am appalled by Canadian Art and think they should be cut out of the next round of Canada Council grants! They do not support real Canadian artists! It is pathetic to be a painter in Toronto now!
Young people show no respect for seniors in our society and certainly ignore any wisdom they might want to impart to them. Seniors should have dignity, and not be made to look like circus monkeys in the media.
I get annoyed by all the hoopla about an occasional old person who has some stamina at 90 years of age. Just saw a pic of one flying a plane after 70 years. It sets the wrong message to people. Most people that age are fragile, vulnerable and need help. Everyone is unique in the way they fall apart and it has nothing to do with the health craze but everything to do with disposition and genes.
The message society is receiving is that it is okay to ignore old people because one is flying a plane (probably with a lot of support, not mentioned in the article) and as a result old people are ignored. I see it on a daily basis. Young people no longer help anyone across the street and cars trying to turn even honk at someone who is walking too slow with a cane. No one offers to help with carrying heavy objects even when people are struggling and very often do not offer a seat on the bus that is crowded. I get walked into on Queen Street regularly if I do not get out of the way fast enough by some young punks who do not feel in the least obliged to step aside for a senior.
I wish we would all stop thinking we will live forever if only we ate right, worked out all the time and pretended to be 20 by getting facelifts and dying our hair and dressing exotically.
I want the media to portray old people for what they actually bring to the table, their wisdom, intelligence and life experience.
It is interesting to me how if you truly study comparative religions you will find that bottom line they all say the same thing and yet all the wars are fought over the specifics of each individual one. For example, "Obeying God" is talked a lot about in the Jewish tradition. In the Christian tradition it is called "Doing God's Will". In Eastern religions it's best described in Zen as "a flow in harmony with the Divine". In Islamic sects it is called "Surrendering to God".
It is all about the ego being put in it's proper place by daily seeking of guidance through meditation or prayer. Rational thought and logic is not all there is to us, there is also Intuitive Insight which when functioning properly (and this requires a lot of purification and insight) keeps us in synchronicity with Nature and Life.
It is not religion or the practice of it that is bad it is the lack of understanding and the usurping of power by stupid unenlightened men that is the problem. If Israel and Palestine could really experience God (Divine) in their lives, they would see how much in common they had and come to a quick resolution of differences.
It is important to learn from one another. If we did not have role models in Art like in Science, we would never improve.
To look at Picasso's art and analyze what made him great is part of an artist's obligation in improving one's own artwork. That does not mean we paint like Picasso, we always stay true to ourselves only become improved.
For example when I did a careful copy of a Rubens portrait I learned so much about flesh tones.
Art is not just vomit on a canvas, it requires analysis, study and experimentation as to what works and what doesn't...but people these days think whatever is on canvas is good and a masterpiece...it is laughable.
Art is often the end product of hard work. Like Leonard Cohen whose spontaneous sounding songs look so facile, were in fact worked and re-worked millions of times.
Also we do not paint in a vacuum, we are glutted with visual images that imprint themselves on our brain and sometimes we make something that feels like we have seen it before...we are all a product of our society. No matter how original we want to be it doesn't work, someone has been there before us.
The real trick is to have something to say with your art and find ways to say it.
The way art heals is through catharsis, not by painting pretty, well designed innocuous stuff. Catharsis in art began in Greece where they used drama in that way. People went to the theatre not to be entertained but to experience a catharsis, a purification and purgation of emotions—particularly pity and fear that resulted in spiritual renewal and restoration.
Aristotle states that the purpose of tragedy is to arouse “terror and pity” and thereby effect the catharsis of these emotions. For example, In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo commits suicide by drinking the poison that he erroneously thinks Juliet had tasted too. The audience usually finds themselves crying at this particular moment for several reasons. Primarily because losing a loved one is a feeling that all of us have experienced. Watching or reading such a scene triggers the memories of someone we have lost (either by death or by mere separation), and because we are able to relate to it, we suddenly release the emotions that we have been repressing.
