Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. He is completely wrong. No matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner's art, and most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.
Goya's amazing speech to the newly founded Spanish Art Academy School. He was invited to speak to them as he was well-respected and was interested in helping other artists learn. Yet he had a profound dislike and fear of Academicism. Not only one of the best artists of all history, but was an independent and socially critical thinker, although he was court painter. Academics are scholars, and he and I are not criticizing them or their practice, rather AcademICISM, which is the worship of the Academy, the belief in Rules for Art and Creativity. And that these can be memorized.
The phenomenon of artists copying each other and themselves (not forgeries, copies). Something thoroughly disdained since Modernism, yet an activity that was important before that, for learning, out of admiration, for expanding an audience, for additional income. And some thoughts about the situation now.
New Historicism or alternately Cultural Materialism, and how its ideas are auspicious for visual metaphor, art history and conceptions of context in visual art. Art History consists of multiple histories, discontinuous and contradictory ones. The heretical response to authoritarian demand is important. Works of art express the problems and alienation of our or any time and place, but also frequently offer expressions of fullness that attack that alienation and help shatter the incrustations of belief forced upon us. Art History should discuss both.
Does originality in art even exist? A Matt Ballou listener request. "Make it new!" has certainly become old. Yet, the Postmodernist demand that a lack of originality be heralded as something new is duplicitous. A discussion of originality in art.
Paintings and novels, far from being hidebound, as is often squawked, are quintessentially antithetical: excellent disciplines for new metaphoric thought. They are ideally adversarial. They incorporate, use and criticize. They have achieved a condition of being perpetually "genres undermined." They have been in a permanent state of crisis for a minimum of several hundred years. What more could one ask for as a difficult, challenging and rewarding fray?
Metaphor is the basis of thought, which importantly arises from bodily, cultural and environmental experience. It is embodied in the body, in the world and in the expressions of it, such as visual art. Metaphors we live and create by.
Artists are directly responsible for fashioning their own tropes through the processes of extension, elaboration, composition and/or questioning. They must wrestle with their precursors, who inspired them to be creators in the first place, to do this. Such dialectical struggle, called an 'agon,' is more than simply oedipal. The African spirit Eshu, the trickster patron saint of crossroads, and Jacob, who struggled with God in the Bible, make better metaphoric models than Oedipus.
There is a somewhat frequently-heard accusation that Michelangelo forged ancient Roman sculpture at the start of his career. Here is the truth.
How is history constructed? Who makes history? And what will remain in the future from us and our culture? What is the truth? What is fabrication? Isn’t a well-told tale more exciting than simple data and facts? Facts are extremely important. Not everything goes --- yet all facts and sources of facts must be closely examined and often criticized. (Art) HistorIES.
A short podcast presenting three ideas from Feminist philosophy useful for art and metaphor: pragmatic action over absolutism, the located self, and finding loopholes in hegemonies to allow creative resistance.
A podcast in preparation for discussions of visual metaphor: one aspect of terminology, trope and metaphor.
A lighter episode relating seven stimulating facts about Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Georgia O'Keeffe.
This episode concerns a troublesome yet seldom acknowledged tendency in the artworld: Sophistry. Why are you in this struggle? Are you an artist or critic or curator simply for careerist "success"? Weren't you actually CALLED to art?
This episode's Artecdote is an explanation of my assertion that art history models are not necessarily master narratives. Art History is often told in versions of one linear story, thus a master narrative. This often delimits thought, sustains oppressive systems and purports to be the truth, allowing no exceptions. On the other hand, the stringent fear of modeling has sometimes lead the less inventive to fall into the simple nihilism of "I give up." In fact, models are important dialogical tools of and for thought.
My Artecdote this episode is the an explanation of my assertion that "Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By." Under the inspiration of Lakoff, Johnson and Turner's Cognitive Metaphor Theory, I describe my assertion that artists create for themselves new metaphors to live by, by creating new metaphors to create with, which viewers can then also use to think with and live by. This I refer to as artists’ metaphor(m)s or central tropes.
A new artistic development: Exhibition Comics and a new compositional form: Iconosequentiality.
An artist who greatly needs to be rediscovered. Not only her name, but her works! Marietta Tintoretta. The daughter of Jacopo Rubusti, aka Tintoretto. Renowned as a great artist in her time, the Late Renaissance, now disappeared.
The concept of "genius" in art has rightly been criticized for its sexism, exaggeration and more. However, it is possible to retain its useful aspects by redefining it as the level of achieved pervasiveness of an artist's metaphor(m).
What constitutes representation in a work of art? The representational nature of visual art is one of its most important, fruitful, and intriguing elements --- yet for very particular reasons.
Giotto, the painter who made the crucial change from the Medieval style thus beginning the Renaissance in art, painted a picture of the Star of Bethlehem which is an image of Halley's comet!
Mongrel Art! Democratic Art! This Dr great Art Artecdote is a description of and plaidoyer for a (Post-Postmodernist) art that is anti-purist, syncretistic, and creolized, unifying a variety of artforms, disciplines, tendencies and philosophies. Artworks involving popular or democratic and street artforms outside the "standard" fine art ones, yet also not eschewing either so-called time-honored, nor technologically "new" disciplines, as it seeks to revitalize and transform them all, while opening the art system and deliberately involving people outside the field of art in artistic processes.
This Dr Great Art Artecdote concerns supposed rules in art, especially painting. It describes how there are really no rules in art, and it decries the obsequiousness of those who believe there are rules and who seek to follow them.
The meaning of every artwork lies in the object itself, not in any commentary concerning it.