Friday, January 06, 2012

Love and anger @ the Painter's Keys

This recent topic in Robert Genn's Painters Keys came at just the right time for me.

"As yet Unbaptized"
I answered one of my own recent questions "why we do what we do" and they published my response to the article. I was tickled at the image the editors elected to use (my header is a detail from it) and mildly mortified at the title they gave the post (not mine I assure you) "What I did for Love". Jeez Bob. Thanks. I guess.

 Before the holidays I treated myself to a subscription to ART IN AMERICA magazine and after reading the first two issues I've been overwhelmed with the general tone of nihilism and anger that so much of the art conveys.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not looking for puppies, poppies and sunsets - I'm just repelled and bored by endless depictions of mutilations, gore, chaos, mayhem and horror. If I want more of that I'll turn to current pop crap-culture now infested with vampires, zombies and similar escapist nonsense.

All of these genres and their spawn illustrate my ongoing complaint with society in general- the abdication of personal responsibility for one's behavior. None of the heinous acts are anyone's fault because they are afflicted somehow and compelled to act the way they do because of the affliction. No one is responsible for their actions.

I'm convinced that none of the problems of our society will change until people own up to the fact that they constantly indulge their own slightest whims or desires without a thought for the consequences to themselves or anyone else. "I was high. I was drunk. I was a vampire. I was a zombie. I was from the Jersey Shore." Give me an effing break!

 It looks to me as if this magazine and the Art Machine in general is simply pandering to this segment of the population, a segment, I might add, that (despite current economic conditions) seems to be able to indulge in those whims to the tune of thousands of dollars for art that I would bury in someone else's back yard in the dark while wearing a string of garlic.

I can only hope my attitude forever keeps me from being "mainstream" because the mainstream is a polluted sewer.

Ahhh. Feel better?       I do.



jude said...

me too

Mandi said...

I totally agree.

saraz said...


Anonymous said...


i guess i'm proud of people who make what has meaning for them, but if all any artist does is pander to popularity i cease to enjoy it.

i don't read magazines and for the most part have learned to balance myself i avoid input from too many sources. i don't go searching for stuff that will make me angry or frustrated.

i find inspiration in reading and absorbing information about topics other then art particularly drawn to science, history, and anthropology.

Jeannie said...

Well said!

Sherrie Spangler said...

I totally agree. There's so much to celebrate, why would anyone want to wallow in ugliness? Being edgily ugly doesn't make you an artist, IMO.

tiedyejudy said...

Girlfriend! You just tapped into my soul! We are of the same generation, and I think you got the same input I did from parents and grandparents, re: accountability and responsibility! I'm normally a pretty sunny, positive individual, but my mantra of late (under my breath, mostly) is GET OVER IT! As for what art conveys, I have never felt the need to 'make a statement' with my art. I'll just come out and say it if I need to get something off my chest, rather than pollute the eye with ugliness. Rant, Rave!!!
Sorry... you got me started!

Bookhandler said...

We went to the movies last night, and the trailers that were supposed to entice us to return another day and see another show were so repugnant and depressing, I had similar thoughts to your blog today. They were visually dark and jagged, and the themes were all destruction and doom represented in more ways than I thought were possible. I think people creating art in any form have a great opportunity, as well as responsibility to leave their audience a little bit better than they were, whether it's just lifting their heart for a second, or getting them to think more productively.

Anonymous said...

sorry the magazine 'treat' has not panned out as it should have... Your image of burying a gross piece of art with a string of garlic is precious@!

MulticoloredPieces said...

Excellent and Bravo! At the same time, I think artists must address some of the serious issues surrounding them. Social conscience, or just conscience, seems to have been anesthetized while the "main stream" contemplates its navel. I agree, we need to take responsibility.
Thanks for a great post.
best from Tunisia,