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WHO ARE OUR HEROES NOW? A TRUE PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, Part Two

by Gordy Grundy

Part One: We Need a New Set of Celebrities
Part Three: Artists Arise! Our Fertile Landscape


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

As discussed in Part One "We Need a New Set of Celebrities", we have overestimated our celebrity culture. In our eagerness for a little bit of glitz, glam and fantasy in our humdrum, everyday, paycheck to paycheck, hand to mouth lives, we have blindly given our entertainment elite too much credit and certainly too much of ourselves. The virus lockdown has revealed the ugly truth: Not only are our idols false, they are quite dull and rather stupid. Except for Naomi Campbell.

Who can we love? Who can we respect? Who will entertain us?

ArtReportToday.comOur own adorations are in truth a mirror of ourselves and I do not like my reflection. I see now that my love for Gal Gadot was based on a superficial value of external beauty. Hubba hubba is a powerful force, but how could I have been so shallow? All frosting and no cake.

I may have been impressed with the crib, cars and the spending largess of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, but as he was released from prison, I had to admit, he is nothing but a faux thug and a yellow-bellied snitch. Are those values I respect? Ones I wish to emulate?

How are your tax dollars working for you? The Wuhan Woe has been a leadership challenge for our political class and a civil liberty horror for us. Now we can see how they act in a true crisis. With that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I ask, "Lord, did I really vote for those short-sighted, small-minded jerks?"

With a beatific smile and the watery eyes of compassion, our elected folk speak their truth, "I know what's best for you. I am saving lives. And you will thank me." Then, they turn on a polished heel and order, "Lock him up." Power and vanity mix a nasty cocktail. Just ask any big city mayor who advocates snitching on your neighbor.

We love theater and spectacle. Actors and politicians follow the script. But can they screw in a light bulb?

Human nature, compassionate and cruel, is a funny thing; political theory cannot exclude that elephant. Fortunately, our Founding Fathers and Mothers took that into account. Throughout the short window of human life on this planet, the American system has been the most successful egalitarian experiment to date. Jibber-jabber aside, we are a Darwinian, results-based meritocracy.

At the end of my days, the smile on my lips will mark my life in the arts. As a visual artist and writer, I have met the most amazing, admirable and honorable people.

Given the varied personalities and idiosyncrasies, I will use a wide brush to paint a portrait of the contemporary artist. The attributes are commendable and worthy of our respect. These values define a greater celebrity.

I. Great leadership is a product of enthusiasm. Passion is the fuel of such infectious energy. Artists are passionate people, in deed, not words.

II. Like any great leader, artists show, not tell. They lead by hands-on action. They demonstrate. They volunteer. With a free spirit, artists are 'can do' and quick to engage with passionate enthusiasm.

III. Artists are problem-solvers. As deadlines loom, there is efficiency to the effort in order to satisfy all aspects of the job at hand. To complicate issues, aesthetics matter. As thinkers and producers, artists have a greater capability to see the whole picture. Artists are decisive.

IV. Egalitarianism, fairness and justice are inherent in the artist.

V. Humility is a product of integrity. The life of an artist is often spent in unglamorous isolation. There are no titles to fall back on. The work and the concept are the focus. Vainglory has no place in the process. This is how artists have earned our respect.

VI. A thick skin is a lesson well learned for an artist. Such a focus allows an artist to commit and persevere with an unlimited endurance. Persistence is an artist's greatest attribute.

VII. Honesty is a minimalist concept. Honesty is efficient, stripped of affectation and misinformation. Artists are truth-seekers.

If we, as a society, can turn our focus to a more worthy celebrity candidate, our lives, by reflection, will gain in value and meaning. The contemporary artist demonstrates the characteristics that are worthy of our attention.

In the upcoming Part III, Artists Arise! Our Fertile Landscape of Issues, we will examine the new playing field of the artist in the post-Wuhan Virus landscape. There has never been a more exciting time to be alive. Or to make art!

 


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

 

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