Nick & Amy | Tricking the Narcissist

Gone-Girl-Gillian-Flynn** Spoiler Alert – Parts of the movie “Gone Girl” are described in the post below **

Nick and Amy. Amy and Nick. Who are they really? Characters in Gillian Flynns novel transformed into the sensational cinema hit “Gone Girl. Nick the malignant narcissist. Amy, his borderline sociopathic wifey.  The imperfect beautiful couple. I went down to Union Square, in NYC, to the Regal theatre located in the epicenter of the most plugged in center of the universe! I needed a distraction and, being a reading addict of the grossest proportions, read this gem 2 years ago, knew the plot line, and was curious to see the plot unfold in technicolor before my eyes. The theatre was packed,  jamming with 20, 30, 40, New York City hipsters , boomer, tourists, all eager to watch the suspenseful debacle unfold!

The book presented an attention grabbing dissection of two young married people fronting, posing, pretending ,ultimately unravelling, the energy of their toxic emotions exploding, their psychological dysfunction, their blatant narcissism, their empty souls spewing cinders of their crumbling relationship. Love gone wrong.

This film, portrays a scenario, where “WHO are you?” Is key. Nick thinks he knows his wife, but nothing could be further from the truth! While caught in his narcissistic web, Amy plots in full view his demise. She will not allow him to escape without paying for his dismissive, inattentive failure as her husband.

texts-about-gone-girl-movieThe seventies movie, ” Waiting  for Mr. Goodbar,” reminds  me of the neurotic interplay where you know the characters are dodging a mental minefield, a neurotic brainstorm, which could explode at any moment. Yet, they seem so charming, so friendly, so attractive! And it’s all a facade. A lie. Like Amy and Nick. Pure crap!

Many artists share that mentality. The genius/narcissist promoting himself as god, while simultaneously torturing the people who have the misfortune of fate to show up in their personal lives. Ugh. It’s the crazy maker looking for that special candy, feeding his hunger for more crazy. The crazy that makes him feel ALIVE! Picasso did it with his many submissive women, victimizing, abusing, ruining them, and…….Gertrude Stein, with her self indulgent, obsessive writing, that insane repetition and her statements of deluded grandeur!  Road kill incarnate! Can’t stop reading, while loathing her narcissistic ploy as she identifies as “genius” .

gertrude-stein-narcissistStein cuts and caters to the artists in her ex-pat Parisienne world. She makes or breaks by her acceptance or her rejection, the artists seeking recognition. Stein, star – maker incarnate, unsurpassed in her mind of complete authority and power! She pens the “Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.” In it she pretends she is her lover, Alice, writing through her mind’s eye. In it, she identifies her take on real genius. There are three. Picasso. Herself. And Alfred Whitehead. No shit Sherlock!  Only a narcissist could write ” a rose is a rose is a rose” and call it literature! But she is not alone! There are so many others. Ever read the journals of Anais Nin?

In Norman Mailer’s expose, “Genius and Lust,” he delves into the artist/gertrude-stein-narcissistnarcissist enigma, with a scalpel, revealing the complicated world the narcissist dwells, especially in the artist role relating to another artist also narcissistic. Miller and his lover, June-two narcissists , recounted in his 1600 page novel, depicting his affair and marriage, “The Rosy Crucifixion”. A complete failure as a novel, because as Mailer’ critique states, “the narcissist suffers from too much inner dialogue. These words turn us away from the psychic reality. The narcissist is the scientist and the experiment in one.” It’s a turn off.

anais-nin-narcissist-06Miller’s lover and literary cohort, Anais Nin, shared the bond of loving themselves more than they could ever really love each other, in spite of their rapturous physical love affair. Nin’s journals are love letters to herself. They are written on infinite pages,  gushing word vomit, about her, from her, into her, etc. If you manage to get through one of her famous “Diaries”, you will be so overwhelmed by her personality and throbbing EGO, that the prospect of reading another is daunting! I dare you to try! Every thought, every idea in her head, is placed on her personal operating table for dissection. She performs the autopsy and, and the results are her own. anais-ninWhatever she wants them to be. Nin is detached and aloof to other people unless they are as consumed with her as she is with herself. An impossible task, because her narcissism is all consuming.  Miller, himself the obvious protagonist, in his “Tropic of Cancer” , and the rest of his  tropics, is the center, the beginning ,middle, and end of his realistic fiction, unraveling the tales of  his starving, lust consumed days in Paris. On and on he goes, leaving nothing out, he is so important and simultaneously so grotesque. “Narcissists after all do not hand emotion back and forth through their bodies so much as they induce emotion in one another through their minds.” Nin and Miller. Miller and June, “electric and empty, perfect and hollow” – Mailer says it !

picasso-narcissistPicasso, also a narcissist, his self love, reveals an ultimate disregard, a brutality, towards the women in his life, described vividly in Francois Gilot’s  “Life with Picasso”. Picasso was the center and circumference of his being, and the specks of humanity he encountered outside were irrelevant. His art was the penultimate cause d’être of his being. Ferdinand Olivier, his first love, was treated like his slave, as she froze and starved while he toiled away in the Bateau Lavoir, proving his genius, painting canvas after canvas, while keeping his prisoner captive in the pitiful shack of a studio, not letting her go out unless he accompanied her, as she froze, huddled on a straw cot, trying to keep their love alive, through her worship of her lover’s art.

But the narcissist fails in this in the end, because the underlying problem with the narcissist is boredom. “Vanity is the antidote to claustrophobia.” It is the reason narcissists like Miller, Picasso, Nin, are forever falling out of love, jobs, places, and addictions.” Mailer has his magnifying glass, highlighting this phenomena in his “Genius and Lust.” Boredom is the catalyst that sends the narcissist hunting for new supply to live his otherwise empty life with the blood of his new chosen victim.

the-sociopath-next-door-bookIn “Gone Girl”, we observe the classic narcissist husband floundering in their marital cesspool with his borderline wife. What a crazy mix, a real bond, they possess, feeding off each other in their vampiristic thirst for survival. Of course, they destroy themselves individually, and each other, as their need to consume the others attention becomes fatal, when satiated, they are left alone to  drown  in their own personal self love.  These two neurotics cannot exist as a couple. Impossible! As Amy festers in her rage and the need to exact revenge and punish Nick, Nick portrays the ultimate narcissistic failed artist. The writer who quits, delusioned, but so self-absorbed, he is oblivious to the contained rage his wife is consumed with. The narcissist’s attention is all about him, blind to what’s going on around him, only to be shocked when the blowback spins him back into reality! Reality is not pretty for the artist narcissist, living in a dream world of himself and the art he creates. It is difficult to see anyone outside of that bubble world. Diego Rivera’s relationship with Frieda Kahlo was one of the Narcissist with the sickly borderline female. Textbook. His multiple affairs, and personal successes in the art world left little for her, but she clung in  desperate dependence , accepting her second place status as all she could maintain in his life. Her death would not be from her paralyzingly illness, but Rivera’s abandonment of her! She hung on for “dear life”.

gone-girl-movie-nick-amy-04In “Gone Girl”, Amy does fight back, as she attempts to hold onto a shred of pride, as she sees Nick’s abandonment as a cruel betrayal.  She is not about to allow him to win! Her revenge is exact, thorough, and evil. He is left spinning in the wind, her intent, a success, until the end where we are left with a question. Who is the real winner here in this twisted psycho drama?

artist-narcissistsThe life of the artist, in whatever the particular genre may be is one of focus, isolation, imagination, and genius. These qualities can lead to an over obsession with ones own inner life to the extreme. Often there is nothing left for anyone else. The failed artist is at risk for this as his failure won’t be accepted or admitted to, but rather the fault of extenuating circumstances, people, events. Nick, the failed writer had to find another exciting channel, to obtain the supply narcissists thrive on. The vampire’s blood so to speak.  Amy had to punish him, in order to claim his attention once again. And like the vampire draining his victim, of their life’s blood, their pursuit of more victims continues to keep them alive. The hunt makes the victims being pursued ru . The vampire needs the supply, in order to live. His victims need the narcissistic vampire in order to feel alive! Their death is his life! While his life becomes their death! A paradox intrinsic in every narcissists life!

Truth or Fiction????

Like Amy?

Love/Hate – Dictate

andy-warhol-quoteTo Live is to Love is to Hate.  Have you ever stood in front of a painting, turned the pages of the latest hot novel, or sat in an audience at Carnegie Hall, experiencing a conflicting mix of feelings, where both love and hate, create  a toxic mix of ambivalent emotions as you looked, read, listened?

The renowned writer and author, Herman Melville said ” indifference is opposite of love, not hate. Hating art is like loving art.” It’s the same extreme emotion projected in a an upside down way.

hate-love-artist-blog-nyc-2014That’s the way it’s supposed to be. You are Not supposed to be 100% clear while engaging in any artistic experience because that would be kind of boring? Right?  Nobody wants it 100%. Yes or No. Easy to figure out. Mystery is key. A mixture of things to both love AND hate make it interesting, fun, edgy, create a story, spark our curiosity, essentially involving us like nothing else does. The yin and the yang forces necessary to life’s evolvement. And that is not a simple thing. It’s a bit of black and white, yes and no, up and down, that forces us to really get into it and feel the love/hate dichotomy that riles people up, makes them sweat, and sends them running to their therapists! Otherwise, what have you? Flat – lining into oblivion. “Dead Man Walking.” And who wants that?!??! We need to have that duality when engaging in whatever our art crush happens to be. Otherwise it’s easy to take it for granted, get bored, and loose interest. Not Cool!

hate-love-artist-blog-nyc-2014Falling in love with a painting, a song, a poem, a story, a film, a dance, can feel like a powerful emotional rush, driving the need to engage in an extreme relationship with the object of your infatuation! The reason someone will pay 20 million$ for a painting, or develop a cultish obsession for a writer, I’m thinking about David Foster Wallace, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson, for example, not to mention the obsessive crushes people get on rock stars and actors, creating fan clubs, on-line sites, stalkers, venting their obsessive emotions, that are indulged and stoked by the Technicolor images on stage and screen. The passions that the Beatles, the Stones, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Nirvana ,inspired in the past, certainly looked like love! Swooning teenagers screaming in the audiences, universally tells the story. The Love Story. But then, flip the switch, and you get Hate. The fine line, tightrope walk where Love & Hate get uncomfortably close in their emotional energy and feeling. Especially when it comes to art.

