What the Hell is Art

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Original mixed media Dr Virus illustration.

🤔 I often reminisce on my short-lived academic residency at the infamous Otis College of Art & Design in 1994, and the constant undulation I felt during the first couple of months, being exposed to an intense foundational curriculum, it wasn't even close to what I conjured up in my mind during the foregoing portfolio preparation and admissions process, boy, was it a reality check.

I had been making "art" since I was old enough to walk, from building complex lego structures to my first oil painting at the age of 3, or maybe it was 4, nevertheless, I had developed my own skill set, and I suppose, what some might deem bad habits through iteration, trial, and error, which I find to be the method of my madness to this day.

There was a paper assigned in my literature class, from what I remember, which isn't much, was an abstract thesis on good and bad art, and frankly, at that moment, I didn't give a rat's ass, because I was burned out on the 18 units I was being murdered with. Now that I look back, I can say, that over the years I haven't really formed a solid perspective on this hypothesis.

In my 30+ years of creating art, I pretty much have two consistent reactions to art, one being, "Wow, that blows my mind", and the other, "insert expletives here".

Centuries have dictated a vast array of aesthetic theories of the great debate - What is Art?  Men of renown have developed a plethora of multidimensional theories to explain the phenomenon of art. I suppose all of these opinions have elements of truth since art is pretty much subjective, isn't it?

Often, these eloquent manifesto's are persuasive orations filled to the brim with polemic diatribes that titillate the faculties like this one and feed the senses with complex stimuli connected to the universe of discourse, which, in itself, is an art form of regurgitated interpretations, kind of like, what art is, huh?

One of the most impressive descriptions of art I can think of at the moment is by the Writer William Faulkner "The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life."

I can relate to this, because, art for me, is an outward expression, the external manifestation of my essential nature which has been molded, old fashioned, new-fashioned and continues to be carefully wrought on the potter's wheel, it is a potpourri of life experience, escapism and coping mechanism to all the obstacles life throws at me, a paradox, therapeutic, yet tormenting.

I love art, I hate art, I suppose I love myself and hate myself, nevertheless, there are so many variables to the equation, and no matter how hard anyone tries to come up with a blueprint, good and bad art will be relative to the beholder, as they view art through their own lenses.

As a visual artist I set out on a journey with kaleidoscopic vision and a consistent metamorphose to learn my existence and purpose. Creating images that are ideologically provocative, intellectually evocative and esoteric in nature, drawing in the viewer into a dynamic and powerful world, of which I am gifted to sojourn, translating reality to those who desire to partake in the deep calling unto deep and lift the veil, shake and exercise the mind to consciousness.

Influenced by a vast array of life events, historical happenings, biblical eschatology, philosophy, geopolitics, economics, anthropology, and more, the axiological goal for me as an artist is to manifest truth in me and through me onto the canvas.

Henry Drummond once said that Life is the capacity to relate to one's environment, as a creative force I am passionate about not only the things that have shaped me as a human being but the multi-layered world in which we dwell.

My work isn't the byproduct of ambition, but a multifaceted, multidimensional celestial soul manifested into the terrestrial. Each piece is a unique and uncommon glimpse into an esoteric mind shaped by a life of undulation. 

I must say though, that as the world hurls into the pit of hell, art seems to be falling into some of the same sinkholes that other creative genres have been hurled into, much of it being blamed on the digital age in which we currently find ourselves. I can see the validity, to some degree.

Tell me your thoughts, in the comment section below, on good art, bad art, and how the various facets of social media, technology, and the art market play a role in shaping those opinions or provide an art quote of your own!

😂 Some like onions, some don't, whatever that means. 

Top 10 Artist Quotes

  1. Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen. -Leonardo da Vinci

  2. To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist. -Schumann

  3. I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things. -Henri Matisse

  4. Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. -Isaac Bashevis Singer

  5. Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail. -Theodore Dreiser

  6. Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better. -André Gide

  7. Great art picks up where nature ends. -Marc Chagall

  8. No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. -Oscar Wilde

  9. Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. -Pablo Picasso

  10. The artist is the opposite of the politically minded individual, the opposite of the reformer, the opposite of the idealist. The artist does not tinker with the universe, he recreates it out of his own experience and understanding of life. -Henry Miller

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