Can art be sold?

February 16th, 2014

Date: February 7 2014 Auteur: jean paul galibert
Reblog from the Jean Paul Galibert’s website (not available anymore)

As Aristotle was saying, If there exists a pleasure for the eyes which is truly human then to whom does it belong ? Could it even be a object for ownership? Or is it by nature shared and free ? and not subjected to ownership as a human is? In fact is the trade of a work of art more lawful than the trade of a human? Can we have an art market without a double falsification as obscene and dangerous for art and likewise for humanity? As soon as art is a merchandise, it becomes a privilege for the wealthy. It becomes their adornment and very quickly the more apparent justification for their domination. Pomp, lustre, glamour, insane spending, magnanimity without moderation — all the men of power have wanted to make art evidence of their power. All the great leaders have taken from art the elegance of its appearance; the memory of its exploits, the height of its ambitions? Where is the overwhelmingly wealthy who has known how to be content with their possessions without asking for the image, the melody, the spectacle of its riches? If art is private then everybody is deprived.

Sense out of Madness: Finding the Content

April 30th, 2012

On this blog at one point I seemed to be developing a bit of following. Then I posted an article about content in painting. Okay. Even I did not understand it. But I knew it was important. Here is the thing, even in this technological world our culture continues to be permeated with the Romantic Spirit. And the left hand literally does not know what the right is doing. The clever ones raise one hand and shout “Watch this hand.” And so it goes.

Self appointed authorities write about content. Some go a little further and write about the artist’s technique. The result is for the most part convoluted mass confusion. Art is a part of life as is cooking, kitchen design, how we dress, how we make love, and so on. I might add also that once upon a time it was a part of political choices that we made.

Coincidentally, in today’s Modern World the artist is not left with the time to be a “good” (i.e. perfect the craft) artist as well as have a modicum of influence. N’importe quoi !

French version:

Being a Painter/Photographer

February 2nd, 2012

For 50 years I’ve split my efforts between painting and photography. Looking at the history of photography we could argue that it ushered in the impressionists. They were much aware of photography. Degas took photographs. Their first exhibition was in Nadar’s Studio. And so on … Almost all of these painters had a direct involvement with photography. Going back in history a little, we know that Courbet on occasion worked from photographs. So the questions of questions:

Why, today, do we continue to insist that they remain separated?

In our supposedly advanced civilization can we not have a recognition of a visual artist who does it all?

I vividly remember, a few years after I was in France, a encounter with a woman. I was on a stroll with my camera. This woman wanted to know if I was not the painter. Upon acknowledgement that I was she verbally attacked me for taking photographs. Duh. I mention France, but this mode of thinking had already been presented to me in the U.S. Yet, today, we are being led into an appreciation of photo-realistic painting. To me, this is a banal form of painting that sacrifices the visual presentation of light as we see it. Not photographically. As we SEE it. Not as a mechanical analogue/digital tool record it. And here is where we fail to appreciate the difference. It is not particularly subtle.

Photography and painting are two sides of the same coin. Bottom line, they are both direct links to understanding perception.

On a lighter note, we are experiencing change at an unprecedented speed. All roads lead to Rome. And of course, the Greeks. As we evolve as a social group, human beings are perched on the edge of their next stage of evolution. Bring it on.

French version: Être peintre et photographe

Painting & Photography Part II

November 28th, 2011

Some time ago I wrote about whether a person could be both a painter as well as a photographer. Since then, house hunting all over France, moving, remodelling, organizing and so forth. It was a long break from my normal contemplative routine. After some months of being back to my path I had a big insight. Somewhere along the line I had fundamentally and radically changed my work, art, and my physical health.

I am of the opinion that today art is the point where our most pressing issues and questions converge. This suggests something other than business as usual. Needless to say, not only are a large number of painters, photographers, graphic artists and so on struggling and suffering. This is also the case with a large number of fellow human beings on the planet.

We all come to our work with a mind that has been formed over millennia. That this mind is leading us in a dangerous direction is now beyond dispute. We have a glitch in the software. You are certainly entitled to think otherwise. And if the case I can only suggest that you open your mind to that possibility. What follows is speculation as to how a mind freed from the shackles of the past would approach creative work.

This is complicated by what Wyndham Lewis termed “The Demon of Progress in the Arts” published in 1955. Wyndham Lewis may be a bit strident for some. However, if you can manage to find a copy it is an interesting take by a person who was in the thick of the art world for more than half of a century.

I’ve read much of what Wyndham wrote during his long prolific life. Having been in the trenches of World War I he was passionately concerned with humanity. For those of you familiar with Saul Bellow, he was a staunch follower of Lewis.

In any case here is the thing, it seems logical to read what the experts have had to say. And some of it is interesting to read. There are a lot of good ideas to be found. At the end of the day, however, they remain just that — ideas. A long time ago it occurred to me that if ideas and good intentions could lead to the solutions for our problems we would already have arrived. The same scenario has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. It seems that we took a wrong turn early on in our evolution. It seems neither economically feasible nor rational to continue in our same old rut.

I was a member of the Beat Generation of the 5O’s. Watching and participating in the flowering of the ideas of Peace and Love which followed left me following a personal path. The hope of communicating insights gleaned has sustained me since. It deeply saddens me to think about the world we are leaving to our young. All with the best of intentions, right? Those of us who have had the good fortune to avoid the 8 to 5 grind and engage our minds freely and fully have a special obligation. To remain fixed in old fixed patterns is not an option. Many of us are intelligent, well educated, well read, and clever enough to have stepped outside of the zeitgeist. It hasn’t been enough. We only moved slightly, maybe a few feet. All of our old solutions have not worked. They are all based on a mind that at its core can only generate thoughts, ideas, and so on based on the dead past and an imagined future. If we stop doing that something miraculous happens. It is really quite simple but far from easy. Most would say it is not possible. Well, I for one say that it is. Think about this, if it were not possible then Life on planet Earth is a very cruel joke.

What has all this to do with painting and photography you ask? Well, what I’m hinting at is closely connected with perception. I am an old bird and if I can profoundly change my health and my mind I am sure others are doing the same.

Published in french as Peinture et photographie : Deuxième partie