Working Manifesto, Stage II,

The 3rd Millennium

The early years of the 21st Century have passed into history. There has been no additional public understanding of what artists do. Perhaps there never was an understanding just a series of mythologies that seep into the public consciousness.

It seems that the general public does not make a distinction between Modernism & Post-Modernism. If they don’t understand it, it’s Modern Art. One of the questions that remains is how have the Culture Wars touched Art and Artists?

The destruction of the statue of the Buddha of Bamiyan is generally acknowledged as an act of a “barbarian” Taliban and generally condemned here in the west. The Christian right can be equally destructive of imagery that they see as pagan. Where does this impulse to destroy the history and iconic roots of our cultures come from

Statue of Buddha, Photo Credit: Marco Bonavoglia

After the Taliban destroyed Buddha Photo Credit Public Domain Wiki

Culture requires context. That context is the history of images and without it we have no understanding of where we have been. We also need artists who look towards the future expanding the bounderies of Art and Culture.

Most of us initially come to the art making process with a limited body of knowledge. Viewers have the same issue. We are not born with a knowledge of Art. We are born with the ability to learn.

That knowledge can be acquired in a number of ways (and I believe each method/way is important)

1. Looking at other artists work.

2. Reading about the artists’ ideas. Especially about work that is not easily penetrable.

3. Studio work: drawing, painting, etc.

4. Observation – this is probably the most important skill for both artist and viewer.

Each of these methods is not isolated & crosses over into the other methods.

I don’t believe it is possible to make art that is “timeless”… I think that is a judgment that comes after the fact.

I would even propose that “advanced art” usually is “ugly”… not because the artist intended it to be but because that artist is seeing something that others do not see. (That does not mean that all ugly art is advanced art.)

The factors that make the public aware of the Art are largely out of the artists control. We can make our Art and do our best to see that there is some level of exposure to the work.


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June 2009
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