Using Language in Art

Language itself appears in two forms: the spoken form and the written form.  To utilize words in an art piece actually helps to accentuate  central ideas.  Artists employ a variety of linguistic tools in their repertoire.  Some artists use semiotics which tests the visual representation against the thing which is meant to be signified.

Semiotics: the study of symbols and their meanings.

Words are powerful tools for the visual artist.  Using words can articulate complex ideas and embody abstractions to supply cognitive content to the viewer.  Sometimes artists even use words to decode the structure of language itself.

Blah, Blah, Blah, painting by Mel Bochner

The words or “signs” denote a meaning which is not explicit. Although words mean something different to someone who understands the language the artist uses words in a totally alien context almost rendering them foreign.

Take for instance this art piece by Jean Michel Basquiat.  He writes a word down and then he crosses it out.  This could be said to give the word even more importance for its intentional omission. Their omission gives them new meaning and importance in the context of the image.  titian 2

When you put words in an art piece you can articulate complex ideas and embody abstractions that may lie dormant.  This is because the words themselves supply the cognitive context which causes the viewer to pay attention for longer.

 

Cultural Representations of Femininity

The way women are portrayed, according to the dominant ideology, is as objects of control “under a dominant (patriarchal) gaze.”  These representations of women through mannequins, Barbie dolls, Supermodels, porn stars etc. take what is essentially a cultural element and make it a universal claim about femininity.  I would say false consciousness that develops as a result to these varying representations would cause us to repress the inherent contradictory nature between what we experience and our indoctrination into this symbolic order.  Now Im not as well read in psychoanalysis but maybe that is what leads to the many maladaptation in modern populations of women for example eating disorders, cosmetic augmentation addiction, body image neurosis etc. but I’m not sure.
   Anyway no art is without ideology.  texts compete to dominate with their own worldviews.  Mass produced texts create a world view that makes us feel inadequate then offers us the object of our adequacy in mass marketed goods.  But these commodities are paradoxical in that the market retroactively posits its own cause to continue the cycle of consumerism. So the way to change how women are represented is for female/male artists to create texts (like your video) that criticize the ruling ideology breaking through our false consciousnesses…….Of course liberated from commercial or market interests.
…….  But the crux is that once this new female representation is the new dominant ideology, the base/structure will still determine how these elements are interwoven into the fabric of Multinational capitalism. God be damned that I can say 100% Marxist certainty that the  ruling class will find some way to articulate it for their own benefit…like with rock and roll or even with Communist anti-capitalism texts: available on amazon for €14,59. 😉

“Commodity Suicide” A Series

I have since been studying the decay of capitalism in modern society.  The dialectic of commodity and how it moves from the evangelical to the excremental.  How consumerism has become a kind of duty.  How we are prosletized to by the market through immense visual stimulation in the form of advertisement.  This series is the product of my study of consumerist society.

Fur die letzte jahr habe ich der zerfall der capitalisumus ins zeitgenossichegesellschaft studiert.  Die Dialektik der Ware macht heilig und es macht scheisse.  Wie consumerismus ein heilge pflicht geworden. Wir sind durch die markt missionert zu.  Mein Serie is der product meine studium von Konsumerentierenkultur.

 

Make Art Make Money

So if you don’t know me let me fill you in on what I do in my spare time.  I read about 5 books a month.  One of the easiest ways to do that is to listen to books on tape.  I get all of my books on tape through audible.  It’s a good way to catch up on your reading while your getting paper work done or doing housework.

Anyway the book that I read this month was a book about Jim Henson called “Make Money Make Art.”  It’s kind of an esoteric title so let me explain this process.  Since most artists go scarcely unknown throughout their career, i.e. Vincent Van Gogh, Vivien Meier etc.  Artists are more or less kept in the dark from the public eye.  The artists that DO find a way to turn a profit on their art may actually defeat their art by letting the powers of commercialism overtake it and run with it to the extreme.  Jim Henson found a way to make his art while still retaining the highest artistic.

Being poor and making art is just a part of the process. Some people get stuck in it and never get out.  However eventually for those artists with a sense of entrepreneurship they can get their artworks to make money.  It goes in this formula:

Make art- Here you make art simply for arts sake.  You cannot turn a profit on it however you are just focusing on the quality of the art itself.  Making it fantastic, so good in fact that eventually nobody can afford to ignore you.

Make art make money:  Here your art begins to make money.  You may be forced to religated yourself to doing commercial work like Jim Henson did.  However eventually he used the money he made from commercials to fund his other ventures which brings us to the next and final part.

Make money make art: Most of Hensons’ productions were refined to a very fine quality.  He often put

In this book you learn entrepreneurship and how to manage a collective of artists while still getting the best work out of them.  I totally dug on this book and I think it is a great resource to artists.  Jim Henson was a total hippie.

makeartmakemoney_jimhenson 2

What Art Is

So I just finished reading this book by Arthur C. Danto.

IMG_2442

The painter Paul DeLaroche decreed that “Painting is dead!”  And it well should be in the advent of photography.  Since art, as Plato and Aristotle determined, was only meant to mimic nature nothing comes closer to depicting visual reality as photography.