The hatred of an artwork, can be as emotionally charged if not more so as the love of it. Both require intensity of feeling. Hating & Loving, the dynamic duo, blending as one, a bipolar emotional cocktail, with the ultimate result being a feeling of Something whether —viewing, reading, writing, listening, thinking……. Superman & Batman jumping the Shark!

BukowskiBukowsky’s poem, “Nothing Subtle”, read twice will either break the stoniest wall, or add another brick to it. “There is nothing subtle about dying or dumping garbage, or the spider and this fist full of nickels…..”. Or E.E. Cummings’, “LVIII”,  a quintessential love poem, a possible  answer to telling your girlfriend how you Really feel. “Is there a flower (whom i meet anywhere)

able to be and seem so quite softly as your hair….”

Depending on who you are either poem has the possibility of evoking either Love OR Hate, as the poem is processed emotionally in that unique experience that art gives us. One’s identity confirms and affirms one’s feeling.

Van-gogh-the-starry-night-1889The large crowd always clustered around Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” masterpiece at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC, can’t stop staring, at the mesmeric swirls of color as they click click click on their iPhone cameras trying to preserve the memory of this work of art that is so hard to walk away from. The agony depicted in Munch’s “Scream” is paltable, it is cringe worthy at best. Hate or Love? I call hate on this one.  It’s definitely not a pretty warm and fuzzy moment. “Scream” makes you want to cry and run away. But that’s great. It’s emotion. And that is a good thing when delving into arts’ caverns of love and hate. You will find both, living side by side, in harmony conflict. A duo of opposites.  Revealing the dichotomy of life forces as experience teaches the individual as he grows. Pop art will inspire a lot of hate, as Jeff Koons did with me at his latest exhibit at the Whitney in Nyc. People Love to Hate Pop. They often don’t get it so it’s easy to hate. They link the hate jeff-koons-wow-show-whitney-museum-nycoften with ridicule and laughter. That’s fine. At least they are feeling something and that’s the point. Warhol’s art was ridiculed and mocked all, over town. That Campbell Soup can was absurd! After all it was just a soup can. Sure. On the surface. Of course ironically, it became the trademark that helped turn Warhol into a pop icon legend, while the haters watched him laugh his way to the bank! So you never know. Hating an art work can be a good thing. When Kafka’s “Metamorphosis”, was published, people didn’t know what to think!  A salesman, his protagonist, turning into a giant insect, with no real explanation, it was so bizarre, so hated, so dark, that of course it became his major work, the novel he is known for, the book on high school reading lists worldwide! The story, brought to the surface dark feelings, and confusing messages, all symptomatic of Kafka’s own personal life story.

Franz-Kafka-The-Metamorphosis“A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us” so said Kafka. He finished none of his novels and burned 90% of his work. “Metamorphosis” regarded as his seminal work inspire those conflicting love – hate feelings in any reader. His themes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, quest, and transformation are the substance of his writings, fascinating readers for over 70 years. One can either love, hate, or a combination of both, Kafka’s take on life, and it’s effect on his literary work. But one cannot remain unaffected. One cannot ignore!

“Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike” JK Rowling. She should know, waiting on the line for her literary blockbuster Harry Potter, to be recognized!

If the art has inspired ANYTHING other than indifference it has succeeded in cracking that emotional nut!

LOVE.  HATE.  The mirage where the train tracks appear to join as one in the distance, or the ocean and sky meet at the horizon.

Robert-mitchum-Love-Hate-tattoosThe actor Robert Mitchum, in “Night of the Hunter”, tattooed his knuckles with the words Love and Hate, in the 1955 film. Pulp. Dark. Cool.  Unforgettable!

Playing a psychotic preacher, he characterized themes of good and evil, as he flashes his knuckles as a trick to seduce women in the towns he visits, a predator using religion, with good and evil symbolism, as his ticket in, his entrance thru the doorways of womens hearts and cash. With the word LOVE, tattooed on one hand, and HATE on the other, he had his unique, convenient, creepy visual to back up his words. The common universal theme of good and evil as combative forces in religion, nature, and art, communicate an emotional feeling unavoidable for most of us. Mitchum, in the film, plays a character who is very aware of this power, and uses it to manipulate his naive victims, who fall for his preacher act, as he spins biblical proverbs while flashing his significantly labeled hands. A predator hunting his prey, using the themes of love and hate as his metaphorical bait!

beatles_magical_mystery_tourArt can have this kind of power. The viewer, the reader, the listener gets pulled in, on the emotional level that exposes feelings, good and bad, through the magic and mystery of the sublime presence and power that art evokes! Emotional Q or “EQ” dominates and supplements us with an energy like no other!  We experience our own version of a “Magical Mystery Tour”, as we visit unexplored artistic regions! Our EQ provides us with the perfect guide, helping expose and enhance our artistic feelings on the journey.

We see in the paintings and poetry of the genius William Blake, the spiritual power of his mind, translating, love-hate, good – evil, themes which permeate the great body of his work. Being a metaphysician, an alchemist, a painter, a poet, a printmaker, a visionary: he created  his art  from a very transcendental  place, and it shows. Love. Hate. Blake “GOT” it! Supremely gifted with genius, and possessing a powerful connection to the spiritual world, he combined both painting and prose to transmit his messages to the world.

The_Scream_MunchYes, love and hate dictate the emotional overlap in the art world to the outer world. People being who they are, relationships get messy,  and so it is with our relationships with art. Messy. There is rarely a clear definitive response, but when there is, it’s either one or the other. But both are related as the pendulum swings back and forth, like our reactions when faced with the Basquiet, the Lautrec, the monster insect of Kafka’s masterpiece, or the grotesque eviscerations of Francis Bacon’s men, Diane Arbus and her freaks, or Anais Nin’s narcissistic journals, Tennessee William’s anguished characters, Kurt Cobain’s angst ridden songs, Or John Water’s underground film personalities, the list goes on and on and on…….

We all participate in the dictatorial symbolism emoting from the very genesis of what art is, and when we engage, by either making art or enjoying art we become the welcome victims indulging this power, because it takes us into worlds we can’t experience in any other way! Love and Hate are kindred siblings, that inspire, horrify, disgust, repulse, embrace, adore,  caress, shame, tranquilize, frighten, seduce, amuse, threaten, and often surprise!

Yes, Love/Hate – Dictate!

And

If invited-

We are always eager to attend THAT party!

To Serve & Be Served

Server:  ” A person whose responsibility it is to provide assistance to another person.”

Tpainters-poets-artist-life-1ypically artists have had day jobs in order to support themselves. Making art, though personally rewarding can also be financially challenging. The actor, writer, painter, poet has worked in cafés, bars, restaurants, shops, bookstores, in order to support himself. To survive one must often work in menial, boring, tedious, and often ego punishing jobs, serving the public, in order to pay the bills, and attend to the basic life necessities, while also pursuing ones artistic endeavors.

painters-poets-artist-lifeNot easy on the surface, but if truth were to be told, having been on the other side, the server, is not as simple and mundane as he or she appears to be. The perception to the “others”, A.K.A. the public is something quite different. It’s an interesting dichotomy. The server, be it waiter, salesperson, bartender, can be perceived as a fixture, a robotic tool of said establishment, whose sole function is to provide the customer with what he wants. If job is well done, meaning a gracious abundance of subservient ass kissing, the one who “waits” may be shown favor with a tip, a commission, a pat on the head by the boss, a compliment hopefully catapulting him to a step up the ladder in whatever his place of employment happens to be. The extraordinary over the top customer service applied the greater the tip. And vice versa. All of this manipulation and theatrics can be stressful and create animosity not shown but felt by servers to the served. It encourages and amplifies the “we against them” attitude.

joseph-cornell-boxEvery great and not so great artist has been in the service business at some time. It’s inevitable considering the unreliable world of artistic self expression you

Madonna-waittress

chose. Joseph Cornell, creator of those magical boxes, worked as a door – to – door appliance  salesman, and a plant attendant at a local nursery in Queens NY. Sylvia Plath babysat to help pay her college expenses, while she poured out her tormented angst in prose, Brad Pitt wore a chicken costume to promote a Mexican restaurant before he hit the big time, poet Frank O’Hara was a clerk at the MOMA gift shop, Mariah Carey, Gwenyth Paltrow, Madonna, and Sandra Bullock all waitresses before making it..to name a few. It’ s an obligatory job qualification to have “served” prior to stardom. The proverbial paying one’s dues, BEFORE you achieve success in your chosen craft, AFTER the switch is flipped, and the dues are paid to you! BUT THAT DOESNT COME EASY and persistence is key.

pressfield-the-war-of-artSteve Pressfield hammers that point home in his epic artist Bible ” The War of Art”. He says to keep at it, do what you have to do, but don’t resist your true calling. Resistance is the killer, and the inoculation is to keep pursuing your passion. That is your true occupation, not the faux reality you endure in order to pay the bills.

painters-poets-artist-service-life-1

Behind the scenes, the back story of the server’s work life is a completely different life than what the public sees. The public is a mass of anonymous strangers attracted to said establishment for the purpose of consumer indulgence, entertainment, escape, ego gratification, whereas the server, salesperson, shop girl, is working, and it can be a slow, tedious, laborious, unfulfilling, mechanical process. It’s a paycheck, and usually a menial one, no bells and whistles attached. Just cold cash and not a lot of it.  These individuals are not your friends, or your fans. The public may not see them as human, but mere fixtures, necessary in order to provide them with What They Want! If J Q Public sees his waiter, bartender, salesperson on the street the chances of looking directly at them with NO recognition are 99.9%. Because the store “fixture” is not real. Once outside the establishment, in the outer world, the fixture is just another person, with no compatibility or link to the clerk, or waiter once serving said customer within the confines of the place of business. It’s that Matrix thing again. Are you In or are you Out?

