With an artist’s death there shall be light
it remains unknown if it will be an illumination
or a shadow. Life walked so silently
no concrete footprint despite carbon load,
one only preserves so much without government enforcement.
A vole destroys the roses to reach the neighbor’s lettuce.
No roses were left at her site
she had requested coffee instead, plants to be sent
to a far away hill where shade and sun burn fair.
Coffee remains a drink of the people.
Don’t ask, I won’t tell. It is another one of those thinking while I’m reading poems…words that popped into my mind that should wait to be produced into something more fruitful, but I just had to write something. A desperation to share some thoughts despite a weariness of function. The library is killing me. My father’s sickness is killing me. The ongoing thoughts in my head that are not being shared upon this blog are KILLIN ME.
A bit melodramatic, but it works. I’ll link a few articles that continue from last weeks posts regarding the New Sincerity discussion. Actually, I had let the whole concept go until I started to read The Sun tonight.
(You see, I did a trial run of The Sun, but have yet to read it. I need to decide if I would keep it. This is how my brain works: if the first article I read inspires, sign me up. Voila, I read a stunning Q&A feature with artist, Ran Ortner (see below). The man is a prophet. He claims to not be a wordsmith, yet his knowledge of art and the human condition are pure poetry.)
What I found interesting about Ortner’s ocean art was how it resonated, it opened people. This idea that has surfaced in the whole NS movement…to crack open the mind, spill out the contents. Read the beautiful words of Ortner as he wrestles with his place as an artist within the confines of contemporary art. He brilliantly address the idea of sincerity.:
I knew I would have to avoid the pitfalls of becoming sentimental or clichéd. The rules of the contemporary art world are crystal clear: If reaching for the sublime or the epic, one must work with abstract painting or reductive, often monumental, sculpture. If one works with representation — realism — then one must use irony, social commentary, or wit in the work to avoid becoming saccharine or “decorative.” But I did not want the distance or the conceit that devices like irony evoke. I decided I would attempt a kind of tightrope act. I would paint straight — in a realistic manner — but I would attempt to be inventive with my perspective and the quality of immersion. I hoped to build the kind of emotional density I feel in the old masters.
If I could convey the ocean’s paradoxes, its ferocity and tenderness, in the same image, I could possibly awaken the viewer to a place where language drops away. By setting these massive, lush paintings in the artificial environment of the contemporary gallery, I intend to make it feel astonishing, to have an impact so immediate that it becomes what Kafka called an “ax for the frozen sea inside us.”
The Kafka quote at the end is a brilliant summation of what is being addressed regarding art/purpose/affect. Ortner’s art resonates with the thousands who gaze upon it because he held true to his inner voice. I believe that the visual/auditory/written art that comes from a place that isn’t plastic is the that art that is embraced by the masses. When the artist inside sings, the audience shall too. It goes beyond the ‘isms’ that many may try to define it, and rests with an honesty that isn’t sweet, but a bitter truth.
What is art? What is the role of the artist in the 21st Century? I think there is a danger when we let academia shape too much until we are more of a chorus’ refrain than a sopranos’s aria. There is a brilliant paragraph at the end of this article (you must find the print copy to read) addressing this… the song of the artist. Read it…see if it resonates, or at least, hits a chord. ~
(I’ll leave you with a few thought-provoking links. My conclusion thus far…the more I read about what is ‘right & wrong’ in academia, the more stifled I become trying to find a niche. The muse, she waits…)
* Poetry/Avant Garde & academics ~ http://samizdatblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/academization-0f-avant-garde-poetry.html
* Poetry Wide Open (this is a new find for me from above article…so psyched because I just discovered it features writing from a blogger/academic/poet I used to read religiously.)
* Poetry for the academic mainstream verses the masses (ha! I know, but just go read it if you are curious)