Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Art of the Blog

September 24

I was going to spend this post talking about the good things that happened on the blog all week long, and mention my favorite blogpost of the week, but the interesting comment from a new reader who calls himself Hurdit Herefirst -- and apparently has been reading the blog for months, and apparently loves those clever aliases -- prompts a side trip deeper into the world of art.

(I disagree with Robin, by the way, in her characterization of Ashton Kutcher as an actor "wannabe." The man has been a television star since 1998, and a movie star since 2004 with The Butterfly Effect and a personal fave of mine called Win a Date with Tad Hamilton. You may not like him, but don't hold the fact that a hottie like Demi Moore is his wife against him. Rent Win a Date and you'll have a good time.)

The Warhol post stimulated a record number of comments on this blog. Most of you, with the exception of the Officious Oaf, take Warhol reasonably seriously, and the comments are a hoot to read. The Oaf may come another lifetime. For now he assures us his mind is made up and he needs no further information to enlighten him on the meaning or many facets of art.

Our real artist and expert in the field has gone on a trip to Italy, so he won't be following the blog for a couple of weeks. In lieu of fresh commentary from him, I'll quote from a comment he made last month about Jackson Pollack and other artists. (Another wee side trip, Hurdit: The Pollack film is excellent, Hurdit; I recommend it. Ed Harris is another favorite actor of mine.)

John "Sweden" wrote this when an inspired commenter described how viewing Pollack's original work in a NYC museum literally set her dancing about the room. I imagine the reason that you as a dancer would get such feelings from Pollack’s work is that Pollack probably more than more than another painter was engaged in dancing. His works are pure unadulterated rhythms of movement.

He used a very sophisticated editing technique that allowed the works to develop as direct statements. Picasso used it and it is one of the reason’s he was so prolific as artist across virtually all mediums throughout his life. Picasso pointed out at one point in discussing art, “that you don’t have art until you have a mistake” Now there are two directions to take when editing the mistake and this is what begins to separate the painter from the artist.

One is, you actually remove the mistake either by painting over, erasing, starting over or pure destruction. (There’s a wonderful story involving Georgia O’Keefe painting and men on last method). This however invites issue and problem put forth by Mondrian as the principle of extension. Where your progress as an artist, because your are constantly revising by essentially starting over, tends to horizontal out and makes it hard to advance beyond the level of perceived mistakes. This also leads a kind of end editing that you described where one paints ten paintings, because he has to, and then chooses one that best represents what the painter believes rises to level of his art.

The other is much more advanced and it takes and develops a real a confidence in one’s self and their artistic process. Here the so-called mistake is incorporated in the work. You the edit its effects by creating competing elements, using the process you can literally make things disappear. In this fashion you create mange a set dynamic tension between intentional and unintentional elements that gives a life and depth to the work beyond the artist’s intent. Because of its intense focusing ability you do not need do so many to achieve a continous set of quality pieces leading beyond the forward edge of your art.

Here’s the genius of Pollack. By separating the brush from the canvas he creates a space of uncertainty between intention and results. So you feel the force of the control(the stroke) in chaos (the drip), which heightens the feeling motion and rhythm. This is actually the ultimate solution in terms of Not only Picasso’s mistake principle but also to the paradigm laid out by Duchamp that “once you conceive of it, it is already done” It’s the drip part that keeps the results of intention action from being conceived in advance (in essence a mistake unintended consequence). In terms of negation requirement he is the only artist to effectively challenge the paradigm of Reinhart’s “Black Squares”. He does this by creating an overall monotone of small intentions negated in the tension with chaos in which the individually of the artist is dissipated. Hence the often criticism in both cases by the viewer “that anyone can do this”. Reinhart’s answer to that observation was “Yes; but that would be their black squares.”

We’ll cover Van Gogh another day. I will say that your perception of his painting and editing process is not supported by the facts. I will however end with a quote from Vincent, my very personal muse on almost every level.

“I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”

Very nice to think about on a dull Sunday. But back to my original intent with this post, which as I said earlier is to review some of the week's posts and name my favorite. You're obviously not going to agree with this, because it fell flatter than a pancake. It was the post about La Rochefoucauld. I loved looking him up (in the encyclopedia) relating what I learned, and in the magic html that would link the reader to more information. Far as I know, nobody but John Sweden used the link, but that's not going to stop me from practicing my new html skills in the future. In case you didn't know how to use it, just put your mouse on any word that's highlighted in a blog (or in a name in the comment section that's highlighted) and your magic machine will take you where the writer wants you to go.

Try it -- it might inform you of many things. There are two such links on the Warhol post, and they will be sprinkled on this blog whenever I need them in the future.


Anonymous said...

I've seen monkey art, elephant art dog art, and the art of an honorary Blueman Group signiature. I have also seen Pollock art. Blog art, too, encourages the embellishment of an apparent accident turned into something to talk about. There could be windshiield art, mud hole art, eave art, sea gull art, parking space art, napkin art, baby bib art and on and on. What makes common spatter, splatter, splash, and spill "accidents" any less art than those high dollar pieces? If you can get people to read something into the accident, they might buy it as art. So, the real expression of art here is to get money and fame for nothing. The Oaf is an artist too.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Infuriating, isn't it. The idea of art being pretty has gone down the tubes. This should be news to no one, but the ideas that come to us after contemplating art are worth the effort of opening our minds a bit. Sure, much of the absurdist art we see will not appeal to everyone, and the commercial nature of art (which exists not only in art, as a matter of fact) may be irritating. Personally I get angry when I read how much money baseball players make, but most people don't. That art is occasionally no more than a stunt is hardly a surprise in today's world.

Warhol was one of the first to champion that very attitude. But make no mistake, that wasn't all he did.

Robin said...

To each his or her own, I think Dimi Moore is a hottie and Ashton Krutcher is a no win-win, but that's only my opinion.

"What constitutes art?" Within a single culture there may be considerable agreement
over what constitutes art, and in that case we can also
reasonably talk about a cultural definition; since it's a
sort of average of many individual definitions, it's likely
to be fuzzier around the edges. It's also likely to be
narrower than the sum total of what various members of the
culture consider art, though it will doubtless also include
works that some members of the culture would not include. I read some about what makes art last night on the internet, not everyone agrees. Graffiti is also art, only it's free to the public.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Your comment about graffiti reminds me, Robin, that my daughter used to hang out with Jean Basquiat when she was a teenager in New York City. He drew a sketch of my brother on a bar napkin. Wonder what that would be worth if art is all about money? It's an interesting likeness -- an interpretation of the wild actor as a raging lion...

Benedict S. said...

Art is anything someone other than the artist calls art. The more "someone others" there are the "better" the art. or so it seems.

Finding Fair Hope said...

How about this definition: Art is what I say it is.

Benedict S. said...

Miss FF: "How about this definition: Art is what I say it is." That works for me.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Yayyy! We agree! Art is what I say it is. There's your definition, World. Now we can lay the matter to rest. If the discussion arises, just say, "Art is what I say it is."