Tuesday, September 30, 2014

#272

Street Trash Fetish 28x13

Sunday, September 28, 2014

#277 Three Who Found Truth

15x48 Oil-stick, acrylic, dirt, sparkles on weathered plywood

Friday, September 26, 2014

#274

Mounted fragment from house fire, acrylic. 29.5x25

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#273 Fish


28x35 acrylic, street trash cardboard on scrap plywood

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Appropriation of art by the Master Machine



So many variations on how the Master Machine appropriates, dilutes, and controls what is alien to it. For art, some of the mechanisms are mediated by the benign face of NGO's and grants, others are ground up in the maw of naked capitalism, like the gallery-to-investor system for the visual arts (and make no mistake, galleries, if they are to be successful, are there to serve investors and commodification of art, not the artist)--but the end is the same. Even when the message is subversive, in the institutional setting of a museum or high end gallery, it's digested and reconfigured in its AESTHETIC robes, teeth pulled and declawed.
"But how will we make a living?" the captive artist cries, like any cubical wage slave. So we sell our children to serve the Master Machine, and call it freedom.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Class and the Sunday Funnies


Somehow, while washing dishes, I thought of Joe Paluka for no discernible reason. There followed names of old comic strips--Bringing up Father with Jiggs and Maggie, the Katzenjammer Kids, Gasoline Alley. These weren't my favorites, but I read them all, Sunday funnies spread out on the living room floor.

Got me thinking about class, and how central it was in the old comics. Has anyone done a serious study of changes in how class was depicted in comics, and how that changed over the years? Related, I'm sure, to changing audience. Change was particularly noticeable through the 50's, As the largely working class audience, home from the war, college on the GI bill, moved into the middle class, the comic characters, too, 'graduated' from the immigrant, working class world that was so much a part of comics in the 30's and 40's.

The total absence of blacks, except for gross caricatures now and then, is telling. By the mid 60's, comics no longer represented the kind of mythic universalizing (white) lens of America the way they did when FDR would read the Sunday funnies on the radio. There's an interesting story in this. I wonder if anyone has done it?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday, September 8, 2014

Artist? Or servent of the Empire?


If you are an artist--of whatever sort: we all need to live, and have to find the means to make our art. But there is no wall that insulates HOW we go about this from how it works out in the world we live in. How it supports established power, whether we want it to, or not, or doesn't. This. fucking. matters. You CANNOT claim to be an artist... of any sort, if you are unwilling to turn your creativity to thinking about how what you do, and how you seek to support yourself, works out in the real world. That means developing a politically aware conscience. If you just want to entertain established power... in exchange for their support.. you are their house servant, and you have sold out your art. x

Sunday, September 7, 2014

#268 Icon

14x11 paper bag, roofing paper, acrylic on canvasboard

Stop making art for the rich and their Empire of Money and Death!


My first thought, as I walked into the room with Cy Twombly's work at the Phila Museum of Art, was: how do you stretch a canvas that size? Then, off and on, wandering through rooms of 20th C modernist and near contemporary art, it occurred to me that the larger and more elaborate pieces, had to have been made with museums in mind--or collectors who could afford to live in very large houses with very large rooms....
How then, I thought... does this pre-selecting of the'audience' affect the making of art? Whether or not the artist gives this any thought--art made in this way becomes the art of capitalist power--not unlike how those great bronze equestrian statues of military and political figures, were meant to honor and glorify their subjects, and with that, the conquests, subjugation and exploitation of those under their power.
In this way--even the most subversive and revolutionary work, will have written across them a second message, declaring their impotence at the hands of power. "You see, we OWN you! You cannot harm us, here in our aesthetic Free Speech Zones."
Fuck the gatekeepers! Fuck all OWNERS! Better street art that defaces their arrogant walls. Stop making art for the fucking rich and their Empire of Money and Death!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

#267 Human Resources

Reworked from #265 -- looked too much like corporate wall-art 40x32 Acrylic, U.S. currancy on canvas

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Art (as Social Organism) vs. Gentrification


Art (as Social Organism) vs Gentrification.
Interview of Amie Sell by Adam Turl in REDWEDGE, September 2, 201

Monday, September 1, 2014

Stone Troll #2

Illustration for children's book. Stone troll that comes to life.