Breaking Art News Daily Worldwide

ARTISTS ARISE! OUR FERTILE LANDSCAPE, Part Three

by Gordy Grundy

Part One: We Need a New Set of Celebrities
Part Two: A Portrait of the Artist

 

The great beauty of the virus is that we will see everything in an entirely new way. Our eyes are opening.
~ Anonymous LA Based Artist

 

In every tragedy, there is opportunity. Like a devastating California wildfire, new growth is quick to emerge. The blackened landscape is soon recolored with green scrub and later bright wildflowers. Life always marches on.

Our era of Covid-19 presents an exciting time to be alive. The world reacts and the collateral damage reverberates. With so much changing, this is a very relevant moment to be an artist. Right now. Today. Tomorrow.

In our series, we first examined the fall of our celebrity culture and the social void that needs to be filled. In Part Two, the values, attributes and work ethics of the contemporary artist were explored.

In this final segment, we will look at the recent past in the arts and we will begin to list our opportunities, issues, influences and relevance. Today, artists have so much to work with.

There's nothing quite like Death, the feared Great Inevitability, to wake us up, to force us to revaluate, pay attention and alter our habits. Death is a far more aggressive change agent than a Marie Kondo makeover.

Our recent past has not been very inspiring artistically. Sure, the art market has swelled into a $68 billion leviathan. Museum attendance has never been greater. But where was the artist, the urgency and the relevancy?

AIDS in the 80's may have been the last cry of true unity in the art world. We got our dander up in 1999 when New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani messed with Chris Ofili and the Virgin Mary. September 11, 2001 shocked us silly and knocked us into a stupor.

The rise of Conceptualism may have established a new medium and expanded the vocabulary of the arts, but it merely alienated everyone else.

I believe and pray that the long decade of Issue Art is finally over. The pandering was excruciatingly dull. Artists and the arts were used as pawns and tools.

Politically, fine art has found little to work with. Is Shep Fairey's "Obama/HOPE" the most significant political work of our era?

The two seasons with No Drama in the starring role were as easy and snoozy as listening to jazz with a glass of fine wine. Blind faith and hope did not lead to any honest inquiry or examination. Then surprisingly, shockingly, a golf club blowhard replaced our dashing lead. Hysteria, schoolyard taunts and the visual stylings of comedian Jim Carrey did not lead to any honest inquiry or examination.

Like a swift and cleansing storm, the Wuhan Virus has changed all of that. Humanity is challenged on all fronts: physically, economically, socially, politically and spiritually.

Following is a partial list of events that may influence and inspire an artist.

Two recent headlines in Art Report Today say it all, "This Pause In Our Lives Can Lead to Reflection and Greater Fulfillment" and "The Coronavirus Pandemic, A Divine Reset.” Solace. Peace of mind. Oneself. Philosophy. Losing and choosing my religion.

This is the fertile and vital territory of the arts.

The 1918 Spanish Influenza and the1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemics were a greater biological threat to the human host, yet our Wuhan Woe is far more devastating to civilization.

Technology is our killer; it is the great obscurant. Technology has created a megaphone bigger than mankind can handle. In 1917, news, and therefore time, travelled much slower. People spoke with each other and reasoned the issue. Today we scream alone with a text.

Technology has confused the narrative and altered reality. Manipulated misinformation attacks our soul as quickly as the virus destroys a vulnerable cell.

False Gods and Idols: Once upon a time, those scruffy, nerdy eggheads in Silicon Valley were conjuring magic out of thin air. Across their aisle, oddball risk takers and god-like entrepreneurs were financing these efforts with a gambler's wish, coins in a fountain.

It was all in good fun, with the noble intentions of saving the world, beautifying humanity, touching the sun and discovering eternal life.

That loving press release, their false promise, has been burned by hellfire. Those scruffy four eyes, silly byte builders and dreamy visionaries drank deeply from the cup of their own vanity. We have been deceived. They never really wanted to enlighten you. They want to imprison you: to take your time, your thoughts, your money, your liberty, your data and your soul. Dazzled by convenience and hand-held instantaneity, we have let them.

Who can save us? The arts.

Beauty. Oh, yes, beauty. We forget to look above our screens to find beauty, wonder and awe.

The giants are falling. As of this writing, J. Crew, True Religion and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy. This is the start of the great economic changes that lie ahead. For too long, many ailing businesses have been propped up by credit and corporate do-si-do. They cannot survive the pandemic. Like dry kindling, they will burn quickly.

We will be shopping, buying and trading in new ways for new products and brands that have yet to be conceived.

Take a gander at how KAWS is selling art in new and clever ways. The opportunity is yours.

As the humans panic to procure toilet paper, entertain themselves with selfies and binge to calm their furrowed brows, Mother Nature quietly continues her steadfast march of growth and decay.

Coyotes roam the streets of San Francisco. The Himalayas can be seen once again. Dolphins have returned to the Bosphorus Straits.

Overused, overworked and no longer savored, the narrative, the art of storytelling, has been overplayed. How will we tell stories that shake the soul and grace the heart?

Politics have always been partisan, but when does that divide become destructive? Who yells the loudest? Whose jackboot kicks the hardest?

Every generous political argument, in a free society, truly ends with a handshake and a happy shrug. That is the moment when all emotional points have been exhausted and we have hit the wall of a fundamental individual right. To property. To our bodies. To our choice of words. To our pursuit of happiness.

Given our dire political divide, only the artist can take us there, in new and wonderful ways.

The crisis of the Wuhan Woe has forced our elected leaders to take decisive action. Many of the results have been shockingly bad and revealing. Civil liberties are threatened.

Artists have always been sensitive to individual liberty. "You're not going to tell me what to paint."

