I was nursed on very traditional art. The reproductions of paintings that hung at school or in my home were of renaissance or impressionist period works. I probably came alive to all possibilities when I visited the Modern in New York city. I viewed Guernica and felt the pain and revulsion felt by Picasso. How else can an artist interpret the brutality and darkness of war?
Then as a high school student I had an assignment to study Mondrian. The Modern Museum of Art was my first introduction to modern art and all its variations. It was Mondrian that made me understand how an artist can begin at point A and transcend to point Z.
The Adirondack region is blessed with many good juried shows of art and organizations willing to take the time to show art. I have watched over the years the movement and growth of many friends, and of people I've yet to meet.
I've watched others remain stationary and explore over and over again the same movements. I am not being critical, this is an observation. I for several years remained stationary in my work until I just couldn't do it anymore.
I searched my world for my true direction, I knew time would give to me an answer. I can see the subtle changes beginning to take place, I just need to be bolder, I need to take bigger bites of my art.
I encourage everyone now, to eat their art, and the art of all they see. Be bold enough to speak up about your art and the art you see. Perhaps through boldness you will be taught and learn something new. Surely you won't learn anything being passive.
Open the door to the eatery.
Now I raise the question. What is art? For me it is work being done with the passion of life behind it, so that it could be practically anything. The compelling force that urges one, is the motivating force behind the passion of creativity.
Let the eating begin.
I believe we can find artists well beyond a normal interpretation of the word. I believe that anyone can take their job or hobby to a vibration that can be considered art.
In such a context we then have many artists roaming about doing their thing, without really realizing they are artists, or that their thoughts and deeds are creating art.
Although there is a strong network among some art groups, councils and individual cells of artists, there ought to be a militia of artists to undertake the true harvesting of this regions art needs.
When Wal-Mart came to Placid with their hideous plans for destruction of the beauty of our Adirondacks, a cell of artists came forward. Not only did they beat back the attack but its left that community with a renewed energy to have a future plan for the growth of their town.
Hopefully other towns nearby might heed their call and see the need in their towns as well.
They are a powerful group that came forward in that instance. The arts in our region, in itself is a powerful force.
The arts are an important part of our tourism here.
And tourism brings jobs and 5 million dollars in sales tax to Essex County alone.
I touched on this with my last observation, and now I think I have refined my vision.
I can see a day when once again a town, a scenic vista, a river, a cliff will be endangered. I can see every living, breathing, eating artist rising up and as a force to be reckoned with defeat those who would want to pillage the beauty and the art of this region.
I can see a day when even before the militia would have to react, there will already be in place defenses that will prohibit the destruction of our art.
Wherever artists gather it should be on our minds that we live in a special place during a special time. That we can shape the future with our deeds, thoughts and actions. That not only has the history of the world shaped art, but that art too has shaped the history of the world.
Wherever artists gather it should be on our plate before us, within reach of our eating irons, ready to slice and ingest.
The sooner we eat, the sooner we can have a movement of the militia, and a victory for beauty and art in the Adirondacks.
I was reading an art magazine recently and was shot through my heart with despair. For there were lithographs of a inspirational artist of mine being offered for sale, as reproductions from the original gouache.
This artist is long dead and I wonder if he would approve of his original work being bought, reproduced (even in a fine art printmaking method such as lithography) and having a gallery owner somewhere making huge sums of money from ridiculously high numbered editions?
I've seen this many times before, with doodles from a deceased rock star being turned into lithos and signed by his wife. In another degree this is done by every museum in the world, when they take their collections, reproduce them and sell them in their museum stores, with the framing costing three times more than the reproduction.
This is absurd!
Who's buying this crap!
Who's going to tell the public that what their buying has no more aesthetic value than a baseball card?
For gosh sakes, it's a reproduction!
It certainly has some monetary value to it, and if it is limited and more people want it than there are copies of it then it will increase in value. But it's art value, it's true aesthetic soul died somewhere in the transfer to the off set litho places in the giant four color printing houses. Who by the way will own the copyright to the work being printed. That tells you a whole lot about the aesthetic value of reproduced work.
If your an artist and through necessity need to reproduce your work the copyright actually belongs to the printing house. You would have to make an agreement up front or buy it from them to have copyright privileges to your own work.
There is a society of art sharks selling to art idiots. True many people collect reproductions for investment, but that should be known for what it is, investment. Many people can afford reproductions and if they like the image they see they buy. It's not any different from children buying baseball cards for that matter. You initially buy for enjoyment and maybe later find it's turned into an investment.
What I'm coming to is that too many people do not realize aesthetic value as opposed to monetary value, and this is the state of American society today.
People are much too willing to purchase the package instead of the contents, How can we change this?
How can individual artists, groups and organizations go about correcting this?
I've watched excellent opportunities to educate people on the art process being pushed aside for one reason or another. I've watched arts auctions being taken over by reproduction products.
Don't get me wrong now, reproduction is o.k. as long as the people know exactly what it is they are buying. In a recent issue of Decor Magazine they had an article to educate the framing gallery owner. Now dig this.
They were explaining what limited edition prints were all about and answering the question, why is it more valuable to have an early number?
Their answer was explained that an early number was not all that important because when the artist receives the prints from the print house, many times they will number the first print of the pile. That print will also be the last print that was printed and be on top of the pile.
It was more important to them (according to the article) that the edition not run too high. We're talking here in excess of 10,000 copies!
This is a national magazine informing people who frame artwork!
It's a shame that the art buying public feels that they, in order to afford art, have to purchase reproductions instead of original work. It's actually not that they feel they must, I believe for the most part people do not realize the choices that they have.
Once again I've had my opinions.
I wonder what yours are.
Oliver Day Night