Sunday, September 27, 2015

Painting the motif - art for art's sake

There are 3 major motif in painting, the still life , the landscape, and the portrait.   It is the abstract qualities of brush and color and the artist's expression that go into the creation of the image.  I discovered fairly early on in my artistic expression and exploration that the abstract nature of reality is the source of beauty.  Or simply put, reality is beautiful! (and abstract)  Paradoxical?.

Anyway,  I think most of us could agree that our world and culture in general is in some serious trouble.  It may be that things are going to get more insane over the next years.  I mean, really, assassinations because of a cartoon??!!  How does that psychology get healed? And how long will that take??  Then there are the issues with the super wealthy sucking the life out of the culture just because they can and one billion just isn't enough.  We should legislate a limit to personal wealth!  Then there are the issues of global warming and the extinction of animals and the continuing degradation to the environment and food sources, pretty much all at the hands of the wealthy and their corporate interests.  Will the tide turn in time to even save our species?  It is a definite maybe, maybe not!  What is an artist to do?

Art transcends any of these issues.  As an artist and human, I feel it is my responsibility to pursue my vision of beauty as the expression of  consciousness that I know it to be!  Do I need to illustrate the violence and depravity of the world.  I could.  But would it really do any good? Look at Goya's fabulous etchings of 'the disaster of war'.  Done a few hundred years ago,  didn't seem to do much by way of waking people up to ending war and its horrors. The value of Goya's work is the aesthetic genius and execution that went into it, and even with these dramatic scenes, he 'transcends the subject.' As Antonio would say.

Art is an aesthetic science that of its essence involves a consciousness that transcends the external, sometimes hard realities of our day to day lives and the struggles we have to survive and thrive.  A work of art is a doorway into psychological, spiritual space.   A contemplative doorway. An object of meditation.

Dance, Music, painting, sculpture, literature can reflect and illustrate the issues of the day, but their real value always lie in the realm of art for art's sake,  the realm of the transcendent human spirit.  The arts are nuts and bolts mysticism.  They don't require belief.  They simply require your presence and receptive attention.  Then you are transported within, ever more deeply.

I make the conscious decision as an artist, to focus on the primal and primary beauty of these fundamental motif.  The still life.  A flower and some objects in the world, a vibratory world of color and form.  Flowers symbolic of enlightenment and archetypal beauty.  The landscape.  Light and air, green and blue, sky and earth, water, home, merging into life energy-prana in the moment to moment ecstasy of self and color and brush and world.  The portrait. Honoring the human and its face in all its psychological beauty manifesting as well in this aesthetics of spontaneity.

The rightful place of art is to inform the politics, inform the sociology, the human, with transcendence.  Not to be reactive as its primary impulse but rather to create the culture.  Moment to moment where the culture truly lives.  Here and now.  In us all.  Not outside anyone.

copyright(c)william deraymond 2015


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