manet-Un-bar-aux-Folies-BergèreSo, servers inhabit a secret world. It’s the world of the watcher, the observer, the critique, the analyst, the smiling facade, the “service with a smile” greeting, provide entertainment, gossip, and subjects for the unwritten novel, painting, poem, or actors audition. Oh yes, servers gain a ton of information, knowledge, and crazy insights from observing JQ Public on the job. Because as invisible as the server appears to be, he is always WATCHING you. Subtle, and contained, the server sees everyone and knows faces, behaviors, attitudes, requests, of any one who he be holds in front of him and if you visit the same establishment twice you are known, a returner, and fair game for a speculative observation and eventual discussion as soon as youdepart. And not always in a positive or flattering way. Imagining that you are unseen, makes you vulnerable, the casual shopper, the drinker, the diner, being waited on by a somewhat ethereal being. Who only waits on you robotlike, when in reality they see you a bit too closely, and remember you the next time you appear, and often gossip about you with co workers, friends, your appearance, idiosychrocies, your mannerisms, you were rude, you were nice, your style or, lack of, your cheapness, your generosity, your sex appeal, it ALL is noticed, kept in reserve to be channeled out later for entertaining chatter, humor, discussion. God help you if you are a celebrity! Because fact

the-watchers

is, these menial jobs, minimum wage, can be very boring. The down times are slow and tedious with clock watching an ongoing mission, as very minute passes freedom gets closer and closer, so people watching, or shall I say customer watching becomes a team sport, better than a movie, real life exposed, on the down low, customers unaware, oblivious to the fact that  they are being watched, and inevitably  will reveal some unusual behaviors,  unaware that the clerks  working, surrounding them are even remotely aware of their existence, existing only in the sole fundamental capacity to answer their questions, give them what they want, show them the restroom, order another drink, flatter their dress choice, tell them what book to read, swipe their CC, bottom line….. to SERVE THEM!

BUT-

orwell-on-waiters-in-londonWho is serving who? There is an unspoken communication between customer and salesperson. The mere attitude either can make or break a sale. A smile can turn a 15% tip into a 20%. The artist, the actor is thinking of their off job activities, their real life, while swiping JQ’s credit card, the designer is rearranging his living room furniture while leading Miss Thing around the 4th floor at Barney’s, and the smiling greeter at BB&B is plotting the next chapter of her novel, while folding towels.  The charade is profound and is all a great act. Book stores are a prime example of the charade! They have Always been a mecca for artists. A job in the literary world, flexible hours, opportunities to observe the parade of humanity, abundant food for your art, and a chance to grab new books, the minute they hit the shelves! Patty Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe in her best selling novel, ” Just Kids”, talks about how they survived in NYC by working at Scribners Books on Fifth Avenue.  Robert Orwell worked the line while “Down & Out in Paris & London”, every actor on the planet has bussed tables, bar – tended, and hustled, while painters are re known historically for taking on shitty day jobs to pay the rent.

clerks-movie-art-serviceBook clerks, like other clerks in service fields, as perceived by the public are invisible entities seen only when absolutely necessary. Unrecognizeable to the public, they are there to give the customer what he or she wants.  But, the bookseller, sees you, in ways you will never know. He sees you by the books you buy, the books you pick up and look at, the books you ask for. These books will tell your story as you read, other people’s stories. What’s your problem? Weight, depression, loneliness, divorce, s+m, romance! games! Interests? Growing cannabis? Pop Culture? Career change? WWII?  Your secrets are revealed when you step Into a bookstore!  The booksellers will soon know what they are. The cashier behind the counter, who may have a zombie stare, is watching you. What book did you pick up off the display? Are you a liberal? lonely-hearts-clubConservative? Gay? manic? single? Unhappily married? bipolar?  It’s all revealed by the books you are attracted to, and the booksellers see you. To the public, booksellers are akin to pieces of furniture, who will speak if spoken to , but to the sellers you are exposed in a harsh brutal light showing your flaws and your secrets, and unaware you continue to wander the shop exposing yourself like the patient on the therapists couch.  The high wattage bulb is turned on and the customer becomes unwittingly a species under the microscope, ripe for close and personal examination.  The middle-aged man who sits on the same chair for hours every week, a pile of magazines  his pretend friends, the lonely woman on Friday night, seeking the bookstore as her only  sanctuary, the modelesque blonde student hunched On the floor, a chosen corner, pretending to read while sleeping  off her heroin high, the guy who plots his days by the stars, updates his favorite astrology book, his hope for future happiness. Every Week, the crazies, the junkies, the suits, the men who escape the homeless shelters by day, the depressives, the lonely hearts club, all come together to the bookstore for escape. A retreat from the oppressive

kafka-was-the-rage-book-anatole-broyardchaos of the city, it is a welcome escape. In “Kafka was the Rage”, by Anatole Broyard, his autobiographical expose of a bookshop owner in the 1950’s, Greenwich Village. Broyard rents a shop on Cornelia Street, stocks it with books, and begins his adventure in book selling. His passion was writing, so this seemed like a perfect fit. To own and operate a Greenwich Village bookstore! But, unexpectedly, he gives it up, after experiencing the infinite parade of lonely city dwellers , who used him as their personal therapist, and used the bookshop as a retreat from life, their sudo home, reading books , not purchasing, and hanging out, in their make believe “home away from home”. This was a rude awakening for Broyard as he lost money, and became discouraged by this unexpected turn of events. Broyard was a watcher, a voyeur, who chronicled his experience in his first book, “Kafka was the Rage”, describing what he witnessed as he served the public, and simultaneously gathering material for his first novel! ‘He served and was served!

overheard-in-the-restaurantActors, and artists, want to spend their time in their pursuit of their craft, but life gets in the way and bills have to be paid. Often very intelligent talented people have to spend hours and hours in jobs they are over qualified for intellectually, while striving for the ability to work 100% at their artistic goals. So they wait tables, tend bar, sell stuff, they SERVE! But while they serve, they watch, they get material, they develop telescopic views into people and lives they would not have been privy to any other way. They develop communication skills with the vast spectrum of society, the losers and the winners. They get street smart, while toning their diplomatic skills, becoming clever, intuitive, people savvy, and tuned in to humanity. The public is an infinite body of nameless faces, personalities, styles, shapes, and characters. The servers have to accommodate whoever walks in and presents themselves. This takes skill, tact, strategy, and intuition, because you never know who is going to show up and present themselves and you better be ready willing and able to deal with whomever that is! And it could be a deranged maniac! Keeping things calm, giving them what they want, keeping them satisfied, delivering, using that server strategy, until they go away. And the next encounter arrives.

journey-to-your-passionBut after work, on break, on Facebook, the servers get the chance to express how they really see you- JQ PUBLIC, creatures of shops and cafés, observations, are shared, because Servers are not invisible mutants, robots, furniture, servants, or potted plants! They are doing a job, but it’ not their REAL job! Their true identity originates elsewhere. The authentic life is outside the confines of the store, bar, cafe, hotel, restaurant, the menial paycheck, with the subservient catering to the publics whims and needs. It is about making their art, acting in the show, writing, painting, running, dancing, dreaming, expressing the passions that make life worth living, the creative juice that runs on full gear, the way they get through the day, knowing that this is NOT It…that there is so much more that identifies who they are! And that knowledge keeps them going until, they can throw in the apron, the name tag, the cap, the uniform forever, and live the life they were meant to live completely!!!!!!!

Six Degrees to Kandinsky

concerning-the-spiritual-in-art-kandinsky“Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays touching one key or another purposively to cause vibrations in the soul”.

Kandinsky, the Russian born artist said that. He said a lot of profound, unique, soulful things he recorded in his book, “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” If you haven’t read it, try it, you’ll like it!

It’s a literary dissection of his artistic philosophy which he translated in his paintings. Abstract, Bible based, humane qualities, intricate, color splashed, intensely provocative, Kandinsky painted straight from the soul,  and had a deep spiritual relationship, a connection with the “Creator”  and what we call HIS creations.

will-smith-six-degrees-separationMy first experience with Kandinsky, oddly enough, was a movie I saw in 1993, actor Will Smith’s first, called ” Six Degrees of Separation”. Smith’s character, perpetrates a fraud on a Park Avenue couple, who take him into their home, believing him to be a college friend of their son. Patrons of the arts, Kandinsky is their favorite painter, and two of his paintings become central points of interest in the movie. “Black Lines” and “Several Circles”, depicting the qualities of chaos and control. Chaos and Control. The yin and the yang. The high and the low. The plus and the minus. Smith charms his way into their lives by concocting a lie about his identity, which they swallow hook, line and sinker, fooled, and charmed by Smith’s charismatic personality, and their desperate need to inject excitement into their mundane, sterile, predictable, lives. Smith Reads them, Plays them,  Robs them, and in so doing, causes the bipolar opposites of  chaos and control, as symbolized in Kandinsky’s paintings.  In their intellectual naivety, bounded by their social status and inflated egos, they become easy targets for Smith, and he preys on their vulnerabilities with the sharp sting of the subtle snake, who lies  in wait, ready to pounce, and devour! The “War of Art” in action! The theory of “6 degrees”, is that everyone and everything is six steps away , so that there is a link, invisible, yet profound that connects any two people in six steps! Physically or spiritually this link creates a chain that leads to this connection. Six links is all, it takes!

Crazy!

sutherland-kandinsky-six-degrees-of-separationWhen the film came out it helped push Will Smith into the movie star realm, from his TV fame, a major career leap for him at the time, taking him into the Hollywood stratosphere! It also raised the intriguing question of the  of six degrees phenomenon.  Kandinsky’s paintings highlight this question exposing his spiritual view, seen in his paintings, and posing spectacular questions of time and space. His “Compositions” were based on his “music is the ultimate teacher”, vision, displayed in his  pre  WW1 exhibit, “Degenerate Art”  later destroyed. This was pre Nazi Russia in the 1930’s. A foreboding, dangerous time.

In his “Compositions”, he focuses on The Apocalypse. He describes the artist as “prophet” in his book, “Concerning the Spiritual”. He predicted that the coming war , would forever change society, and he painted what he felt, looking ahead, prophetic, seeing into the future, the chaos of war, the control of government dictators, the powers that ruled the times, the uncertainty of life as it had been leaping into life as it would be .

