Monthly Archives: July 2014

Today’s Thoughts About Art

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?

pieta-michelangelo-1498-age-23-Vatican

Metrov Event at Museum of Contemporary Art

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

Selfie 2014

Selfie 2014

Today’s Thoughts About “Art”

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.

"#2547 – She Dreamt She was a Matador.” (2014); Acrylic & Oil Pastels on Archival Photograph; approx 30" X 40"

“#2547 – She Dreamt She was a Matador.” (2014); Acrylic & Oil Pastels on Archival Photograph; approx 30″ X 40”

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