This feeling can also be aroused when looking at works of art. What we often call Dark Art serves this cathartic purpose, by allowing us to experience our deepest nightmares and fears, the biggest one being death, and release it. The art does not cause the fear, if it is real art, it simply brings up what is sitting in our unconscious. People avoid looking at it because they mistakenly believe that it causes them to feel a certain way, but the fact is the the feeling was already there. It is like people talk about avoiding socializing with certain individuals because their ”vibrational level” whatever that is , is too low. Wrong again. All that person has done is triggered your own experience. If we took responsibility for our own emotions, tasted them and allowed ourselves to feel them deeply, our lives would have much more meaning and depth because we could purify enough to finally start tasting our spiritual nature. Humour in art that evokes the paradoxical or absurd of life also serves that purpose too. Not slapstick rabbit balloons…(Jeff Koons)
Our society now is enamoured with showing no affect anywhere, positivity has caused us to squelch our deepest fears and emotions not just individually but as a society, so that we have become walking zombies, feeling titilation but never deep joy. For to feel joy you must have acknowledged all your deep seated emotions conscious and unconscious, (grief, anger, fear) explored, experienced them and accepted them as part of being a human. We have become so numbed that we need porn to feel anything at all. Sensuality is dead.
That is why we need expressive art more than ever showing all our gamut of emotions to help us purify. Photographically correct art without emotions is pointless in my estimation in our times. Abstract art is dying. We need to meet the hate and violence and fear dead on in ourselves to cleanse it from our souls, collectively and individually. Love as a heart painted on canvas will not wake us up…it is just another false decoration like all the silly pop art around that says nothing like, flying pigs…
Stop the judgemental positivity and political correctness and lets get down and dirty.
Even though we have all been weaned on Darwin's theory of evolution saying basically that humans began as a mineral, then emerged into plant life, after into an animal state and finally into being human, we don't really seem to grasp the full meaning of this. In Africa there appeared an animal that stood erect,used tools with care and began to speak. A new kind of species had evolved with a brain greater than any before it and a capacity for self-transformation.
The Climate Crisis on earth now has made us realize this fact again and suddenly we are jostled out of our delusional reality that humans are a walking machine-like brain, akin to God who can make human life comfortable by exploiting the earth and its resources. Comfortable for only the few lucky ones who got rich. We stopped being aware of how we evolved and where we are headed, namely back to the beginning gestalt of creation. We stopped the self-transformative process. We ripped ourselves away from the evolving life process and disconnected our brains from our bodies. We suddenly thought we were the kings of the universe, the creators of life and we are still trying to prove that by manipulating our DNA to design the next generation according to our limited understanding. And working our bodies in the gyms to look like the Hulk so we live longer. Because the brain as it turns out is very limited in the way we have been utilizing it, namely in self service and competition with each other and the Universe. The body is in fact our doorway to our connection with Spirit, but we are not interested, preferring to remain on the treadmill of our present false security of existence.
Now that the demise of the earth is a possibility, we suddenly realize how much more connected to life animals are than us, how we have veered off course in our evolution somewhere along the line. So we turn to worshipping animals and plants. Caring for them is great and important but worshipping them by buying ballet tutus for your dogs, all the while that we ignore dying and hungry children in our world and other continents is not going to save us.
We need to get back on the evolutionary train and restart our motors and think about what is the next possible step to take in our growth, what does Life require from us at this point?
We first ask ourselves these questions, then begin to realize we are not the end of the road for evolving no matter what brilliant technology we have invented to date. The next step in our evolution is to expand our brain sufficiently away from just information and data input to understanding our spiritual selves. I realize this is very inconvenient for Capitalism, but too bloody bad, that is where the evolution process is headed. So either you are on board developing compassion in this life or you are run over by the train.
Art is viewed as a business in our industrial society, not talent...or vocation and artists are expected to be good business people and sell...Even art agents and curators are losing their role which worked well before where artists did what they did best and business people did what they did best. However artists have a need to communicate with their art, so they are being taken advantage of by galleries and agents and other business types, who no longer have to hustle to find collectors and buyers but rely on the income from artists. It's pathetic. When I showed in the 90's at the Grand Palais, I only paid for shipping for a major international show, now they want thousands just for the privilege of hanging your work on their wall. There are too many rich bad artists who can do this...so these places have become lazy...and no longer care about quality but only money...
I am sick of everyone who has had one lesson in art immediately setting themselves up in that profession, as an artist.
Creativity makes you whole and balanced and happy no matter what profession you have...Anything in life can be seen as a chore or a creative act. Zen Buddhists teach how to wash dishes and become enlightened, while doing that creatively.
Artists are professionals with that particular calling, a vocation. You don't have to be an artist to live creatively. Doctors and engineers can be creative or work by rote...
Today in the gallery a man came up to me to say he is an engineer by profession but has decided to be an artist now that he is retired and made a better mobile with better action configuration than a well known mobile artist. He than asked me how he should price his art? He obviously thinks that if he makes something technically similar to Picasso he can charge the same fee or close to it.