Wassily-Kandinsky-paintingBible stories, symbolizing the cycle of life, was an important resource for Kandinsky in his personal experience and he expressed it in his art. From Adam, to Moses to Noah, to Jonah, to the Apocalypse, he inhaled these Bible  stories and exhaled them in his supreme abstract imagery , creating the masterpieces we see today! The war years also presented a huge moral and spiritual cataclysm for him, and as an artist that had to come out visually, and it did successfully!

The “internal necessity” is why the authentic artist creates. “This inhabits the top of an upward moving pyramid” looking into the future.

Gazing at a Kandinsky is an emotional experience. Color, shapes, his view becomes our view of feelings and events that only the painter can share through his work. The longer one looks the more one sees, and it’s not a brief encounter. This is NOT a fling, a one night stand, but a serious relationship, a commitment, a love affair!

For example:

kandinsky-paintings-in-MOMAKandinsky at the MOMA. four large ones, kept in their own room, unshared by other artists,  used to line the Park Avenue apt hallway , of the wealthy businessman Edwin Campbell, the CEO of Chevrolet, in 1913. Each one is a spectacular viewing experience! To imagine owning them and having them greet you whenever you entered or exited your home is a surreal fantasy one can only dream! My favorite is #1, found in Gallery 14 at MOMA. The minute you see it, you become transfixed by the multi facets of brilliance color spilling in an hypnotic swirl of hot and cold, posing questions, no answers, and emotions that freeze you in position, reveling in the power of Kandinsky’s  artistry!

small-world-by-barbara-krugerThe pyramid effect he writes about is a natural component of his work engaging his spiritual devotion with his observations of society and humanity during an unsettled time in history. He was obsessed with the soul. The artist as prophet. The artist at the apex of the pyramid making new discoveries, the pioneer standing alone at mountain’ peak, looking out and taking in the inspiration that he absorbs and projects into his work! AGAIN – because I think it’s poetic, profound, passionate, and a perfect characterization of his thought process and his work.

“Color directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.”

Kandinsky-quoteArtist as musician as painter as one entity working, united in harmony creating a composition transfixing the onlooker, the listener, in a symphonic experience of painting, musical harmony, opening up a new world!

This is Kandinsky’s mantra, his point of view. It speaks to anyone who is artistically inclined, whether the Park Avenue millionaire, or the everyday gallery goer, there is a message here that inspires, involves, and invigorates the mind, as we begin to comprehend the spiritual in art as he wished. We stand on the fifth floor, of MOMA, gaze at Kandinsky’s visions, and in so doing we affirm the reality that YES!  We are all brought together by those “Six degrees of Separation ” where art brings us Together through the power of the Soul Spirit Kandinsky knew, lived, worshiped, practiced, and gave to us! This powerful ART magnet creates a togetherness where even 6 degrees becomes unnecessary! And That is VERY COOL!

Walk the Walk Flaneur Style!

flaneur-style-old-nycThe definition of a “flaneur” loosely stated is “the art of strolling”. A flaneur is an “idler, a man or woman of leisure, a street connoisseur, an urban explorer”.

Isn’t that just an inflated way of describing a person who walks? Not really. If you are engaged in the act of walking, practically speaking, such as from train to office, from car to house, from desk to desk, from kitchen to bedroom, That is just transporting yourself from one place to another, usually with a necessary intent in mind. Flaneur, a term coined by philosopher Walter Benjamin in the mid 19th century, is far more involved. It’s a lifestyle, part of Parisian culture that Benjamin discovered, observing the poet Baudelaire, and other so called “dandies” of the time, whose flaneur instinct was an innate part of their personalities as artists in the society. Baudelaire was the first flaneur to appear in the literary world. Benjamin an intellectual observer of society’s nuances in his own right was influenced by Baudelaire’s flaneuristic tendencies. His famous series of poems” Les Fleurs du Mal”, describes Parisienne life in the famous arcades asseen thru the eyes of the flaneur.

From an Nyc painter perspective, flaneur or walker, is a necessary activity when on a hunt for ideas, inspiration, and insight to be utilized in the studio later. Because there is no bounty like the urban environment’s gifts naturally exposed to me on my artist walks, open eyes and open mind the necessary tools, while gathering new material for upcoming paintings!

walking-in-nyc-flaneurThe cities London, Paris, and New York are the flaneur’s heaven. Exploring by foot, at leisure, is not only enjoyable, accessible, and exciting, but is also a way to fill the creative well. One goes out with a blank mind and returns with an overflow of sensory information. The walk is not just a walk , simplistic in  meaning , but a “gastronomy of the eye” as Balzac aptly called it!  Getting out of the studio, the office, ditching the computer , is a welcome journey for the creative to go on, the simple stroll, becomes a hunt for jewels  to fill the treasure chest of the mind !

Paris is the flaneur’s natural habitat. As Edmund White paraphrases in his book, “The Flaneur”, “looking at people go by has always been the Parisian’s favorite pastime; no wonder they’re called gawkers!” Baudelaire says of the flaneur,” the crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird, or the fish of the sea” The cafe life in Paris caters to the flaneur’s love of observation or as we call it today, “people watching.”

gerard-de-nerval-walking-pet-lobsterIn the mid 19th century, when the flaneur became a “thing” in Paris, it was associated with the lifestyle of the “dandy”, the idle rich with excess time on their hands to stroll the city’s streets at their leisure. Oscar Wilde, Baudelaire, and Gerard de Nerval, the French Romantic poet, who actually walked his pet lobster around on a blue silk leash, were a few of these “dandys”. When questioned about his unusual lobster walking habit, Nerval retorted, “why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog?” Of course, Nerval was utterly and completely Mad! But an original flaneur in every way!

“The crowd was the veil from behind which the familiar city as phantasmagoric beckoned to the flaneur”

Walter Benjamin, philosopher and essayist, was fascinated with this subject. He noted that there was no English equivalent. Being an observer, of human behavior, flaneur was prime material for his fertile mind.

vivian-maier-photos-art-blog-nycBut what about photographers famous or otherwise? Watching, looking, recording strangers, wars, society, celebrities, buildings, faces, light, scenes, landscapes, the exotic, the banal, the photographer’s work in progress is an on going documentary of life as seen through the cameras eye. Certain Nyc photographer – flaneur’s , like, Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, Robert Frank, Edward Steichen, Cindy Sherman, were always on the GO, walking the streets , looking for new material, and thousands of photos later, we get to experience the city as they did . In the film “Finding Vivienne Maier”, we are taken on this illusive mystery woman’s  city walks, her camera focused ,watching, walking, and waiting for the photo she wanted.  Robert Franks, in his “The  Americans”, the dynamic expose of our society in the 1950’s, Weegee’s crime scene photos from the underground Nyc life, also pre 1970, Ron Galella, celebrity photographer, stalking his obsession Jackie O, up and down the city streets, Doisneau’s, iconic black & white, photographs of Paris, are spectacular records of the street life, and  give us a view of early 20th century life we can only experience through photos such as his. Amazing stuff, stepping into a time capsule, that only the flaneur, armed with camera, or sketch pad, or journal, can give us, from his street perspective, up close, we get to see what he sees and that is a special experience. Diane Arbus’s freaks, her attraction to the atypical as her subjects, the circus freaks, the retarded child, the vagrant, the downtrodden, city characters she came across during her flaneuring in NYC,  sealing her place in history ! The writer, Edmund White, cites French photographer Eugene Atget, as a “scientific flaneur.” “An obsessed photographer, determined to document every street in Paris, before it disappeared forever in the new construction looming in the future.” These flaneur’s armed with cameras, have the ability to document the city scape as it changes, is torn down, rebuilt, transformed over time, with the photographs left to document what once was. In Vivienne Maier’s stunning collection of thousands of NYC photos, now available in a book, “Street Photographer” one is given a historical photographic journey of a city that no longer exists.

henry-miller-tropic-of-cancerHenry Miller, the charismatic novelist, spent his early writing life on the streets of Paris, with his lover Anais Nin, usually looking for a meal, but also gathering  material for his banned book “Tropic of Cancer”,  and the future tropics to follow. Miller is always walking the streets of Paris, from Pigalle to the Bastille, to Montparnasse, the Right Bank, the Left Bank,  he covers by foot, every avenue, every “rue” of old Paris. Miller, the Brooklyn boy, writer in training, expat, soaking up the sights, the people, the language, living as a true “starving artist”, pursuing his dream, his walks taking him into Zola’s “Belly of Paris”, and giving the world his gritty life view in the pages of his often controversial, raw, rough, provocative novels!

There was a recent study by the medical profession stating that “sitting is bad for you” physically. But I maintain that mentally, it’s not great either. Walking is physically AND mentally invigorating!  It’s healthy  mobility, your body and mind moving in tandem, together it’s a powerful combo where all systems are go, and when that happens, the mind is turned on to the stimuli around you as you walk. The synchronicity, the harmony, walking, gives body and mind, is irreplaceable. This is a process that painters get ideas from, returning to their canvas, full of inspiration, visuals, ideas, potato-planting-Van-Goghprovided by their  walk! Van Gogh’s paintings of the potato planters, his sight holding them in his artist’s eyes, as he walked through the Dutch countryside, Utrillo’s cafe scenes, clearly from his meanderings through the winding Monmartre streets in his absinthe haze, Lautrec’s cabaret posters, his brothel paintings, walking with his infamous cane, that held a beaker of absinthe, or brandy in it’s hook, making his flaneur experience compatible with his drinking. The SITTER has a very different experience. One is stationary, compact, confined. Whereas the WALKER is movement, freedom, mobility, unleashed!” Transitory poetic in the historic” Baudelaire says. As only he could, using his poetic liscence freely.  Yes, there is the possibility to “achieve transcendence” as you wander, walk, stroll stride, saunter the city streets. It’s the unexpected encounter, the surprise event, the sudden illumination, the street action, people, traffic, energy,  all carry the flaneur’s ahead, around, and towards new sights, different views of old sights, and unfolds untapped resources of the mind that your walk inspires!

oscar-wilde-flaneurWhile Oscar Wilde, the poet, playwright, gay icon was serving his prison sentence in 1897, for sodomy, “gross indecency” with other men, he wrote a journal he entitled, “De Profoundis”.

“I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and sensual ease. I amused myself with being a flaneur, a dandy, a man of fashion, surrounding myself with the smaller motives and the meaner minds.” He was feeling regretful, experiencing a prison sentence, ill, depressed, facing the end of a colorful, if turbulent life.

