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October, 2009

Slave to Paint Part II

October 31st, 2009

"Modern Houses", oil on linen, 46cm x 36cm, 2009
"Modern Houses", oil on linen, 46cm x 36cm, 2009

The other day my wife read on FriendFeed that “a society without a stable arts base is a parking lot”. I do not know who it was that said that but they nailed it. I began writing this blog (first article posted originally in April 2007) with this essential core thought. I mean what in the hell are we thinking of. Art is today exactly whatever you want it to be from a pile of rocks, a dead cat, to you name it, n’importe quoi.

Many art pundits tell us that Marcel Duchamp is responsible for this state of affairs. They imply that exhibiting a urinal and signing it “R. Mutt” started this slide to nothingness. What utterly simplistic bullshit. Having said that, understanding what has gone on over the last couple of hundred years with European Culture is not easy. I do not by any means consider myself an intellectual but I am a thinker with good intuitive instincts. It has literally taken me at least 50 years of continual reading and pondering to just begin getting my mental teeth on the problem. This blog is an attempt at clarification. For these fifty years I have been a slave to this pursuit: paint is the symbolic medium and writing an exercise in understanding.

Interestingly, the interest as measured by traffic to this site is significantly weighted to French readership. The English visits are very low. Reading anything from this is difficult at best. (For one thing I live in France). However, I am very thankful to have a strong French following. Having said that, my purpose in writing is not strong reader following. I am attempting to learn how to talk about things I am beginning to recognize as important. Understanding seems to be the name of the game. Making money and fame have never been the goal of honest painters.

Published in french as Esclave de la peinture Partie II

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