Well needless to say I gave him a piece of my mind. First I said art is not about technique it is about communicating something to the world. Good technique in your chosen media just makes it easier to say whatever it is you are meant to say.
I suggested it is a good idea that he wants to expand himself into becoming a creative individual but he is a long way from being an artist by just producing a well engineered mobile...
Being an artist is first and foremost something that you do not decide but it decides you. Really how many people would choose to spend the best part of their life struggling and poor? Only if you are propelled and obsessed do you first go to college then become a professional in that trade.
I explained that creativity is a mindset that changes the way you live and do anything, anything can be creative. Asking me pricing first as the most important thing in the art world is a sure sign he is not even close to being an artist.
The poor man was shocked but took it in stride. He left knowing there was work to do on himself, not just building well oiled mobiles!
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is I am always in awe how The New Agers can distort even spiritual issues and make them about getting money and stuff, like happiness and every little thing ones heart desires.
And of course they also believe that if you are seriously ill or poor or have a tragedy in your life it is due to not believing and manifesting hard enough!
No wonder Nature wants to get rid of us.
New Agers have totally distorted Buddhist Teachings with their "positivity" jargon that does not allow for the expression of emotions, especially tears, anger or even joy...and where do these emotions go, straight into their sublimating unconscious where they fester and distort reality. The more you want to control life the more out of touch with it you will be, living in a delusional la la land. The justification for this is, so I have heard from some Millenials is that we have only one life so we should just enjoy it. So get your toxic self away from them, they do not want to see reality or hear about it or even basically think about anything remotely critical because they are prefect and don't need to change a thing about themselves.
Well it is true the Buddhist have said that our Buddha nature is perfect...but are we? Hardly! According to Buddhism we have many lives and each one is for the purpose of becoming a BETTER human being, not a wealthier one with a more comfortable lifestyle. We come back to work on ourselves so we can be closer to our buddha nature in our everyday actions. Because that is our authentic self. This requires focus, discipline, practicing compassion, being of service to others and above all acknowledging the reality and truth of every moment of life. Being present to whatever is there be it uncomfortable, ugly, hurtful, or plain smelly. Being kind, generous and tolerant and above all, loving. If you are having a gay old time and think the homeless deserve to be there in the street, then you are out of touch with the purpose of our existence.
We will all die and whether we return many times or not all you need to be assured of is that once your body is gone it not the end...somewhere and who knows where, you will reap what you sow. By leading a positive selfish life, while ignoring the suffering of others will cost you down the road...
Life would have to be pretty stupid to make such a complex entity as a human...only to finish him off after 80 years...with sole purpose of watching him make himself a wealthy comfortable existence.
Even if you abhor religion and profess to being a spiritual person there are guidelines to developing your spirituality and from all my readings and experiences I can assure you it has nothing to do with manifesting what you want by believing in it and making affirmations. It takes work on yourself, deep humility, faith in something bigger than your own ego and a flawless character.
In the days of Trump and mounting fascism art has taken a tumble into the recycling bin.
We are looking into the past to try to renew our enthusiasm and reverence for what art used to be in the times of beauty and light and gentle soulfulness and unobtrusive geometry. But can we really re-create a past, any past. I don’t think so, just like it is impossible to recapture youthful innocence once it is lost, we can not ignore what we have seen and experienced.
So where does art move from the highly placed unemotional, platform of neutrality, namely abstract art, where only conceptualization gave us access to its meaning. No bird splatter turds allowed…pure design, free hand or measured.
We were complacent and ignored the world, we hid in our cozy sterile gallery settings. But the world has impinged on our sensibilities now that it is turning evil and we can no longer ignore the vileness and stupidity of it.
So do artists portray the darkness and return to realism in art. to the purity of technique. No, because that is just another avoidance and escape from being human. To be human artists need to express their emotions, the whole gamut of light to heavy, irony and tears and humour, implicit in them. We can longer stick our heads in the sand and explore the sand particles in detail.
We not only need to cry out at the inequities but give people hope that things can be different.
Do we do that by conceptualizing what symbols and forms to use? No, we do it by being authentic on canvas or in our performance art or installations or videos…we do that by expressing our horror of what we see AND our love for what we know is also there, the magic of life.
In other words, expressionism is back with a new twist, reverence for life anew. Not just self-mastubatory reverence for narrow art of the mind but full bodied explorations of being human.