Wilde was the ultimate dandy. He carried flaneur to another level, where his strolling, or cruising, the modern description, walking the city gave him material for his literary works, as well as his erotic lifestyle as well. He was proud of his “dandy” status, unapologetic for anything he did, giving the social environment he lived in many tantalizing moments! This dress, his curls, his homosexual identity, all made him quite the outrage! Another flaneur about town, artist in the making, personality extraordinaire!

There have been many flaneur’s who have made history, as observers of the city, depicting their imagery artistically since the late 19th century. Walking is not especially newsworthy on it’s own, but the distinct qualities of the FLANEUR set him apart, this unique individual activity, absorbing, the city as a classroom, a studio, a library, a stage, where life unfolds in its personal way, view and viewer merging as one, strolling, wandering, gawking, gaping, while walking your turtle or lobster on a leash, leading to creative vision and fresh inspiration, galvanizing new goals, energizing a wider view, while revealing an expansive horizon timeless and free!

Dream Onnnnn

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklynGenius & Dreamers. The Yin and the Yang. The Yes and the No. The Up and the Downs, the Roof and the Basement.

So, this very cool writer named Jonathon Carroll in one of his books titled ” Outside the Dog Museum” says This about genius:

“Geniuses are allowed to do anything. Picasso was a big prick. Beethoven never emptied his chamber pot, and Frank Lloyd Wright stole as much money from his clients as any good thief. But it was all okay because they were all “geniuses”. He goes on to say that “genius is a boat that sails itself”.

Braque said that “ones style -it is in a way ones inability to do otherwise…. Your physical constitution practically determines the shape of the brush marks.”

“Bullshit on all that artistic suffering, “agonizing” over the empty page….. Canvas”

Anyone who agonizes isn’t a genius is an idiot! Carroll goes on to say.

And there you go.

There it is.

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklynCould that be because dreams, are the genesis of art in its multi forms? And dreams don’t involve agonizing or forcing, they just are, like the rose petals unfold, a natural process, like nature shows us, from the caterpillar evolving into the butterfly, to the bumble bee giving us honey, to the sun drenched grapes on the vine providing us with wine in the glass. They just happen. Because they are supposed to.

Geniuses always seem to just BE. Creation is easy and they just Have IT covered! Is it because the “geniuses” make their dreams reality and treat them as such, without the wake up process that most people experience?  Or are certain individuals just inordinately blessed, hit the jackpot, were given that bonus coupon, the extra gift that makes them fly, surpassing the rest of us ordinary mortals?

Most of the greats the Rimbauds, the Van Goghs, Kerouac, Hemingway, Mapplethorpe, were intense dreamers, whose dream – reality state was seamless. A unit. They all knew who they were, what they wanted, and where they were going! Dreams are infinite. They are timeless, with out restrictions or human boundaries, free –  fall experiences of the mind, and could it be that “geniuses” accept that idea, live it without questions asked,  and thus accomplish supernatural things that mere mortals cannot comprehend?

The French writer, a genius so to speak, Cocteau, in his journals says:

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklyn” Then I realized that my dream life was as full of memories as my real life, that it WAS a real life, denser, richer in episodes and in details of all kinds, more precise in fact, and that it was difficult for meto locate my memories in one world or another , that they were superimposed, combined, and creating a double life for me, twice as huge and twice as long as my own”

That’s pretty heavy stuff. His dream life was more real than his so-called real life.

One wonders. Is this true? Who knows? I don’t. Do you?

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklynWhere does creativity come from? The dream world is certainly a prime originator of all creative genius. The “Songs of Innocence and Experience”, William Blake’s masterpiece, is essential dream material, as is most of his work, his Dragon series, his mystical dreamy, other world visions translated unto his poetry and artwork as a harmonious symmetry of passionate self expression give us his dreams coming to live on the page.

Blake’s work is the substance of genius no doubt, and breaks through  that magical world, the genius spirit taps into, entertains, envelops, and encourages. “I must create my own system or be enslaved by another’s” was Blake’s fundamental goal.

Are you a dreamer? Or are you firmly rooted in the real world? You know WHO you are. But do you know WHERE you Really are?

Are you thinking of your 9-5 humdrum rat race experience, or are you mentally swimming in the ocean of the I don’t know what, but it isn’t THIS!

Patti Smith, in her epic biography, ” Just Kids “, describes her starving days, with Robert Mapplethorpe, freshly fired from their respective bookseller jobs, persevering in their creative goals, aka LIFE, freezing, broke, hungry, in their Lower East Side walk up, pushed to the max, energy pumped by dreams, youth, and that indescribable “IT” factor that makes certain stars shine brighter in the sky!

Joseph Cornell, the “Master of Dreams” was a dream maker incarnate toiling away in his mothers utopia parkway kitchen on his magnificent dream boxes , the world outside a blur, his inner world manifested within these surreal boxes germinating in his unique and fantastic MIND!

These geniuses, some born, others made, believed in their dreams! Nothing was getting in the way! The yellow caution light was blinking but dreamers don’t slow down, they just drive faster through it and beyond to the green light signaling GO GO GO!

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklynSo when I look at Blake’s engraving of “Jacob’s Ladder”, or “The Ancient of Days”, I have no doubt that he was tapped in, connected to the dream world inspiring and guiding him on his artistic path. His images came from his spiritual, other world reality far removed from the gritty ugly, Dickensonian London cityscape he was dwelling in at time, late 1700’s -1800’s. His interior world transported him out of his exterior world. Lucky!

Living in the Material World. George Harrison talks about “drowning in the material world”, that he has a lot to do to get out of this place, and he does it by dreaming himself out.  Aerosmith tells us to “Dream On”, Fleetwood  Mac in their “Dreams” tells us that when the rain washes it all away then we see the visions, which set us straight, and many more musicians sing the dream theme, because it’s a popular and powerful message.

pop-art-blog-nyc-brooklynSeveral years ago, in NYC, The New York Public Library produced a fantastic exhibit on Jack Kerouac’s writings. During my visit, I was amazed by the extensive collection  of dreams and visions that Kerouac documented in his personal journals and sketchbooks, diaries, and  stories. Mysticism, Buddhism, Beatism, other world experiences, and (yes he was a victim of alcoholism ), which took him to the “other side ” sooner rather than later,  but his dreams pushed him into his destiny as a “Beat” Writer ,an icon , a representative of the NY  literary cultural dream team along with Alan Ginsberg, Bill Burroughs, Diane DiPrima, Gregory Corsco , Hettie and LeRoi Jones! Kerouac, definitely a dream inspired man On the Road! Death could not stop him. His dream lives on!

Genius mentality can be found in any profession from the scientist to the chef, to the mechanic, to the writer, to the landscaper, it is all about taking the dreams and making them real. It’s about the ones who believe in their dreams as serious goals, life blood, veins of gold , and pursue them. The rest of the world calls them geniuses. The dream weavers incarnate.  The surrealists, the Project Runway contestants, the Chopped contestants, the walking dreamers. They all move towards the endgame, the dream dust the oxygen they inhale every moment of every day.

” Dreaming is an art of pure imagination, attesting in man a creative power, which if it was available in the waking world would make every man a Shakespeare or a Dante”

art-blog-nyc-brooklynThoreau whose dream was to retreat in solitude at Walden Pond, and write about his experiences, tapped into his dream power, making his dreams reality! We can read all about it in ” Walden”, a must for every high school student for the past 60 years.

Cocteau did it all as novelist, poet, dramatist, filmmaker, said ” one of the characteristics of the dream is that nothing surprises us in it. With no regret we agree to live in it with strangers, completely cut off from our habits and our friends.” Like Thoreau he identified the dream life with solitude. While a fertile ground for creative growth the genius often survives in isolation living the “dream” apart from the world around him.

art-blog-nyc-brooklynDiane Arbus, Georgia O’Keefe, George Sand, Colette, Piaf, Suzanne Valladon, Sylvia Beach, Simone de Beauvoir, Freida Kahlo, Sylvia Plath, these women were proof of this identifying quality, living off the grid, pursuing their dreams, often without social encouragement or recognition. Dreaming  is gender oblivious. You are or you are not. You Do or you Don’t.

There are an infinite number of examples where dreams are pivotal in the lives of geniuses and creatives throughout time. That tells me that you can’t have one without the other. It’s a tandem experience. It’s the apple pie a la mode, the wine and cheese, the Billie Holiday and gardenias, the Kerouac and Cassidy, the Frieda and Diego , the genius -dream duo is a made to order duality of creative energy and inspiration propelling certain individuals into the stratosphere where dreaming becomes reality and gives the world a special experience unique, valuable and timeless!  The bicycle built for two!

art-blog-nyc-brooklynWebster defines dreams as: ” a conception or image created by the imagination and having no objective reality. ”

“Dream On”. We’ve all heard that at one time or another, meant to dismiss and demean. When actually it should be used to encourage and enlighten. Dream On. Are you kidding? Dream on. I kid you not.

When Dorothy saw OZ she knew she wasn’t in Kansas anymore! She had a dream that became reality, or was her reality the dream? This is the question of the ages, the one that the dreamers accept, thriving in the OZ of their own making , that world of imagination and fantasy, spinning dreams into reality, birthing geniuses, creating art in its many dimensions and forms, inspiring, sharing, and blessing lives into infinity!

Dream On. Keep dreaming. What? You must be dreaming? YES! YES! And again YES!

And

No – Dorothy you’re NOT in Kansas anymore.