Topping the charts, Hypocrisy is a great art issue. Such bile is not one of the Seven Deadly SIns, but it sure should be. Hypocrisy is all around us. Just look down, and see what you are standing in.

Collective rage can never be expressed with white wine and passed hors d'oeuvres. Long ago, street art left the plein air walls and hung itself on canvases in clean white galleries.

In the wake of our pandemic, there is just too much to feel and say. Will street art hit the pavement again with a ferocity? Does the medium now hold a relevance for your work?

With the fear of death, we can no longer shake hands with each other or embrace warmly. A French kiss is truly a petite mort. Old habits and customs must die and be replaced with new gestures and sweet, sterile affections.

Where do we find our new rituals? Performance artists have the keen insight to create a new visual language for humanity.

A single painting is a sum of many lovely parts. The most vivacious are the fat, juicy brushstrokes, thick with paint and lingering threads of colour. A sight to savor. But you can't see a brushstroke in a digital image on your iPhone.

The art world may have gone flat with digital, but texture remains a third dimension. How do we convey that? Can the thrill of standing in front of a physical artwork ever be replicated? Should it be?

Our list of art issues and influences grows and continues...

Artists Arise! Our time is now. As thinkers, wanderers, philosophers and kings, this is our time in the sun. Our messages will be heard and our works observed.

The Wuhan Woe is a thundering avalanche of disruption. The crisis has created a window of opportunity, a tear in the timeline of human narrative. Hopes have been dashed. Up is down. Foundations are crumbling. The tried is no longer true. This whirlpool of events leaves no hold to grasp. The world is drowning.

In this darkness and confusion, artists can provide the guiding light. This is the moment.

 


GORDY GRUNDY is an artist and arts writer. His visual and literary work can be found at www.GordyGrundy.com

Part One: We Need a New Set of Celebrities
Part Two: A Portrait of the Artist
Part Three: Artists Arise! Our Fertile Landscape

 

Back to Main Page

 

 


Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter--Free!
Confidential: Your Address Never Shared.





Gordy Grundy

Gordy Grundy

RESOURCES
Dictionary

Thesaurus
Drudge Worldwide Weather
Maps
NightOut

Reference Desk

FKA CINEMA
Birth.Movies.Death.
Collider
Deadline
Roger Friedman
Lloyd Grove
Hollywood Dementia
Hollywood Reporter
IMDB
IndieWire
Rotten Tomatoes
Variety

TECHNO
Boing Boing
Engineering & Technology
Innovation & Tech Today
Jalopnik
MIT Technology Review
National Geographic
NASA
Tech Briefs
The Verge
Wired

LAUGHS
Bizarro
Butcher and Wood
Dave Barry
The Chive
CNN
Doonesbury
Funny Or Die
NYT Loose Ends
The Onion
Popbitch
Smoking Gun

HALCYON
Daily Beast

Esquire
The New Yorker
New York Magazine
Los Angeles Magazine
Town and Country
Vanity Fair

 

BEAUTY INSIDE + OUT
Abitare
Architectural Digest
Architecural Record
Dwell
Elle Decor
Gray
House Beautiful
House and Garden
Interior Design
Metropolis
Veranda
Wallpaper
World of Interiors

MISTER CHOW
Art of Eating
Bon Appetit
Cooks Illustrated
Epicurious
Fine Cooking
Food & Wine
Gastronomica
Saveur
You Grow Girl

TRAVEL
Adventure Journal
AFAR
Conde Nast Traveler
The Culture-ist
Go Nomad
Go World Travel
Matador Network
National Geographic Traveller
Travel + Leisure
Vagabondish
Wanderlust

MAN + NATURE
Fine Gardening
Garden Design
Land 8
Landscape Architecture Magazine
Landscape Architecture Foundation
World Landscape Architecture

FASHION
Allure

Cosmopolitan
Elle
Fashionista
Fashion
Glamour
GQ
Look
Marie Claire
NYT Style Magazine
Teen Vogue
Vogue
Vogue China
Vogue India
Vogue Italy
Vogue Paris
Women's Wear Daily

FINE ARTS
Artsy
Artforum
Artillery
Apollo
Art F City
Art Almanac
Art and Australia
Art Daily
Art Fix Daily
Art in America
Art Monthly
Artnet
Artnews
Art Review
Artspace
Blouton ArtInfo
Brooklyn Street Art
Burnaway
Deviant Art
Flash Art
Frieze
Glasstire
Hi·Fructose
Hyperallergic
Juxtapoz
Parkett
Saatchi Art
The Art Newspaper
White Hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRIVACY POLICY
TERMS OF USE
AD CHOICES
PRIVACY RIGHTS

 


 

 


News Tips? Email: info@ArtReportToday.com


Advertise With Us! Email: info@ArtReportToday.com



ART REPORT TODAY
Blue Chip, Red Dot
Artists Who Catch Our Eye
Collectors' Cache
Sent From My Phone: Nicolas Vorvolakos
Yes, Chef Tara: New Recipes
HyperFraught

ART PODCASTS
Arts & Ideas
Art History Babes
Bad At Sports
Brett Easton Ellis
Art Curious
CAA How To
Michael Delgado
Tyler Green
The Lonely Planet
NPR Fresh Air
A Piece of Work Abbi Jacobson
Raw Material SFMOMA
Sculptor's Funeral
Hrag Vartanian- Hyperallergic

BOOKS
Book Search
A. G. Geiger

Book Riot
Catapult
Electric Literature
Jane Friedman
Goodreads
Literary Hub
The Rumpus
Vol. 1 Brooklyn

IDOLATRY
Page Six

People
Popbitch
TMZ

MUSIC
Alternative Press
Billboard
BBC Classical Music
Downbeat
Kerrang!
MOJO
NME
Revolver
Rolling Stone
SPIN