May 29, 2012

Why Beauty Matters

I made a post yesterday and by the end somehow it transformed into some sort of personal manifest.
A statement that says: This is how I see the world. This is how I choose to live.

It was empowering but there is more to that vision I would like to share. I spent the day working on stuff, during which I had videos on you tube about the lives of great artists like Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Leonardo Da Vinci, Velazquez, Manet, Picasso and so on. Many were from a BBC series titled "The Power of Art". Some were about their lives, others about the process of restoring their work. All captured my attention. For some reason these are the things that bring interest to my life.
 I'm lucky I know the things I like. I love the smell of the studio. I love collecting art books and artwork. I love learning more about how to make visual things better and more appealing. I love color, and art materials, and all the tools of creativity. I have an addiction to collecting this kind of stuff. It has been a life long process of discovery that continues each and every day. These are the things that fulfill me and make me happy. I can't explain why, but if it does it needs more pursuing. Making art is a question, a question the artist poses to him/her self. This whole thing is about life and self discovery.

So what is Beauty, and why does it matter?
I found this video that is just the tip of the iceberg, but it really caused me to solidify my purpose.  It made me feel those higher aspirations I have in order to transcend this world in pursuit of the sacred.

I have always felt a certain way about art. I am also appalled by most of what I have sampled in and around my city. I choose not to go to most openings because of some of the ways people behave but also because most of the art is not what I would consider art. Its lazy and cynical and pithy. Maybe its the current state of apathy or the inability of the artists to create a straight line. Do they have the fundamentals to create beauty or did modernity scrape that away in exchange for convenience and profitability? The state of art as a current definition is an empty slave to consumer culture feeding immediate appetites to gratify empty pursuits.
Fuck being poignant cynical or funny to make pithy post modern statement, I will not trade my dignity or integrity in the pursuit of  fame and fortune, or after simple selfish fulfillment. There is more to life than this. There is talk of a returning trend toward classical idealism and training. Even I am interested in pursuing these exalted goals. My interest lay in figurative work at the moment but any learning toward mastery of this craft is very appealing.

That is why I want to create, to fill this hollow void with beauty.

 A close up of Martinho's piece, he learned at John Angels studio in Florence, Italy.

So how does one go about learning this craft?

One route is libertarian academic training and getting a Master' degree so that one can have a stable job and teach. In a discussion with a good friend, he had me name those who I knew who had done this path. To my surprise, I couldn't name people I respected. And yet, they were the ones who attained a masters level. The second option, which has my interest at this time, is trying out the Atelier Method. This studio training is where artists are trained under a master in the tradition ways of making art. It is the old method or apprenticeship. I worry it is from the ideals of centuries past and I don't want to make photographic like classical works exclusively. I also don't want to fall into the trap of following old rules in a contemporary world. But then again, look how beautiful the work is.

I suppose the argument ends up being one of idea makers over skilled artisans and crafts people. I am going to continue contemplating these subjects.
What are your thoughts?

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