Naked Artist

jeff-koons-art-wow-show-nycSetting my sights on a gallery day I choose the WOW show in NYC. Jeff Koons at the Whitney!
Well, how do I describe his work? Big. Check. Color. check. Eye Candy. Check. Attention Getting. Check
but…..

jeff-koons-art-wow-show-nyc-2I think Koons has done a fantastic job of pulling a fast one on the public’s ( That means us)  gullible minds, where fast and furious overtakes substance and quality. But , he is Soooo  good at what he does. He sells his kitschy, colorful, exaggerated sculptures and paintings as “art” and the people eat it up like the sweet rich sticky monstrosities he delivers. And like any sickening sweet overdose , it’s hard to digest, and  you feel like throwing up afterwards. That’s’  how I felt when I was finished with the show.

jeff-koons-art-wow-show-nyc-5I watched the New York crowd fawn all over his work in rapture, eyes big, naively looking at , begging for their sycophantic cohorts to photograph them besides,  in front of Koons  various bizarre concoctions from his inflated dog to his kids beach toys , to what looked like the biggest mound of play dough you could ever NOT need to see, to his humongous Purple Heart draped in gold bows, to his exaggerated pink piece of cake. I won’t even go into his porn mixed in with the color cartoonish themes, that kinda sneaks up on you and BAM! You realize what you are staring at. EW. People at the show though, seemed more interested in posing with the Koons as their glitzy, neon background, so their gallery cohorts could photograph them,  then really looking at his work. Interesting.

jeff-koons-art-wow-show-nyc-6Conflicting egos, I would say.  Koons inflated ego is so highlighted at the Whitney show, in that obnoxious way, people hate, that for us to appreciate it on any level we have to insert our own egos into the show in order to make it worthwhile. Hence photo ops are in order. Snap!
Some of us go to galleries and museums to see, experience, and enjoy art.  Others go to say they went. Sycophants do as they’re told by the social powers that be. It’s good chitchat for cocktail parties, and keeping oneself in the know while  dining at Cipriani, Jean-George, Daniel,  Per Se, with the “Radical Chic”, crowd,  as novelist Tom Wolfe describes in his clever essay from the 1970’s. I get it.
but…..
I kept hoping the star character in that familiar fairytale, the innocent child would appear, to point out the truth about what we were really looking at in the Koons Retrospective.  “The  Emperor was wearing no clothes!
Or, I say, “The Jokester Fools the Fools!”

“So What?” from the Pope of Pop

andy-warhol-diaries-pop-art-blog-nycIn “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol”, Warhol, discusses in a chapter entitled, Time, his “So What” theory.

It’ s pretty radical in it’s simplicity, and it’s an awesome freeing message!

Andy says ” sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, “So What?”

“My mother didn’t love me.” So what?

“My husband won’t ball me.” So what?

“I’m a success, but I’m still alone.” So what?

He goes on to say that he has no idea how he survived before he learned that trick, but that once he got it he never forgot.

WORD. To. The. Wise.

Andy-Warhol-quote-pop-art-blog-nycSo fast forward to Today Speak, we can translate Andy’s “so what?” Into “whatever”. Right? Nothing is THAT important, that serious! Isn’t it all kind of blown up from that deflated balloon reality where it all begins? Light hearted, whimsical, fun, POP!  The lofty, uber pretentious days can be historically interesting but in real time also a colossal drag!!!

His book, a masterpiece of ingenious witticisms, logic, and unique observations, is a real X-Ray into Andy Warhol’s Head. A head full of confetti. Like one of those old school bubble gum machines with prizes mixed in with multi colored gum balls. Put the penny in and you don’t know what you will get. But you will get something you didn’t have before. And that’s what Warhol’s book gives us – new ideas, a new way of looking at everyday things. It’s all about the NEW, because face it people don’t really dig the old. Not really. They may pretend they do, but actually— Noooooo.

We want it hip, hot, fresh, right off the grill, spicy, the day after Today!

Warhol-marilyn-monroe-pop-art-nyc-blogAnd his art was like that. The pop concept, everyday things become artworks. A soup can, a shoe, a dollar sign, a cereal box, Marilyn Monroe, anything really that caught his eye. And his method of reproducing his art using silkscreen, so there was no possibility of ever running out of a painting with a one time sale. He was guaranteeing the infinite, removing limits, his eternal dollar signs multiplying with every copy the silk screen spun out.  His photographic technique for his portraits of the jet setters he worshipped and who followed him around like the pied piper of NYC, were all inherent components in achieving his  popularity and fame. He turned the boring stuff of life into something exciting and new. But only through art, and his cutting edge, off the grid lifestyle, that attracted everyone from the down and out in Beverly Hills types to the hoity toity silver spooners of Park Avenue. They all wanted to join Andy’s fraternity of pop! Membership guaranteed your POPularity , the ticket to Oz, the trip from dullsville to Crazytown, where everyone wanted to live in the psychedelic sixties!

warhol-factory-nyc-pop-art-nycBut only the Cool could enter. And that could be anyone from his drugged out blue blood friend Edie, to his Factory drag star UltraViolet, to his best bud Samo aka Basquiet, Ingrid Superstar, and of course his telephone mate Bridgette, his alter ego earpiece from “The Andy Warhol Diaries”, his prime requirement is that they are funny and they entertain him. “Funny people are the only people I ever get really interested in, because as soon as somebody isn’t funny, they bore me.”

Who can overlooked the fact that he refers to his tape recorder as his “wife?” I could read so much into that but I am sure you could too, so I will just leave it alone for now.

andy-warhol-soup-cans-art-gallery-nycAnd boy, his pop art certainly fulfilled that need to be entertained, in it’s color, it’s whimsy, it’s humor, it’s cultural relevance, it’s 60’s iconography, they all integrate to promote his psychology, his pov, his kooky perspective, and he didn’t give a shit whether or not you dug him or not. Actually in his “philosophy”, he makes it clear that he goes for the opposite of the current reality. On purpose.  His take on money is beyond the pale because it is sooo radical, he loves money, clearly his shopping excursions on Madison Avenue attest to that, but he also dismisses it and has a voyeuristic attitude toward the rich and famous people he associates with who warhol-factory-party-pop-art-blogclamour around his factory parties looking for the newest kick to amp up their boringly money infested lives. He sells his art with this kind of ambiguous talking point, sealing the deal, because hey it was the sixties, and if it was hip and new , and involved drugs, sex, and rock and roll, it was a hit! Andy managed to do all of this and then some.   Capote got axed when he spilled the dirt on his so called friends in that hated tell all ” Answered Prayers”, taking him into a spiral of doom, as his friends banished him from their social circles, after he betrayed their trusts, in an embarrassing expose. But Andy does it differently because he philosophized from his own point of view about the generalities of people and situations without really getting specific, but you got the message! No harm. No foul. He managed to slide by, while Capote fell off and got stepped on.

andy-warhol-quote-pop-art-blog-brooklynThat’s art! Get the message or don’t get the message! I look at Matisse’s “Woman with a Hat”, and see stuff, that you don’t. Great! So What? Why can’t everything be like a big SO WHAT? Why are we soooo concerned by minutia, the idiotic crap that energy is expended on daily, that’s of no real importance or substance, just time filling misdemeanors?

In the Philosophy of… Everything is simplified according to Andy’s world. He turned his interests into art and business. A joint affair. He loved gossip! LOVED. Hence “Interview Magazine.” Loved celebrities, hence the pop portraits. He loved commercial style, and fashion, from his clerking days in Bergdorfs, and his store window dressing making a living 9-5 days at Bonwit’s,  hence his chosen icons and the neon colors he used coming  straight out of the sixties, and the  psychedelic moroelight show acid trip world he lived in at the time !

philosophy-of-andy-warhol-art-blog-brooklynI can read the “Philosophy of Andy Warhol”, and still get new crumbs from the golden nuggets of pop isms, after the fifth reading, because it’s just one of THOSE books, but for me it’s also a genuine artist book written by the Master of Pop Art, an art legend that the hipsters of today have only read about in art class or perhaps viewed his Gold Marilyn at the MOMA, or strolled by that funky silver statue in front of his old office building in Union Square in NYC.

His breakdown of philosophy into the major life areas: is genius. He is right on. Like what else really matters?

Love. Work. Beauty. Fame. Time. Death. Economics. Atmosphere. Success. Art. Titles. The Tingle. Underwear Power. That’s it!

The beginning. The middle. The end.

You want to paint? Paint. Want to write? Go for it . Act? Yes. Sing? Ok!

Think about cool stuff? Like Philosophy?

“In the 60’s everybody got interested in everybody.

In the 70’s everybody started dropping everybody.

The 60’s were clutter.

The 70’s are very empty.”

What about Today? in 2014, Millennium  years, what have we become? What would Andy call us ? How would he define us in  a chapter in his book, published in 1975? What kind of art would he be making today?

He wouldn’t.

15-minutes-of-fame-andy-warhol-nyc-pop-art-blogIt was a time, HIS time, HIS generation, and HIS mark in history, a pop culture icon, the most famous celebrity pop artist on the planet! He once said , “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”. It’s a universally known easily identifiable Warhol quote. Reality Shows of today prove his prophecy, as well as people’s personal Youtube videos, sex tapes, and the various computer resources available for publicity hounds seeking attention. Everybody seeks that fame Andy talks about , even if it’s fast and furious, the 15 minute in and out.

In his own case, however he didn’t need any of our super tech assets to stake his claim to fame. And it is a lot longer than 15 minutes! It’s Forever!

Writers & Artists Love Affair

patti-smith-just-kids-art-blog-nycWriters and artists have always carried on a clandestine love affair between the pages and on the canvas. Life gets expressed through the visual, and the literal, and both genres meld as they influence and are influenced in a mutual admiration society giving to the world the unique perspectives through the combined literary and art expression. This is a blending of spirits, of like minded souls, and it’s pretty awesome! Check out “Just Kids” Patti Smith’s, personal expose of her artistic journey with her soulmate, the avant, underground, photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe. These two comrades in their artistic journey into the unknown, wandered through the East And West Village, in the 60’s and 70’s, searching,  dreaming,  ultimately knowing that their future was intertwined in the Netherlands of art, its pain, it’s passion, the fuel driving it’s undeniable rewards. She is enamored of the French poet Rimbaud, and her dual identity as both writer and singer is clarified by her own words, “Please no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” There. She says it. And she means it. Her story, ” Just Kids ” is pure gold, for us pioneers, the writers and painters, who have walked the walk so to speak. If you are a “creative”, ignoring this book is a BIG mistake! Get it ASAP! It is a love story, a trippy art journey, and it also gives the younger reader a chance to experience a glimpse of the downtown hippie lifestyle of the past, far removed from today’s hipster world of tech, commerce, and astronomical student loans!

patti-smith-quote-art-blog-nycOn the other hand, let’s go on a vastly different trip with Steve Martin as he takes us from North to South, literally speaking, from the authenticity and earthy Greenwich Village experience of Patti and Robert, to the cold culture where Cash is King, and art is a commodity of the pocketbook first, not the innate soul purity of “Just Kids”.

