Friday, November 21, 2014

The Holy Church of Art: Sermonettte #6

Brothers and sisters in art, the role of prophet takes courage. To be a voice for art in the vast desert of lame, lazy and bland images is an important calling. But it is not for the faint of heart. The people have seduced by slick bombastics, eye candy, spectacle and cheap visual tricks. Yet deep down they yearn for the insights into the human condition that only true art can bring.

If you are called to be that prophet, be that prophet. Be the prophet that educates, be the patient prophet, be the prophet that perseveres. The saints of the history of art and their stories will sustain you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #5

Brothers and sister in art, we are called not only to make art, but also to make art meaningful to others. We must leave our studios, go out into the streets and be evangelists for art. We must expose the false prophets like Thomas Kinkade. We must show the masses that true art exists beyond the walls of McDonald's and Motel 6.

We must be the bringers of the good news, the powerful news, the beautiful news, the challenging news, the sublime news of the art we were called to make and to make present to others.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Intimacy and social media

Communication screen to screen. The text messages and the images of the person. But not the person. Not the body language. Not the eye contact. Not the nuance of the words. For all that social media brings, is it not communication backed up by intimacy.

It is the same with the art image. We get used to the image as it is marketing, decoration in print and electronic media, a life on the screen of google images. Scale, texture, mark-making, nuance, fine detail--all the intimacy of the piece and the individuality of the artist are lost.

Does the image on the screen entice the viewer to go see the piece in person? Purchase the piece, intimacy unseen? Has the originality been co-opted as a primary value in favor of wider visibility? Is art history the history of the reproduction or the history of the art?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #4

Brothers and sisters in art, art is our religion. We worship at the altar of art. Like other religions, we welcome others with the gift of bread and wine. But for us, this gift of bread and wine is not a sacrament, it is an enticement. It is a distraction. It is the very thing that keeps them from the art. A token "good job" or "nice work" and it's off to drink alcohol and gossip, token attention paid.

What is the feast that brings them to the altar. It must be the art. The art itself. That is where the sacrament is.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The art attack

Art attacks us and then settles it in us in different ways:

As a hobby

As a career

As a profession

As a lifestyle

As a calling.

Each comes with its own demands, expectations and rewards. And any one can morph into any other.

Contemporary art in a nutshell

My 6-year-old granddaughter asked me this about the show I had just put together:
"Is it going to be boring or is it going to be pretty?"

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #3

Brothers and sisters in art, rejoice in whatever piece of the world you are given to explore. For in each piece of the universe there is a universe. With alert attention you will find there the challenge, the confusion, the enlightenment, the confusion, the mirror to self, the confusion, the message. So search with commitment, courage and generosity. Trust yourself. Be open to others and for others.