• If you believe We the People, should Protect our Planet, READ ON…
• If you believe Corporations should Stay out of Government, READ ON…
• If you believe Art can Make a Difference, READ ON!
As we all know, today virtually ANYTHING may be labelled “art.” In the last few decades, the (academic) purpose of Contemporary Art has been to continuously redefine the meaning of art. It goes something like this: Find a thing (or a combination of things) that has yet to be called art, then call it art, and it will be art. The problem is, if ANYTHING can be called art, then ultimately NOTHING is art. No one really likes what art has become, yet we collect and worship it because of its status and money connotations. Historically, art possessed some aesthetic value. Today, according to academia, art requires none. In fact, the more ridiculous an object or concept, the more likely some ambitious MFA will decide to label it “art,” and only the most prominent galleries and museums will be eager to show it. This may actually sometimes work… the juxtaposition of silliness in a sophisticated, high-tech, ultra-rich environment can be effective. But where is this leading us?
If we look at the reactionary nature of Contemporary Art over time, we see that ideals or schools inevitably caused their opposites to arise. Abstract Expressionism gave rise to POP, which gave rise to Photorealism, which gave rise to Bad Art, which gave rise to Neoclassicism which gave rise to Minimalism, etc. Okay, fine… let’s do it. Let’s explore the myriad possibilities… let’s exhaust them. Then, and only then, will we be forced to return to some kind of aesthetic. Because, after all, that’s the point. Aesthetic value is what pleases, what inspires, what expands consciousness the most. And that, folks, is why we are here on Planet Earth.
I often wonder what humans a few hundred or even thousand years from now may think of us when they examine some of today’s art. Are they going to think most of us we were utter cretins without a nit of taste. So what do we do?
Personally, I’m an advocate for a New Renaissance; the return of the epic, the glorious, the awe-inspiring, the divine. If artists can create a divinely inspired works of art, then perhaps we will have left some value for the world. I would like future generations to look back, and marvel at the majesty of nature we were able to capture… like the Great Pyramid, or David, or the Pieta, or Picasso’s “Weeping Woman.” Armageddon is not upon us. Rebirth is upon us. We are about to enter a Golden Age. It’s terribly exciting, and makes me proud to have existed during this marvelous era.
Four new series available in signed, limited editions of (25). Each artwork is meticulously printed on the finest, acid-free, museum quality, archival paper with archival ink, and comes with a Certificate of Authentication. VIEW NOW
New 2015 series: “A Study in Body/Psyche Ratios” — (11) 24″ X 18″ mixed media paintings on archival photographs & (2) 36″ X 24″ mixed media paintings on canvas. Each original is accompanied by ten 40″ X 30″ signed, limited edition prints. For more information, please contact the artist. (runtime: 7 minutes; PLEASE NOTE: I do not endorse, nor am I a spokesperson for any of the websites mentioned in this video. They are simply vendors I use in my work.) VIEW PAINTINGS
“A Life in the War Zones of American Art” is a documentary film chronicling the challenges and joys of working as an artist in the U.S. (Full 30-min version)
Lately, I’ve been thinking about Art that has withstood the test of time. Why is it, I’ve been wondering, so much ancient and classical art still holds such emotional power; power to move us on deep, spiritual levels? And, of course, much Modern Art, also possesses this same magic—Picasso, Monet, Dali, Pollack, Warhol. First of all, these works are visual. They communicate in a visual language… and the visual inherently contains the potential to express intellect, emotion, and intuition—the three primary aspects of our awareness/beingness. It’s nothing you can really put into words.
Today, of course, so much contemporary art is “conceptual,” which essentially means it is intellectual. It’s all about mind games, mental discourse. I recently had a museum director tell me that she has to get to know an artist over a period of many years in order to determine whether his/her art is good or not. Hmmm. I never had to meet da Vinci or Picasso to experience the power of their art. The ancient Greek sculptors were anonymous, yet their work is timeless. Work that is merely intellectual lacks the power that is found in all great art. Put simply, it’s dull.
But there has also been a trend in contemporary art that dull is better. Is it because artists have run out of original ideas, and the art mavens are desperate to identify something new? How often have we heard “it’s all been done!” It hasn’t all been done. When a true original emerges the result is visceral. We just have to work harder to find it. And we’re not going to find it via purely mental exercises. And were probably not going to find it in art schools, and we’re definitely not going to find it by “talking” to artists. In fact, if an artist can’t express himself through his work, then how can he call himself an artist? What’s the point of his “art”? Perhaps he/she should call himself, not an artist, but a “talker.”
Classical art was also done for the people. Today art is done for a small, elitist community. Even people in this elite community admit they don’t like today’s contemporary art… they wouldn’t hang it in their homes. Should art be for the people again? Perhaps.
I propose, that in order for the New Renaissance to truly begin, we must re-embrace some of the principles that were employed in classical and Renaissance times: the Golden Ratio, the harmonies, light, colors, and shapes found in nature. I’m not talking about realism, or figurative work… I’m talking about tapping into that which is noble in man, that which embodies the Tao, and expresses that… not just an intellectual (illusory) fragment of who we are. Artists like Jim Nutt and Basquiat made art that looked wonderfully insane… yet it still adhered to certain “Rules of Nature.” It has an intellectual message, emotional impact, and intuitive electricity. Bottom line: the era of Intellectual Banality is over. Personally, from now on, I’m going to strive to make art that will hold up hundreds, even thousands of years from now. Why not?
The public is invited to a very special exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara where I will be staging an “Interactive Portrait Event.” A video camera will be running while you and I have an interactive, creative discussion about how I might do your portrait. I will take still photos of you, then after the event, I’ll be executing a number of Digitally Enhanced, Ultra-Contemporary, Photographic Fine Art Portraits. The event runs from 11am to 2pm this Friday, July 4 inside the main museum. Just show up, get creative, have fun, make history! And please invite your friends and families—children, parents, cousins… like I said, it’s going to be an “event.” GET MORE INFO on the museum website… http://www.mcasantabarbara.org/event/metrov
Art based solely on intellect is dead. It’s obvious to the viewer… all you have to do is look at it, or “experience” it (if there’s nothing to look at), and the result is that you feel “dead” inside… you feel nothing. Many of today’s most prominent art schools are teaching that art must be based solely on intellect. Unquestionably, this is folly… or better put, “obsolete.” Art must express—or better yet, balance—the three elements of Human Beingness: intellect, emotion, and intuition… like a juggling act. And the bigger the (juggling) balls, the more important the art. And we certainly can’t put art into words without undermining its integrity. We’ve explored the notions of “intellectual” art based on sociology and politics. Let’s move on. Let’s return to the deep… beyond illusion.
Just completed this first, large-scale, Mobile-Relief Portrait… “#2404 – Portrait of the Artist’s Wife as Sphinx Contemplating the Undimensionality of Polka Dots Scattered Amongst Anti-matter.” (2014); Acrylic & Oil Pastels on Archival Photograph and wood panels; approx 9′ X 8′