Monday, September 19, 2011

Great Article at Web Urbanist on Cardboard Sculptors

Ann Weber
Junior Fritz Jacquet

What is Art? Who is Art?


Student of The Arts
The Question: What is Art? Can—with sleight of hand become: Who is Art? Thus:
Response: Art is Elusive. He (Arthur)/She (Artemis) was last seen slipping out of a drugstore on Main, in Wichita, Kansas (in steam). Why steam? Because I love the words: Wichita, Kansas, in steam, put together. Art might just have well have been in a movie house in Karachi, or in downtown Bayreuth, or Plonksville, or Dinkly, in the Silly Isles. It doesn’t matter. The point is Art was spotted, briefly, but then Art managed to slip away into the darkness of the night, into the cold waters beneath the Verrazano Bridge, down a wooded slope not far from Orleans, not far from that splendid little gem of a museum that has a huge collection of that somewhat neglected artist, Gaudier Brzeska, who died way to young, thanks to the First World War, which only makes you wonder at the love, the joys, the magic, the wonders, the heart, the vision, the images and things that might have been had it not been for the many wars and famines since.

So who is Art and why won’t he or she stay? What are they afraid of? Do they run from the abuse and neglect, derision, indifference of a callous world bent on its own destruction? We need Art now more than ever to settle disputes, and bang sense into the heads of the politicians, the financiers, the bankers and diplomats, lobbyists and pharmaceutical salesmen, the doctors who reap the speaker’s fees, the realtors who forget who they are supposed to be working for. Oh the list is endless. Art must show some backbone and dig in and stare out the sullen aspect of this traumatized planet. Art must take a knife and cut out the poison. Art needs courage now. Art needs your help.

We know this much: Art is elusive, and possibly lost. Only with your help can Art’s role be written.

Answer this:

What is Art?
Who is Art?
Where is Art?
When is Art?
Is Art substantial? Can Art be bought? Was Art ever essential? Did Art change you? Are you mad at Art? Do you have a bone to pick with Art? Is Art the paper he is sketched on? Is Art the dress she wears? Does Art play sports? Does Art cook? Is Art purely subjective? Or is Art flesh and bone?



Henri Gaudier Brzeska

An Associate of the U.R.G. Appears Before A Senate Subcommittee


Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Ain't Rocket Science


REACTIONS 9.11.11



In brutal fashion the curtain was pulled back on this day ten years ago on a financial system built on sand, a system that has been sinking, floundering, ever since. A screaming child rained fire and brimstone down on New York and the horror that had always been kept out of our back yard (a massive form of NIMBYism) was brought home. The other World, the world of the humane and empathic, reached out to New York, and by extension, to America. The moment was great, and then the moment was squandered. Patriotism took the form of an angry, petulant child that refused to turn the other cheek, or consider the reasons that might (repeat might) lie behind the actions perpetrated on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. To say such actions can in any way be justified is not possible. They were as wrong as wrong can ever be. But the inarticulate frustration of half the planet lay behind the action. The time was ripe for reflection. Instead the government of George Bush chose to rain down fire and brimstone back...”back at you!” From a professed born again Christian this was ripe, Pregnant with petulant hypocrisy the Nation had started down a road that was all about protecting the wealth of the few against the rage of the many. We are still being force marched down that path by a Republican party bent on squeezing every penny it can from social programs whilst refusing to condone any tax increases on the rich.

On this day we should remember all who died on this date and all—thousands upon thousands—who have died since. The dogs of war were unleashed in the aftermath of 9/11 and the people of the US have been urged—not to think or feel, contemplate or reflect on all that has gone down—but to keep spending, to buy, to acquire and consume until there is nothing left.

My response on that day was to take my too young son to an overlook in my town in New Jersey and watch the burning towers on the not too distant horizon line of New York City. Later in the day I’d see ash covered commuters exciting the train, making calls from phone booths. This began to bring home the magnitude of what had happened. From my remote perspective all was barely distinguishable from an action movie. That very morning the cable guy had just set us up. I was upstairs in my studio working on an illustration assignment when the radio went fuzzy. The cable guy called up to say he was done. He turned on the TV and the first thing we saw was a plane flying into the World Trade Center, and we both stood there, our mouths open.

A few months later EXIT ART did a show called REACTIONS that was open to all. The comedians couldn’t laugh any more and the artists were struggling to find visual equivalence. These were my contributions. Small drawings and graphics. Attempts to grapple with so many conflicting thoughts and feelings. Anger. Retribution. Absurdity of Life. Sanctity of Life. Anger at all Religion carte blanche. Fury at Governments and politicians and armies sending simple children to fight their wars without question. My own sense of futility and impotence. The fragility of everything. The wonder of people wanting to help, reach out, touch and hold.

Pete Hamill , today, talking with Brian Lehrer on WNYC, articulates well many in that mixed bag of feelings from that time that continue to jostle from within.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Joy Boys

Sold this off the wall of my final show at Art School. Guy came in, said he had to have it, how much? I had no idea what to charge for my artwork and sold large acrylic on canvas (6 x 5 feet approx) for fifty quid. Never got his name. Above is only picture I have of it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Session 6: An Alternate Universe

Session 6: Begins 11:56AM, September 1st, 2011 (First day of the rest of our lives).

An Alternate Universe

“Back to transparency...”
Hmmm. I’m not sure I feel like revealing that much. I’m not sure I want to talk about this. I need some objectivity right now. Showing or hiding oneself, in my case through the art I perpetrate, is...both are inevitable. Something about opening oneself up completely to all the elements social and physical is certainly appealing. The image of being flayed open comes to mind. That way you’ll see everything that is, or was going on inside, because clearly self-flaying is not a good idea. Equally I love hiding behind masks, personas, alter ego constructions. Once manifested they become real. That’s the thing—a sort of be careful what you wish for situation, or a social media problem. Once you put it out there, it is out there. You let go. I’m a great believer in the body of work. By this I mean the crap drawing, the odd painting, the unusual comic, the sculpture you once did that was nothing like anything else you’ve made...they’re all part and parcel. It has to add up to something. I feel like I am constantly filling holes and each hole you fill puts a stress on the whole fabric that causes a breach elsewhere that also must be filled—life as a massive, rich if frayed quilt.
(PAUSE)
Mind if we call it a day?
“I have to charge you for the hour.”
Fine. I’ll sit here blankly.

Session ends: 12:11PM, September 1st, 2011.

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Doing Lines

Asemic writing