Reading Steve Martin’s, “Object of Beauty” took me into the upscale art world of business art, and the inner workings of the personal lives involved, as Martin illuminates his particular characters, these bodies, who define his novel, in his style, so that the reader not only reads it, but also lives it, meeting the characters, and recognizing them, maybe, or maybe not. His protagonist, Lacey Yeager, hot NY art dealer, social climber, Sotheby’s star, she exemplifies the apex of art world social climber, with dollar signs in her eyes, she is the “Monster Goddess” of Bill De Kooning’s “Woman I”. In “Object”, Martin combine his own personal art collectors vision, residing in this world, with a passion for writing, spinning his tale of the status driven art world, a world that Martin knows very well. He buys. Collects. Spends. Just like the characters in his novel. Included we find prints of images of artists work, from Milton Avery to Andy Warhol. As if to remind the reader that this is all about art, though it’s fiction, the truth is that art is the foundation of his novel! sometimes Truth can be translated through fiction!

gaddis-the-Recognitions-art-blog-brooklyn-nycBut getting into the nitty gritty so to speak one should start with “The  Recognitions”, published in 1955, Bill Gaddis’s, lengthy, detailed, wordy, story of the life of Wyatt Gwyon, art forger, describing his craft of fakery, this book is an expose of the contradictions life offers in Wyatt’s counterfeit world where real is fake and fake appears to be real, and the perception as seen from the outside is everything, similar to viewing a painting, so subjective, yet coming from that intangible mix of the inner and outer mechanisms of mind and matter combined. In this fat novel, books and paintings are intertwined. The philosophies expounded by the characters release so much expertise and insight from the writers, artist, painters, business, point of view, that though a heavy read, it’s challenging, and it forced me to delve in with the persistence of a miner digging for gold in that pit of dirt. The results SO worth it!

“The Horses Mouth”, by Joyce Carey, also another art novel, published in 1944, shows us the life of a painter, who doesn’t cater to the popular fads, and survives by criminal activity in order to afford to maintain his craft. Caught up in his passion, he is willing to do whatever it takes at any cost. Morality, and conforming to the social standards of his time are rejected as the painter, Gulley Jimson, exploits, and tricks his friends and acquaintances in order to further his own ambition driven artist needs. Keeping it Real – Not all artists are saints, not then, not now!

philosophy-of-andy-warhol-art-blog-brooklynLa creme de la creme for me is “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.”He NEVER disappoints. His philosophy is sooo simplistic, yet in it’s simplicity, abstract and really profound. I just Love his statement on page 112- where he talks about the “So What?” Saying “so what” puts every big awful “thing” in its place and instantly you feel better. This gem is full of nuggets like this one, and if you haven’t gotten acquainted with Andy’s philosophy than you are really missing some cool observations from the Master of Cool. This guy made a soup can famous! Remember??? The brilliant Voyeur whose quote “Everybody will be famous for 15 minutes” made headlines with it’ Andy Fabulous Truth! The Reality Shows of today prove Andy’s prophetic words beyond what anyone would have ever imagined!

max-jacobs-picasso-nyc-art-blogThere are many reminders of the indisputable link writers have with artists and vice versa. Witness Picasso’s best friend Max Jacobs, and the poet Appolinaire, known for his “AlCools,” devoted, bonded in their artistic life, in their Montmartre Bohemia, where eating, and sleeping came far behind creating, and dreaming. The true sustenance being, the preferred art of the subjects at hand, be it Satie and his classical Gymnopedies,Lautrec and his bordello posters, Picasso, and his circus paintings of harlequins and acrobats,  or Valladon and her nudes. Perhaps it was Baudelaire and his absinthe infected poetry, or Jane Avril, friend and model for so many of Lautrec’s posters, celebrity of Montmartre, as star attraction at the Moulin Rouge, they all had a common goal -Art- the making, living, eating, breathing, the food they thrived on that kept them alive, and provided them with nourishment that  no simple meal ever could!

Somerset Maughm’s, ” The Sixpence “, written about the painter,  Gaugin, ” Lust for Life,” Irving Stone’s, representation of painter, Vincent Van Gogh, and of course the famous , made for cinema, Girl with the Pearl  Earring, based on Tracy Chevalier’s novel, the subject originating with Vermeer’s masterpiece,  now prominently displayed in the The Hague. All chains in the link that is soldered together between artists and writers. We get a literary view to back up the visual experience we have while looking at a painting, and we get a complete picture.

henry-miller-pop-art-blog-nycHenry Miller, the novelist of all times, love him or hate him, he can’t be ignored! He was a self taught water colorist, which he claims was fulfilling, in a way that transcended his writing. Thousands upon thousands of watercolors, he produced joyfully, giving away randomly, at his will, to friends and fans.  Talk about a writer – art love affair, Miller, epitomized this duality with his novels , his Tropics series, and his future essays, where he talks as if he’s sitting with us , about his favorite subjects like, art, writing, spirituality, people, Big Sur, Anais Nin, and Paris! In Big Sur, The Henry Miller Museum, is a unique dream place, a stone’ s throw from his old hangout Nepenthe, the former love nest of Orson Welles and his lover Rita Hayworth. It was recreated into a bar, restaurant, hanging off a cliff over the Pacific Ocean, a favorite hangout for Miller and his friends during his Big Sur years. The museum, a picturesque cabin, and the former home of his best friend Emil White, displays his works, paintings, and obscure writings, not commonly found in your local Barnes & Noble. Standing under the majestic Redwood trees, Pacific Ocean crashing below the rocky coast, this humble cabin holds a wealth of artistic bounty, that only the fortunate traveller is led to discover!

henry-miller-canvas-pop-art-nyc-blogMiller’s watercolors are a spontaneous, pure, colorful expression of his thinking, always soulful and pure. In his novel, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, he confirms his spiritual relationship to the Divine, as authority for the creative genius he has expressed through his prolific writings, his paintings, and his individual life story, from Brooklyn to Paris to California!

Again, writer, artist, – Seamless!

Yes, IT IS the Love Affair of all time! This writer, artist combo. If you are writing, you’re also probably, in the galleries, or fooling around with your paints and brushes whenever you can. You enjoy a hearty discussion on the merits of Dadaism, and your disenchantment with the Fauve Period. If you are deep in the well of your studio, I know you are hitting the bookstores, and have a couple of novels on hand, and can talk for an hour about why you either detest “Infinite Jest”, or why you love it!

spending-mary-gordon-nyc-artist-blogOne of the most interesting artist stories in contemporary fiction is “Spending”, by Mary Gordon. A sexy, hot and spicy, page turner, depicting a tale of the relationship between a powerhouse commodities broker, who decides to collect her work while also being her Muse.  It’s a lush, witty, sophisticated story of this complex relationship in which art and commerce meet and lead to an emotional quagmire. He spends and she spends and both of them achieve an ambiguous cocktail of experiences as they mix the artist with the money man.

This discussion, highlights that YES, in fact and fiction, art and writers share have a metaphoric womb, like Siamese twins. The poets of the day hung with their artist friends with the common bond that painters and writers intrinsically possess. Gertrude Stein,  with her famous salon in Paris, at 27 Rue de La Fleuris, were legend as the hotspot for all up and coming painters, of the day with only the best writers thrown in, like Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and and while Stein’s talent was writing,  “a rose is a rose is a rose” everyone knew that  she had an insatiable passion for art and collecting! In “The Autobiography of Alice b Toklas,” by Stein, when asked had she ever met a genius, she states that yes, she indeed knew three geniuses: Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and Alfred Whitehead. Not exactly the humble, shy type, Gertrude made the unknown painters and writers of the day in Ex-Pat Paris, the “Lost Generation” as she coined that infamous phrase; crave her attention, and sit at her feet, beholden to her charisma, intellectual brilliance, and her love of art! These qualities drew those pioneers to her like the moth to the flame! . That’s heady stuff. It’s interesting when I read her quote on genius: “Being a genius means sitting around doing nothing nothing nothing.” Tongue in cheek, so typical of Stein, when what she is really saying is that it LOOKS like they are doing nothing, but their thinking is so far beyond most people, that nothing is actually Everything! Amen to That!

Her writing involves a lot of repetition and perplexing statements. One can only interpret subjectively, because of the vast collection of multi meanings. Always with a question attached. And of course the artists, the painters, flocked to her, she cultivated her favorites, and they went on to great success.  She was one of the highest standards for acceptance, the 27 rue du Fleuris, where Hemingway sought an invitation,  when he arrived in Paris , an unknown at age 24. He got the “word on the street”, that Stein was his ticket into the art world. And he was right, and along with his mentor Sylvia Beach, of Shakespeare and Company, he moved to the head of the line, working hard at his craft, and eventually became a published writer.

Painters and writers. Writers and painters. Ny, Paris, Rome, London, from the depths to the heights, from obscurity to fame, they create an indisputable bond throughout eternity.

john-lennon-quote-art-blog-nycThe San Francisco Beats, hung at the Cedar Tavern, in Nyc with the ab – ex painters of the day like, Kline, De Kooning, Pollock, all sharing a similar life force, mutual interest and ambition. Rarely will you find a division. when people love painting, they usually have a fully stocked library as well. It’s a natural match.

Bookstores adorned with posters is a given expectation. A shared and compatible pairing like wine and cheese. Like Gertrude Stein, and her lifelong roommate, Alice B. Toklas! Like Picasso and Max Jacobs, like, Lautrec and Avril, like Warhol and Basquiat, like KiKi and Man Ray!

The Love Affair, is documented historical evidence of the shared passions between artists and writers. It is and will continue to be a match, an arrangement natural to this psyche that embellishes, and enhances the artistic world, giving it an infinite and profound character, a blending of the written and the painted, the sculpted, the designed, the ying and the yang, the color with the black and white, the multi dimensional personalities that bring these individuals together, in a harmonious blending, providing for everyone, a concert of harmonious notes, entertaining and nourishing the soul.

