Tag Archives: Steampunk Novels

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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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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Currently In Production

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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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The Gita

My whole life I’ve fought to achieve goals only to discover, once achieved, they were not satisfying… at least not for long. In the last few years, I’ve heard this mantra from all corners of the Universe: “Take action, but the results are none of your business.” What?! I’ve been puzzling over this for so long. I then discovered that this admonition comes from the ancient Sanskrit song, the “Bhagavad Gita” which Mahatma Gandhi summarized as meaning… “Engage in the battle of life. Fight the good fight, but detach from the fruits of your labors.” Again! I agonized over this… how do you fight for something, but not care if you win or not?  At last I read Laurence Boldt’s masterpiece: ZEN AND THE ART OF MAKING A LIVING. He said something that finally allowed me to understand. Hence my own interpretation of the Gita: 

ACHIEVING GOALS IS MEANINGLESS AS THEY ARE MERELY ILLUSIONS. FIGHTING FOR THE GOALS IS EVERYTHING, AS GROWTH & ADVENTURE—THE SOUL’S PRIMARY AIMS— ARE IN THE NEVER-ENDING BATTLE.

It’s similar to another saying we’ve all heard: “It’s the journey, not the destination.” I think it’s finally sunk in. At least I hope it has. At last I feel an inner peace, and more at ease. I can have more fun in life, and not take anything too seriously. If I ever forget, someone please remind me.

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Today’s Thought

An artwork’s measure of beauty is not determined solely by it’s lines, shapes, colors, light, and shadow (or sound). Any “craftsman” can achieve that kind of superficial appeal. True beauty is measured by how deeply the work resonates with the collective unconsciousness. If the work expresses that which so many have buried in the psyche, but have denied, or refused to acknowledge because it’s so painful or politically incorrect or too uncomfortably blissful or deliciously erotic… or because it is simply invisible to the average viewer, then the work has profound beauty. Then the work does its job as art. Then the craftsman has transcended his craft and become an “artist.” Said beauty may not necessarily soothe nor be enjoyable at first… not for everyone… but it will ultimately lead to catharsis and healing once the viewer “allows” it. (I’ve met people who still don’t “get” Picasso.) True art will provoke, not just “decorate.” True art will stimulate expansion of mind.

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Today’s Thought

Art is the rendering of the Artist’s experience of Life; his contribution to the Great Puzzle. Just as the Universe will never be complete, it’s impossible to ever complete a work of art. At some point, it must be set free to simply be what it is… so that another may build off it.

the PROCESS

A lot of people have been asking me about my process for creating the New Work painting series. Here’s an example: on the left is the original photo I took of myself. On the right, the final mixed media painting, i.e. photograph combined with oil pastels and acrylic paint. I’ll be posting a video of actually executing a painting soon. Thanks for asking!

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