The death of the death of Art. That’s a lot of mumbo jumbo. It has been stated that we may or may not be in a Post-Postmodern art world. Let’s start with background. Postmodernism a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”. Postmodernism has been considered to have started in the 1960’s. Unlike any other, postmodernism is one of the very scarce theories to have a lifespan of at least half century. Now the argument found is wither or not we are living in a post-postmodernism world and that postmodernism is dead now. Now, here is an issue, a new “ism” is in reference to a rebellion to the previous regime (previous-ism). Whereas I think that each theory/movement/style is a reaction to a previous one. There were key events that started to occur on a frequent basis at the start of the 20th century that caused a shift in society. In his article “Successor states to an empire in free fall”, Alan Kirby says that “the theories speak of paradigm shifts and new cultural dominants, and suggest that our world now runs in different patterns and according to another logic. For them, postmodernism is buried, and a new world has replaced it. They don’t just declare its death and wonder what happens next. They accept the historical reality of the postmodern moment, but believe it is over. And, most intriguingly, they think they know the name of its successor.” At the base, you can see the shifts in culture and reasoning that people have now a-days. It is much different than 50,60,70 yrs ago and even as recent as 10yrs ago. We live in an ever-changing world that will never stay the same for more than a few years. In my opinion, I am not so sure that we really know what kind of “ism” we are in. I do not believe that we are in the postmodernism era anymore. We have evolved out of that era in my eyes. I believe that in contray to postmodernism we are in a pre-modernity age. We are seeing art being utilized in ways we haven’t seen in a while. People are really shelling out for art. For example, Mrs. Jones (Jerry Jones’ wife/ Jerry Jones owner of the Dallas Cowboys) spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on art for the $1.4 billion stadium. Back to my point, I wouldn’t categorize it as “post-postmodernism” but it is certainly not in the same era of time. We are moving into a new wave of art and critical thinking.
I feel as though Cindy Sherman is completely sincere when it comes to the debate of wither or not her work does or does not relate to theory. Of which, I say as she feels that her work does not relate to theory. First and foremost, Sherman claims that she in fact does not think about the theory behind a work upon completing it. She basically just gets inspired and animated about something and makes great art. Sherman gets so entranced, devoted and deep in a given project and drowns everything not relevant to the project out of the picture to solely focus in on the task at hand. Which as an artist I can relate to but c’mon Cindy? As a fellow artist, I feel as though when you are in studio, your focus is the art and you should drown everything else out. My belief is that it is fine for an artist not to take into consideration any theories while creating the piece, however should absolutely take it into account before and after the piece has been created. I feel as though theory gives us the ability to critique an idea before starting as well as praising and deconstructing it after to grow as an artist. I feel as though it is foolish not to take theory into account when creating art. In her “Untitled Film Still #21 (1978)” Sherman’s intention is to express her apprehensions about the main stream culture as well as the mass media insertion into everyday life (which is amazing to think about in that time frame compared to today’s world) through the role of the small-town girl yearning for the opportunity to learn and emulsify herself with the hustle and bustle of big city life. I feel as though perhaps, her intentions to articulate some other forms and ideas as well, such as the working woman of the 20th century and the role they play in “modern day society”. Unfortunately, we do not and never will know that for sure. On the contrary, we do know is that sometimes Sherman is not always aware of the outreach of her work in the public perspective. Sherman’s work, “Untitled Film Stills”, is among the first artifacts known to be considered and title given, postmodern. However, it is pretty universal when relating to an artist’s intentions that they do not go side by side with scholarly debates. In conjunction to that, I feel as though the best art is the art that provokes thought and/or action. Sherman is well aware that her Untitled Film Stills often relate to feminist theory. Sherman had made statements that do not necessarily indicate that she is not well versed in artistic theory or that she simply lacks the knowledge and/or understanding of it. Sherman feels as though it does not matter what theory an art historian or critic tags her art as because Sherman’s work is driven by her inner compulsion and inspiration rather than the confines of theoretical knowledge. At the end of the day there is no written set standard of art or good art so to understand how to make great art you need to understand yourself more so than theory, however you do need theory to be able to back your work in the public setting.
America…Land of the Free?
The topic that will be discussed and exhibited for my upcoming exhibition will be centered around the political issues and social injustice that plagues our great nation. The topic I have chosen will be politically and racially charged. Viewer discretion will be advised as it will contain harsh images that will make you feel a type of way (one way or another). The exhibition will not seek to upset but seek to inform. To inform those who want more knowledge of the political disservice and social injustice that take place everyday in our great country. Great country? For whom? Well that will be your task once you complete the tour is to form your own or reinforce your own thoughts and opinions regarding what takes place in our country. As far as the artwork that you will view, it will contain various types of works including but not limited to illustrations/drawings, paintings, digital art (including MEME’s), graffiti art as well as street art. Due to the nature of some the aspects the artist and specific details may not be known and will have to be footnoted as anonymous. Below Is a slideshow of work that I am considering, I will provide details and more information in due time as we get closer to the show.