We experience this Love-In is right here in our city! NYC has cast us into the vortex of a hyper creative atmosphere, as the voyeurs watch the scene, groove to the beat, living vicariously off this powerful synergy, that brings Everyone here and Keeps them here!

Distraction Traction

george-orwell-thought-policeSo word on the Street is that people today would rather be electrocuted than spend 15 minutes alone with their own thoughts! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this bizarre yet clearly Orwellian statement. Ok. So for many people today, thoughts, represent pain. Pain that is so excruciating, that jolts of electricity, pulsating through one’s body, would be preferable. WOW! and WOW!

This article on Drudge, HuffPo, and CNN, states that ” people would rather inflict pain on themselves than spend 15 minutes in a room with nothing to do but think” Yea. REALLY?

So let’s go there.

The crazy thing is that I believe it. Or perhaps it’ s not crazy, but rather it’s the “New Normal”. Because the truth of the matter is, that the overload of info people have aiming at, and penetrating their brain today, is a laser beam of intense distracting and detracting sensory stimulation.

Orthodoxy-means-not-thinking-not-needing_1984-George-OrwellThat even the mere idea, of alone time with that thing called “thoughts” is a weird concept, like out of a fairy tale from the 1970’s and before, you know when people actually HAD to think or they were really screwed! Thinking and doing were synonymous with producing anything of value. The empty-headed non – thinker was perceived to be either stupid or mentally deficient. Well, that’s all over.

For example- when I recall the process I would have to go through as a student at NYU, now one of the most expensive colleges in NYC, to research and write an essay for assignment in one of my journalism classes, I feel like I must have been an inhabitant of the Paleolithic cave era, compared to the easy breezy, lazy, sit back and relax methods, students today employ, to smash those college exams, and fulfill their course work. It’s the push- a – button methodology. Then kick back, peruse the screen, while sipping your choice beverage, or, and smoking your choice weed.

“Do a little dance, Make a little love, Get down tonight” as the song goes.

Point is, that the kids are on a track. It’s the distract track to getting it done, making it stick, accomplishing a goal, success seeking, project completing, job achieving, but in Real Time, isn’t the penultimate obsession today making MONEY? It is no longer the dirty little secret people avoided talking about, because how shallow, how banal, how bourgeois, let’s face it how embarrassing! Not Anymore! Comedienne, Wanda Sykes says “I said it!” Thank you Wanda! Because today people aren’t afraid to admit it, scream it to the winds, and embrace the sordid shallow fact of the New existence “1984”-esque style.

blaise-pascal-quote-nyc-art-blogBlaise Pascal. Don’t you just LOVE his name??? I do. No one has a name as retro-cool as that! But more than his uber cool name are his uber cool thoughts. Yea, because Blaise not only had no fear about thinking, or being alone, or creating, or sitting in his room with his thoughts,  he blatantly advertised it, and said all kinds of stuff like:

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”

Are you kidding me? Today, this concept is an anomaly. Because one must be plugged in. Not to the real brain, but to the faux brain, ie. the machine. Technology, baby! That’s where it’s at!

I am not about to go into my personal M.O. On this subject because I held off for let’s just say forever and a day until I woke up, one day and realized that I was doomed to either become a hermit and have no contact with the world as Huxley describes it in “1984”, or be 1984-George-orwell-quoteone of those Oldie Goldie freakazoids who walks around gloating over the fact that they are computer illiterate like some kind of insane claim to fame, while people are thinking oh right you are really just either stupid or senile but Mostly you are freaking OLD! So, it’s called ” get with the program.” Get hooked up. Don’t have to like it. Don’t have to want it. Just do it, because. It’s a fact, that we are all living in an age of Assange melodrama, hookups, wired, electronically programmed and media mesmerized psyches.

It just makes the pain so much easier, so tear that bandaid off as fast as you can! I mean get real, it’s obvious to anyone who is an observer as am I, of human nature, that artist types hate to follow the crowd. The idea of self identification as sheeple is pretty damn insulting, and as Thoreau says, “follow the beat of a different drum”, except, what IS the beat? Is your beat my beat? Nooooooo.

kanye-west-rant-art-blog-nycLike why is everyone all worked up over Kanye’s rants? Is this really disturbing to you that he actually has an opinion, takes the stage and let’s loose? I mean, I am no fan of his music, really, not my speed, but ok, he clearly is on a venting mission, saturating the public with his thoughts while engaging the media simultaneously. Oh WOW, he thinks? He thinks in surround sound, Bose Sound Amped.  It’s Verrry spectacular in its negative attention, creating dual intention, both of which he achieves. Game On! Mission Accomplished!

And he certainly gets a lot of multi purpose attitude from the masses, consumers, aka The Public. Oh he is on his game, no doubt because hey if we are talking about him he’s relevant!  It’s only when we STOP talking that as a celebrity, he has a problem! People fled the theatre in London, why? Oh yeah, forgot, Kanye’s thoughts exposed were soooo painful! But then, nothing is worse that the silent arena of your own thoughts! Remember? Or is it just thoughts in general?

The “Thought Police” in “1984” certainly believed it.

Pascal also said that “Man’s greatness lies in his power of thought.” Power and Thought have always been synonymous, as the defining link capable, of either destruction or creation.

But that was before we became wired up, to mechanics, designed to get into our heads and force feed us ideas and thoughts that don’t belong to us while also keeping us on a constant entertainment, news, media hype, 24/7.

After all, if you aren’t plugged in, you might miss something: a text, a call, a news story, an e mail, a movie, a you tube joke, a health scare, disaster, tragedy, and the list goes on and on and on.

10-signs-you-live-in-a-police-state-chinese-internetEverything is sooo fake today. The fake is real,the real is fake. Duh. Ray Bradbury, the author of one of the most famous books alive, Fahrenheit 451′ said that “people would rather watch TV, and that means the demise of books”, when literature goes straight to hell, and the screen rules, thinking tanks. Orwell prophesied this concept of the real/fake dichotomy when he describes Doublethink. ” Doublethink”, “when thought corrupts language, and language corrupts thought”

Well, apparently the man knew from where he spoke. And that was a long time ago. Because today, according to the article. Thinking is painful. I get it. The mass consumption of prescription medication, the pharmaceutical companies, pushing this poison on people, has numbed them out, dumbed them down, and literally suffocated their spirit. Now, from the i-phone, to the PC, to the plugged in tunes, to the supersized flat screen, and ring around the proverbial Rosie, again and again, the rat’s maze of uber technology. Life as we know it today.

henry-david-thoreau-quoteIt’s an ultimate buzz kill because guess what?,  dependence on electronics can be like being locked in the ShawShank prison,of technological dependence, with the main concern being, can I pay that Verizon, or Time Warner, Optimum, Vios, because you know all this stuff adds up! Or you take the chance of getting turned off, shut down, and subjected to the pain your intruding and excruciating thought will inevitably cause.  The torture chamber of the mind. Your mind.

So, artists are kind of in a quandary. because we need to be alone with our thoughts, Right?

ginsberg-howl-beat-poets-nycEver heard of a painter who sat in front of his canvas with an audience cheering him on? Or a writer at work surrounded by crowds of adoring fans, waiting desperately for him to come up with his next clever phrase, or for the poet to deliver that perfect symbiotic one liner? hahaha. It’s absurd. It doesn’t happen. It’s a myth. It’s not real, Ginsberg wrote his classic HOWL from the depths of soulful angst, past misery, futuristic visions, and present fantastic dreams. An I phone, a computer, a tv, wasn’t involved. Just Ginsberg and his wild creative, original thoughts!

Can I mention something interesting Picasso said?

“The genius for my artist gift, was when I was punished, I was forced to sit alone in silence and solitude alone in a corner”

No pain no gain!

Artists don’t just need solitude, they require it. This is not an option if you are making art. There’s no “distraction traction” at play. “Reality exists in the human mind, nowhere else.”

big-brother-is-watching-you-orwellLook, Orwell, said it redundantly in his epic, 1984.  The source of creative ideas, thoughts, not the distraction of things, and definitely not when technology monopolizes the individual, to the extent that sitting alone and thinking feels like punishment.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” I interpret this to mean that Orwell is predicting the decline of humanity.

He also coins the phrase “Big Brother is Watching You”. Fast forward those words to the present. We are being watched. NOW. And everybody knows it. When Orwell wrote “1984”, in the year 1949, he was spinning an imaginative fiction from the guts of his own creative minefield.

This was his fictional prophecy based on a combination of fantasy and fact. The reality and truth of his otherworld view as I see it from the view of today’s life is astounding in the intellectual capacity he used to develop his creative storytelling, and actually take us on a futuristic journey into a new reality. The Matrix, becomes the mini reality of “flatlands” where the 2 dimensional universe appears to be real, when actually it’s only an illusion. Orwell, makes sure we know that 1984 is the New Real. Describing, “double think is how we communicate ” Here, nothing is straight forward. Truth is only a word. There is always 2 sides, and no one is allowed to possess Truth, because it is a counterfeit, an ongoing experiment with no conclusive answer. And if you aren’t careful the Thought Police will get you!

Sound familiar? Eerily like today. In 1984 one of the ways, the people were programmed was by the use of posters. They were everywhere, to constantly remind people, what was up! The Power of the Poster! Today the media has that kind of power! Invasive, inescapable, hypnotic!

So, yes, Orwell predicted this new reality, the one described in the recent Us News Report, that electrocution, zapping, with lasers, stun guns, is for most people preferable to thinking, solo, like Thoreau at Walden Pond, for him pure ecstasy, but, that was a long time ago. Ancient history. Long before the “thought police”, disguised as computers, in their various forms, took over people’s minds, and stripped them of their art, their creativity, and any modicum of individuality they might have  possessed!

art-inspiration-blog-nyc-brooklynSo, the next time you are in a gallery, or have a work of art before you, or pick up a book, or start arguing with your buddy about the words of that Ginsberg poem that makes no sense, ask yourself is this coming from ME? Or is these merely messages superimposed unto my mind through my constant hookup to the machines that I am communicating with all day, everyday? Am I hooked up to the distraction traction of Orwell’s fantasy? Is this the media or me?

Is this Big Brother dictating? Is thinking becoming a painful undesirable activity, as the experiment documented????

Better.    THINK      about that………

Translate »