Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Art and Reading, 13 Things?

Christmas Evening by Thomas Kinkade.
Some people feel Kinkade's work is inspiring some insipid...but whether we like his work or not isn't important to the fact that his immense popularity is due to his audience wanting tangible images in hyper-aesthetic landscapes harkening a lightfilled pastoral Arcadia unlike America with it's homeless, drug users, motorcycles, crime, traffic, skyscrapers or disenfranchised or morphed defintion of families. There are no drive by shootings in Kinkades light of Jesus paintings. There is hope in the nature setting.
Balloon Flower by Jeff Koons.
I happen to like Jeff Koons a fair bit. I've been aquainted with both the man and his work since his early career. But my feelings about Koons body of work are also not relevant to them as examples of mass appeal art. When someone buys either Koons or Kinkade they not buying art that is made by either artist yet they are buying work that inspires peak experiences. In person Kinkades work is quite surprising...it is a print available to the public that has light sensitive acrylic "points" applied in a factory over top the base image. Often these "paintings" are displayed and sold with an accompanying light that makes the added acrylic features kind of "glow".

I understand the popularity of Kinkade, I only wish when a family put out a few hundred bucks for his work...they were taking home an actual painting. Right now that same family could go to eBay and buy very inspiring original art by searching for "outsider art" and finding all sorts of pieces for less than a hundred dollars! Or that family could go to a local art opening and buy art for about half the price of a Kinkade.

BUT...for decades artists and writers have been making work in general that doesn't have any belief or respect for the human figure...for the human in nature or the idea that art is transcendental and should be measured by it's quality to inspire a peak experience...so what we have seen for decades (actually especially since late Renaissance) progressively in literature and art is a move away from the transcendental...

Yes, the magic quality of standing next to a Jeff Koons giant "balloon" figure or the comfort and emotional reassurance in a peak experience of a Kinkade painting is what the mass American populace is actually craving.

McCarthy's Blood Meridian presents the human figure in a hyper-aesthetic colorful referenced world, where violence is associated with the body...where we feel transcendance in it's manner and style as we read. Blood Meridian was largely ignored because it was transcendant in a materialistically obsessed society. Since it's publication critics have deconstructed the novel as a political exploration of socialism, as a religious quest, or cautionary tale among many other disciplines for interpretation.

We had seen an absence of novels written in the context of the human figure in landscape for decades...and the genre is often shrugged off as "mans mans" writing...yet the mass appeal of Jon Krakauer's non-fiction Into Thin Air defies the smothering effects of religion and science to banish the transcendental with intellectual explainations for "peak experiences".

Religion insists on divinity and science insists on analytical logic: both of which is death to literature and art.

We have convinced ourselves that professors can explain literature and that critics can appraise it...in order for it to have meaning in our economy...

...when in actuality the value of literature and art lies in it's capacity to transcend intellect and offer the illogical and priceless LIFE AFFIRMING peak experience natural to all humans and imperative to survival.

When will more than a handful of artists and writers start to make transcendental work inspiring a peak experience again?







18 comments:

Nancy said...

You are one deep thinker....

I get what you are saying though....

I wonder if the work you are talking about takes too much effort for the masses to appreciate. It is much easier to look at a pretty painting and not "think" about it. And, the fact that they have the marketing thing down. If you tell people something is good or right, you know they will believe it.

Have you seen my pretty pictures? 525600minutes.net

Blessings.

Matthew Didier said...

Guess who's Thursday Thirteening now?

Great list... Very goodly stuff to look at AND read!

Damozel said...

You might like Umberto Eco's "Foucault's Pendulum" (if you haven't already read it, as perhaps you have). It deals specifically with gnosticism as well as many other esoteric issues and with many themes "The Da Vinci Code" WISHED it could address with such subtlety and finesse.

In the field of art, I am particularly fond of the "Nabis", particularly Bonnivard and Vuillard, whose work has some of the transcendance you mention...as does in my opinion, Edward Hopper's.

Ed said...

Great List. You really got me hinking.

Ed
http://edsthread.co.nr

Lori said...

Awesome list and I love the pics!! Happy TT.

Wylie Kinson said...

Candy Minx, you once again floor me with your intellect.
I'm speechless except to say:
NOT a Kinkade fan.
;D

Joy Renee said...

You've mentioned David Lynch here before. Do you consider his work transcendental? I ask because I confessed in yesterday's post that my story world was strongly influenced by my exposure to Twin Peaks. which i believe elicited a peak experience for me.

and what about magical realism? as i'm strongly attracted to it too.

