Meet Metrov 2014

Learn more about Metrov—the man, the artist—in this brief introductory video.

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?

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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”

The First in New Series

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′

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Higher Selfie: The Artist As Chinese God

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Rules

There are “rules” governing art whether they are enforced or not (and they rarely are anymore except by Time itself). The problem is, these rules can’t really be discussed or written down. An artist will know them intuitively. That’s all that can be said. You either understand them, or you don’t. The thing that is totally unacceptable is when unscrupulous dealers peddle watered-down, bromidic, endlessly derivative “craft” as High Art to uneducated “collectors.” A legitimate collector will thoroughly educate himself on the subject of Art History, learn the rules, and not simply depend on the “advice” of a gallerist. Collectors will be Art’s salvation… or Its downfall.

The Weeping Woman -- Picasso

The Weeping Woman — Picasso

Currently In Production

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Disabled… ?

The other day I came across a postcard for an art gallery featuring a painting that made me think, “Gosh, that’s sort of like what I’m doing. Maybe they would want to show my work.” Then upon reading the fine print, I saw that the gallery specializes in paintings by Developmentally Disabled children. (hmmm)

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Thoughts About Automatic Expressionism

I’ve often thought, “What am I saying?” “What are these new paintings about?” Seems I’m always getting more answers, so I’ll just start logging them. Here are a few recent ones:

1 — The paintings suggest our human efforts are clumsy compared to Nature’s…

2 — They are an expression of politically incorrect emotions…

3 — They express the unspoken Anguish of Humanity…

4 — They are vestiges of my still-suffering inner child…

5 — They are glimpses of my own repressed angst…

6 — They prove that beneath my thin facade of normalcy, I am quite mad… ?

7 — They hint that we all live with deeply repressed terror knowing we are essentially some kind of microbes clinging to a very small chunk of stone hurtling through the cosmos at dizzying speeds toward a completely unknown destination… quite possibly even on our way directly into the Black Hole that resides at the center of our Galaxy…

8 — They suggest that most humans are dehumanized (zombified?) as a result of their unwitting immersion in today’s media-deluged, material world/market society… or perhaps more to the point, we are not quite totally human anymore…

9 — I have the emotional maturity of a three-year-old…

10 — I am hypersensitive to all the challenges facing Humankind today…

11 — I am simply trying to balance extremes as I am a Hopeless Control Freak…

12 — Maybe they say to the viewer… be free… let it all out… release all that repressed anxiety… and howl to the bloody moon.

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