this series of writing I am contemplating, I am going to try to share
my life's work and purpose as an artist. I have a unique perspective,
having been educated by a classical modernist or modern classicist, Antonio Salemme
1892-1995, whom I met when he was in his late 80's and I was in my late
20's. He had been a meditator and spiritual practitioner for over 40
years at that point. I had a background in yoga and psychedelics.In
my early 20's, I explored yoga and meditation hand in hand with
psychedelics. Then, before I met Antonio, I devoted myself to the
renunciate path of yoga through sahaja yoga or kundalini yoga. No drugs
at this point. Here I learned of the nature of prana or life energy
and the evolutionary force of the 'spontaneous'. Antonio had been
practicing the spontaneous as an artist for years at this point, and
while it took me a few years of close association with him as a mentor
and friend to begin to understand the value of his work, it was the fact
that he kept stressing the spontaneous that kept me struggling with my
'education'. This education turning out to be of the essence of
taoism. A natural, spontaneous way. In the yoga, the path was titled
the Sanatana Dharma, translated
as the eternal path. Om. Here is where we start to understand the art
as an eternal path dealing with eternal principles. This
is also the place where we begin to define, or redefine, or clarify, in
the light of the eternity of the moment, the meaning of modernism.
definition of modernism, expands from the etymology of the word....'of
the moment', to embody the eternal principles or archetypes, if you
will, of the eternity of the moment. In other words, color is always
now present as a vibratory reality. Red has no past or future. There
is always space present, and 'things' in space. Antonio used to say,
"Color and form are one." This is not just an aesthetic comment but is
true universally. Rodin made the quote, "Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump."
These are essentially 'non-conceptual' realities. No past, no future.
Grounding in practical mysticism. Nothing to believe or have faith in.
What is now.In
art it is possible to look back through history and see the artists
whose central practice is expressing the eternal principles of the art
form. There was a flourishing of the practice in 19th C. France in what
is known as impressionism and post impressionism. Color, brush, world
(or nature), and artist's personality in harmony and balance. The
medium and the artist at one. Because they were grounded in the medium
and at least instinctively honor the medium as eternal, what they
expressed in the moment still lives in the moment. Modernism!