I think 'peak experience' would define what happens to me when I immerse in my story world(s). I'm often frustrated at my inability to translate the glowing, otherworldly, multifaceted dreamlike experience of the story from my mind to the page. and it is so hard staying connected to this world when i'm immersed in my storyworld.

my tt is 13 musicians whose music I compose my stories to. it is a companion piece to yesterday's post.

Christine d'Abo said...

Wow Candy. Once again I'm totally floored by your view on art and how the public views it.

I love Jeff Koons balloon flowers. There is something about that image that is comforting and exciting at the same time. I love it!

Tink said...

A very inspiring TT! Like you, I have a wide range of art that interests me. Jeff Koons and Van Gogh are not much alike, but I like both!
Thanks for visiting my full moon TT!

Candy Minx said...

Nancy, hi...well I wouldn't say I am a deep thinker although I love your compliment. There was a time...when a person studied art, writing or music and these topics were common. What has happened is that people now talk about agendas with art and reading rather than the feelings they ahve about such. It used to be apprenticeship practice in the arts with a focus on the spiritual aspects of work.

Hey Matthew I'll be over ina few minutes to check out your TT list, good news.

Damozel, yes, I did read Foucaults Pendulum...and lent it to my pal Mister Anchovy...I've been thinking about re-reading it. I also read Da Vinci Code...but out of those two I would prefer The Crying of Lot 49, by Pynchon. I also love Edward Hopper and would agree with you that he aims for transcendence in his work...I love Vuilliard too...in fact a couple weeks ago was enjoying one of his paintings in the gallery in Toledo!

Hi Ed, thanks for stopping by I liked your "freeware list" for TT...and it got me thinking too as I don't use any of the programs you listed...

Thanks Lori, glad you like the art work, it's fun to compare different styles I think...

Candy Minx said...

Wylie, I know you are super busy so it means a lot to me that you dropped by to say hi. Oh like I said to Nancy...I am trained in classical art...it was a common perspective to acknowledge the transcendental in art. It is only in a money based culture that art needs to be politicized and appraised. Kinkade is challenging that is for sure and well...I wish that the public was really buying a painting when they spent so much on his work, that's my gripe with him. BUT he sure knew what the people in America were looking for, pretty impressive...

Joy...Lynch is absolutely involved in seeking the transcendental...he is also involved in meditationa nd has quoted esoteric spiritual koans as paths to see his work. I find when I am watching his movies I am over whelmed by feelings and peak experiences...one after another. I lov him because he is ultimately an independant film maker who has Hollywoods attention. He is sublime! Yes, magic realism is a fantastic example of the trnscendental in literature, I am a fan. Well, I believe when many writers, by the sound of yit you...and artists are working from subconscious and intuitive areas of the spirit and mind...therefore it is not unusual for an artist to step back from their work and begin to hear it speak to them as if they didn't make it themselves! I also believe that the act of making art and writing is also "work" and sometimes an agitaged and emotioanlly ambiguous state is a place to work from too...because the nature of alternative realities, other places/dimensions is a bizarre way to also be working in this world. (now how flaky do I sound...but I totally believe in this)

Christine, if you ever get a chance to see Koons work in person, I hope you take it...he cans eem superficial and aloof sometimes...but there really is a magical experience in the encounter of much of his work...plus he is damn funny in his work too.

Tink, well I think it's amazing fun to surrender to looking at art and to reading. All varieties of styles. I love to just let go and hope for a mystery to appear and work on my soul. I think that there is a huge corelation to paganism and the roots of our rituals with art and story telling...and the magic objects excite us by remeinding us of something old or "other" and yet familiar and natural.

Starrlight said...

Lovley Icon =)

FOUR DINNERS said...

wha? wha? wha?

yer blog. Is it me or has some'at changed here?.....

Oh allright it's Alzheimers...

Do I care? I make knew friends every day....

mister anchovy said...

wow, swanky new template!!

Karen said...

Hey...a new look! I love it!

Candy Minx said...

Hi Starlight! I love Byzantine art...isn't it gorgeous and mysterious?

4Dins, Mr A and Karen, hi...glad you like the new look...I love how small the text is...it's looks like major housework was done around here and I have to thank Goofy Girl for making the place look so sweet.

http://design.goofygirl.org/

* (asterisk) said...

Whoa, look at you with your snazzy new template... Like it.

Gardenia said...

I like Thomas Kincaid - in small doses. Some people criticize him for many reasons - but I like what you had to say, he has created a world.