Steampunk and Other Beasts

February 22, 2014

Steampunk. Have you ever heard?

Randie Feil Mezzotints, Paintings and Sculpture

Wiwaxia steampunkus (2011)

 

Well, me, being an advanced culture-consumer, I’ve heard. I’ve read and loved Robert Rankin’s novels, many of which fall into that genre.

Robert Rankin Facebook photoalbum

Rankin with a Raygun

But that was the extent of my familiarity with the Steampunk. What is it, I hear you ask. Many things apparently, all of which have something to do with the “Victorian fantasies” and “based on the appropriate technology of the era”, – according to K.W Jeter who minted the term.

Infernal Devices by K W Jeter

Infernal Devices by K W Jeter

Right until 10 minutes ago I didn’t know that Steampunk was not only literary art movement, but visual, televisual, videogamisual and design and fashion too. Rich!

Steampunk fashion

“Anatomy of Steampunk The Fashion of Victorian Futurism”

Why am I even going on about it? Because, expectedly, as I was looking for something else (mezzotint), I found a symbiosis of that and, unexpectedly, Steampunk here: Randie Feil – A Steampunk Bestiary: Raven, Trilobite, Wiwaxia, and Hallucigenia.

randie feil steampunk art

Steampunk Trilobite

Mirror on The Wall

February 20, 2012

This morning, after dropping girls off at school, I caught this song on the radio, which hit me like no other song did for a while. This is totally powerful.
Rushed home to look up lyrics on youtube – even better!
Then found a video clip – blew my mind away!
See this:

Read lyrics:

Lil Wayne “Mirror” Lyrics

With everything happening today
You dont know whether you’re coming or going
But you think that you’re on your way
Life lined up on the mirror dont blow it
Look at me when Im talkin to you
You looking at me but I’m lookin through you
I see the blood in your eyes
I see the love in disguise
I see the pain hidden in your pride
I see you’re not satisfied
And I dont see nobody else
I see myself I’m looking at the

Mirror on the wall, here we are again
Through my rise and fall
You’ve been my only friend
You told me that they can understand the man I am
So why are we here talkin’ to each other again

Oh, I see the truth in your lies
I see nobody by your side
but I’m with you when you re all alone
And you correct me when Im lookin wrong
I see that guilt beneath the shame
I see your soul through your window pain
I see the scars that remain
I see you Wayne, Im lookin at the..

Mirror on the wall, here we are again
Through my rise and fall
You’ve been my only friend
You told me that they can understand the man I am
So why are we here talkin’ to each other again

Lookin at me now I can see my past
Damn I look just like my f-ckin dad
Light it up, thats smoke ‘n mirrors
I even look good in the broken mirror
I see my momma smile thats a blessin
I see the change, I see the message
and no message could been any clearer
So I’m startin’ with the man in the’

Mirror on the wall, here we are again
Through my rise and fall
You’ve been my only friend
You told me that they can understand the man I am
So why are we here talkin’ to each other again

Mirror on the wall, here we are again
Through my rise and fall
You’ve been my only friend
You told me that they can understand the man I am
So why are we here talkin’ to each other again

Mirror on the wall.

Read more: http://www.killerhiphop.com/lil-wayne-mirror-lyrics/#ixzz1muccz2NV

Today’s “Artist a day” washed ashore something very interesting. (Jane and Jane, you two will love this!) Take a beautiful human being and infuse it with motion, meditation and geometry and you get Tony Orrico.

Artist a Day - Tony Orrico

Tony Orrico

The illness, or what commonly perceived as a health problem, became a catalyst for something unique and profound. That reminds me of John the African Shaman, who said that in Africa they have a name for the illness which is a precursor for a person to come to his shamanic practice. Kind of, you don’t know you are supposed to go THAT way, but the fate pushes you towards your path through cutting off all the other ways, often through the means of some mysterious malaise.

Yes. Money Is His Medium.

February 1, 2012

Two sources brought me to the same point tonight which was percolating for some time in my brain. Both in connection with Damian Hurst. The point is: Money is an art medium.

One source was this article in a Taki’s Magazine. The other was a rant by  HENNESSY YOUNGMAN on Youtube.

The latter said: “Yes, Internet, he just siad that: Money is his medium.” About Damien Hurst.

That was never denied, in fact many times emphasised by the artist himself, and in that alone might be his greatest greatness: he distilled the idea for the humanity, shelled it out. The ultimate measure and the ultimate goal is Money. And so, artist (or in the article an art collector) is an alchemist turning some random matter into gold.

English is no my first language and I really find it difficult to comprehend artists talking about art. Or art critics writing about art. Or artists statements – those are at the top of the chart on the creative abuse use of “vocabulary” words. That’s why I loved this article in HuffingtonPost Art section! So refreshing.

“HuffPost Arts: You talk a lot about the role of an artist’s identity in becoming successful. How important do you think identity is in terms of ‘making it in the art world’ and do you consider this when you make your art (Art Thoughtz)?