Since art only mimics nature it is never truly as powerful as the reality itself.   But that is good.  Art helps us to make a distinction. Art definitely should not be reality right?  Because once art becomes reality it no longer becomes art and we thereby no longer are able to distinguish the two, thus it loses itself in its redundancy.   Now you are probably going to refer to Andy Warhols Brillo boxes. Andy’s Brillo boxes are pretty much identical to any Brillo boxes you find in a department store.  So what makes Andy’s Brillo boxes art?  Instead of answering this question with epistemology we would have to ask ontological questions.  What is the meaning of Andy’s boxes?  So now that we deal into the realm of conceptual art has art all but lost its dance with the aesthetics? As Danto Says, The point of the work is to subtract the perceptual differences between art and reality.  The only things which conceptually change then are not the visible similarities but the invisible differences. We infer meaning, or grasp meaning but meaning is not at all material.  

I’m afraid so and so does Arthur C. Danto.  Art is this sort of open concept it is subject to so many forces like:
 Market: Capitalist economy plays a role in what art becomes popular.

Museum/Academic:  An ouvre meets a certain set of standards therefore it can be considered art.

This is known as Institutional art theory. Something becomes are simply because we say it is art.

In this book Danto questions the aesthetics which, for so long, hounded the arts.  Aesthetics was a direct outgrowth of ethics which was an outgrowth of logic.  However in the early 20th century art began to separate from aesthetics with Duchamps Urinal.  Duchamp showed us that something can be art and not beautiful.

Fountain 1917, replica 1964 Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1999 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T07573

Fountain 1917, replica 1964 Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968 Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1999 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T07573

It’s a good read for anyone interested in conceptual art and the futile attempts to discovery what makes art “art.”

My notes on this book:

Realist artists would be insignificant nowadays with the advent of the camera:
  representation discoveries: Perspective, Chiaroscuro (the study of light and shadow), physiogmy (The study of achieving naturalistic representations)
Ontology- the study of what it means to be something
Suprematist- art focused on geometric shapes
Hans Hoffman says to pollock : abstraction comes from nature pollock replies “I am nature”
Robert Motherwell coined the term doodling under Freudians psychic automatism for painting
Warhol- the transfiguration of the commonplace
Wittgenstein- having a definition does not make us wiser.
Eliminativism
Paul delaroche- “painting is dead.”
“Abstract and Representational” -clement Greenberg
Hegel two kinds of spirit objective and absolute

Exposing Your Art

Would you want to do art that people hated?  Of course not. I’m not talking about the avant grade where some people like it and some people hate it’s fringe appeal.  I’m saying you wouldn’t want to do art where you were the only person in the universe who thought it was good and everyone else always thought it was shit.  

   In this way an artist sort of develops through collaboration.  My uncle always told me that the only way to get better was to expose myself and my art to criticism.   Most people who haven’t attended a formal critique of their work can always try to find novel ways of getting their art seen.  Ways like: posting art on Facebook, blatantly asking someone’s opinion, emailing art to art critics.  

    It is important as a developing artist to get feedback.  

Buddha/Stormtrooper: Buying Art by RYCA

 

11143031_1580600298857809_1543041553_n
So today I made the first installment on a payment for a new piece for my art collection; A Bronze Buddha with the head of Storm trooper.
   So I came across this art piece because I routinely keep scrupulous tabs on the local art scene between here and L.A.  While checking my email I came across a show at a “lowbrow” art show in Santa Monica featuring a collection of works by British artist RYCA (Short for Ryan Callanan).  He’s rather well known in the UK and this was his debut show here in the states.   Anyway the galleries that I frequent typically shun the “lowbrow” art scene.
  So why did I invest in a bronze storm trooper for exorbitant amounts of money opposed to going to target and buying a plastic hasbro action figure for $9.95? First off that term lowbrow does is not in some way invalidating; it is a legitimate art movement.  Second I love Andy Warhol and I love Star Wars (refer to my critique of Warhols book here.)   RYCA represents the new dawn of pop artists like Jeff Koons or Mauro Peruchetti who can actually pull of pop art in a way that is fresh and not anachronistic.  Pop needs to be: transient, expendable, low cost, mass produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous and big business, RYCA’s work is just firing on all of these cylinders.
IMG_1933
    Don’t confuse the lowbrow with the anti-intellectual, this artist is definitely a thinking mans artist.  His use of imagery is incredibly perfect for its place and time.  I know that Star Wars imagery is obsessive in the lowbrow scene but the way RYCA does it is entirely tangential.   By colliding religious symbolism with pop iconography he is making a very bold statement.  His work challenges our notions of devotion.  He blends the space between the sacred and profane radically changing the connotations behind our beloved pop heroes.  The Star Wars mythology has become pure commodity as Lucas expands his franchise into perverse dimensions of capitalism creating zealous fan boy consumers. Likewise, undying devotion has been the ongoing enterprise of religion.  RYCA shows us that cathedrals of the modern age aren’t made of brick and mortar but they have been transplanted by the entertainment industry, movie theaters, shopping malls etc.  Nowadays we find ourselves turning on the television with almost religious resignation and fans show zealous determination and piety.  Thats why they are called fans (fanatic).  11190808_676697975791087_1638102945_n 2
  To me RYCA brings high art to low art.  Once again I need to stress that “lowbrow” in no way should be diminutive as a term, it is merely colloquialism to describe the movement in general.
   I purchased this piece from the Copro gallery the owner of which started the magazine Juxtapoz.