Andy Goldsworthy is one of the most influential photographers for me. I feel as though Goldsworthy rejects Greenbergian formalism. The definition of which is, “an analysis that searched for a deeper meaning of context or subject matter in abstract art went against the ethos of formal art theory”. (WIKI) This was the thought process and ultimate definition of Greeenbergian Formalism. In the book it states that, “advocates for art that rejects subject matter, pictorial illusions of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, atmospheric light, and any other devices artists might use in creating a picture of something”, thus he claims that we have to “ignore everything but the work’s form” (Barrett 126). To me though, I feel like that statement and definition is contradictory of itself because by looking at a photograph, painting or illustration without taking the subject matter into account simply makes no sense to me. Unless, in Greenberg’s terms, we should look at the rectangular/square form of a canvas or a photograph ignoring everything depicted on it, and be satisfied with just that. To me, I do not feel as though that Goldsworthy would fit in with the Formalist theory tag in general. As an audience member and critic, I can say that Goldsworthy’s work more often is about an emotion rather than just a form. The creation and process of making art for Goldsworthy is not just about creating form, its about setting a scene per-say. A big aspect of his work is to reflect the importance for a strong connection between humans and mother nature. When his work collapses, it gives him a chance to get to know the material better which makes a beautiful balance between him and the nature. You have to give Goldsworthy credit. Goldsworthy does make a significant number of attempts to create art that achieves one of his goals of forming that connection, a bond of sorts between humans and nature, of which cannot be expressed through the form in it of itself. There needs to be more beef per-say. There needs to be more context to the clue. For example, think of a tree. An illustration of tree is mundane, it might be a beautiful tree, composed beautifully within the confines of the canvas but by adding context to it like, for example a tire swing and child subsequently swinging on it. Now you have a scene not just an illustration. I am not saying this is always the case however it adds to the significance of the piece by adding context like fine details or saturated colors, etc. When you look at his work, it only exists for a small period of time. There is a set of emotions to be had when you visual the connection of his work. When Goldsworthy creates an igloo out of sticks that he found down at the beach. Which as you know then gets “consumed” by the tidal wave. All in all, I do not perceive Goldsworthy as a formalist artist. I believe that he is too emotional of an artist to be one of formalism. I feel like the basis just isn’t there enough or at all for me to consider him a Formalist Artist. I would say that Kantian-Hegelian pre-Modern viewpoint is a much better suited match for Goldsworthy when you consider things. Reason being that we have to include an understanding and acceptance to the connection of our world and ourselves because neither us nor our world is indestructible.
Barrett, Terry. Why Is That Art?: Aesthetics and Criticism of Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press. 2012
Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. Dir. Thomas Riedelsheimer. Docurama, 2001. Film.
I am not a painter or illustrator by description. I did not have the traditional art classes until I got to college. I was always interested in graffiti art. I always thought that it was cool. To me, I consider it to be instillation art. The tree that stuck out to me the most was the graffiti and street art tree. It caught my interest because immediately I thought of Banksy, who I absolutely adore. Graffiti art and street art can be inspirational, which is also why I love photography. I find photography and graffiti art to inspirational. A couple photographers that inspire me are ilhan Eroglu, Michael Kenna, and Ansel Adams. To me photography is a lot like graffiti art. It is a calculated art that requires skill, patience and grit. Aside from traditional artists some of my personal influences include Roger Waters, Neil Peart, Billie Joe Armstrong, my mentors and specific instructors. I feel for Banksy though. Banksy is not truly accepted by a community besides the all-encompassing art community. I feel like I don’t necessarily fit in with a specific group in the art world. Just like Banksy, graffiti really isn’t accepted in society, people do not deem graffiti as a form of “art”. It’s viewed as a form of vandalism and punishable by law if caught and convicted. When I start to decipher the tree, I find that Graf futurism and Urban Avant are two aspects of Graffiti and street art that I highly enjoy. Graffiti is something I have only done once before, and it was extremely accelerating and amazing. Using spray paint is such a great medium to work with. It dries really quickly, so if you don’t like what you have created, once it dries…paint over it. I feel like graffiti and street art really does get a bad rep. I really appreciate graffiti art because the artists have the ability to express themselves creatively and in such an openly interpreted way. It is unfortunate that it gets the bad rep. It is a fun and adaptive way for one to express ones-self. When you really look at graffiti art there can be extremely colorful and blasting out at the seams with color. In most cases it needs to be bright and bold because it generally is seen as being unwanted and bad so, being that it a piece of statement art…make it bold and bright. When I look at it I see emotion, intensity, piece, expression, and openness. I have stated this is previous work that we live in such a divided nation. We need desperately to come together. THE ARTS! We need the arts. I’m not one of those “the man is against us”, but now more than ever I feel like we as artist of all races and religious backgrounds are trying to be silenced to have us conform to the socially acceptable norms. Our COMMANDER IN CHIEF is one of the ones trying to accomplish just that. He will speak his mind but disregard and denounce anything and everything goes against what he says. I stated earlier that I was influenced by Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day and out spoken opponent of President Trump. Billie joe frequently speaks out against Trump, usually in the same ways, during concerts on this last tour he would openly tell people to flip off Trump and to make their own change. Billie provokes us to think and act…he advises not to like to take violent acts but productive acts. Graffiti does that. Graffiti will provoke theory and hopefully influence change. To understand my tree all you need to know is I love the arts. The arts are amazing and they truly do bring people together. Why do you go to concerts? To be around people that love the same music of the performer(s) of whom the people are there to see. Like I said, the arts bring everyone together. My tree is simple because well, so am I to a degree. I feel as though I have not had the best basis for the art world since I didn’t have a lot of traditional art classes. Before I got to college I really had next to none. I had not drawn since I was in grade school. However, where I lack in traditional art I do make up in new school design programs. I learned back-asswards honestly. I learned the design programs of the adobe suite in high school so it is like second nature now. However, I feel as though I was prepared nicely for a career in graphic design from my instructors in high school as well as college. So that is the reason people like Diane Zotter-Mill, Colleen Yaremko and William Cromar are on my tree. These people have had a key role in my development of style and etiquette.