Hennessy Youngman: This art shit is niche market. And whether or not artists want to admit it, they all carry a brand within their work. There might be some sincere artist reading this saying “My work isn’t a brand, shithead!” Well you know what? Sincerity is that artist’s brand. And yes, I’m a shithead. You must’ve been talking to my mother earlier…”

I bet you want to read more of it now! I was going to link up to the full text, but am so tempted to just post it right here for the unique brilliance of it and the “transcendental truth”:

“HuffPost Arts: You spend a lot of time translating art world terminology into real world terminology. Why do you think there is such a divide in the first place? What’s the point?

Hennessy Youngman: Ha, “art” versus the “real”, that’s a big fucking polemic son! I guess the divide exists because many many decades ago, art became less about simple mirror reflection of the physical world, and more about it’s own materiality, about the processes specific to its production, ideas took precedence over product, questions, critique, provocations and research became staples of art production while audiences held onto the notion they were supposed to be entertained by art, but art isn’t a pop song. Don’t get me wrong, art doesn’t always have to be this dense bramble of graduate school buzz words, intellectually impenetrable (boring) work, but audiences shouldn’t always assume that if they don’t “get” a work, that the work they’re experiencing is bullshit. Maybe artists and audience can meet in the middle and agree they’re both idiots and listen to Tyga’s Rack City until transcendental truth rains down on them all like someone set the Tree of Life on fire… I don’t even know what that means…”

Love the guy!

HuffPost Arts: As someone passionate about both hip-hop and fine art, what can the art world learn from hip-hop culture? 

Hennessy Youngman: Loosen the fuck up.”

Oh, just go and read the whole thing!

It Is Not About Art!

January 24, 2012

Having a gallery on a High Street for 10 years gives one some experience, even if that particular one is a lazy bum. Artists! Those of you who had a misfortune opportunity to invigilate exhibitions or be a proud owner of a gallery – you know what I mean. One wouldn’t want to spend more time sitting in a gallery than is vitally necessary. Because it is boring.

But I diverge.

The experience. The experience I couldn’t help but get during these last 10 years brings me to a number of conclusions, and one of them is:

It Is Not About Art!

Apart from those obsessed individuals who make it big in art, there are hordes of artists or “artists” and wanna-be-artists who never will make anything out of it, neither they want to make it big. What DO they want then?

Freedom and Creativity.

Freedom is essential to health and sanity.

Unfortunately, civilised society replaced freedom with formulas designed to achieve security, because civilised society puts security above freedom. More – it is actively and aggressively promotes those formulas to the effect that freedom long seized to be a norm, but became a luxury. It is exclusive to those who are extremely rich and/or rather mad.

What about general public?

My definition of general public: A large segment of society operating based on the current stereotypes of thought.

And so, general public believes, that:

  1. Freedom is expensive
  2. Freedom is unattainable
  3. When you retire you’ll have it
  4. Artists have freedom
  5. You pay for freedom by being poor
  6. Artists are mad, take drugs, irresponsible, but most importantly
  7. …majority of them cannot make ends meet.

Given that, and the fact that freedom is essential to human health and sanity, are you still wandering why the humanity is not OK?

And then there is Creativity. Creativity is essential to health and sanity.
But general public is led to believe that Creativity is:

  1. A luxury
  2. Limited to a few talanted people
  3. Who rarely make a living through it
  4. It is a re-creational activity and you can do it when retire.

Are you still wandering why humanity is not OK?

How did I come to these conclusions while minding a gallery?

I talked to visitors. You are probably aware, that independent art galleries don’t normally charge for entry. They hardly can. They are not exactly crowded to be able to do that. And among those scares numbers of visitors there is a big percentage of those who are

  • “artists”
  • wanna-be-artists
  • thinking-about-becoming-an-artist
  • retired and want to attend an art club
  • looking for an art class

and who want to know about how to be An Artist.
That a hint enough to realise, that creativity is essential and people are starved for it. But I think many of us assign a very few obvious activities to the vast field of human creativity.

My definition of creativity: Anything you do, as long as you do it by making it up as you go rather than following formulas.

A person who invents a wheel is being creative. A person who produces wheels is industrious. At the same time the industrious one can be very creative in making up ways of distributing his wheels. A person who paints a beautiful representation of a wheel is creative, as well as someone who creates an event to sell that painting. As long as they al make their own way of doing it, they are creative. Which in turn is based on a combination of someones formulas and their own application and interpretation of them, plus divine insights here and there.

Life is creative. Living is a creative act. We are all being creative all the time, actually! Why do we define SOME part of life as Art then?

Came upon a Youtube channel by Levi Strauss. Like it! First of, a clip about an artist making paper out of denim. And what she does doesn’t matter as much as her life outlook. Find it very helpful, especially for me with my impatience, which is actually subsiding somewhat lately…