Archive for August, 2013

Light, A Distant Vista

Posted in Thoughts about art with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2013 by brentharrisfineart

Image

Responsible, preoccupied, needs, daily duties, urges to create
Atlas beneath my half sky inventing my truth in beauty before I’m late
Days fast-paced, so full of shoulds and musts to meet and answer
When so few seek either truth or beauty; they don’t pay the financier

Is shielding the candle flame from darkness worth the strain?
Will it fill the hole within my soul and make me whole again?
Who asks the question, who seeks the answer, why does it matter?
To be tiny unheard voices, canaries in a coal mine sing and chatter

Will others ever even notice, do I toot my horn enough, too much?
Should I turn away, the impracticallity of art a waste, a crutch?
Pain of creation, alone, brings hope and joy in equal measure
Am I allowed to court my own fulfillment, pleasure, treasure?

Surely the needful life, time and energy and love, given just for others
Should hold satisfaction more than enough, or do we fear it smothers?
Halfway home is halfway gone as we pace the long road, forth, back
Can those who feel no need to quest, search and express feel our lack?

Can anywith these needs, a gnawing hunger, do other than struggle, strive?
To express their truth, their beauty, their highest selves, to feel alive
So they must, they will, despite missing ears and rock-filled smocks
Joining, if by life allowed, or wandering lost, life filled with bolts and locks

Living part-time normal, whose standard, driven by forces, no choices
Sharing inner acres, demons, angels, visions, driven, hoping the world rejoices
How then resolve which meets the test, what is beauty, what is truth?
All rhetoric and nonsense which holds no meaning in our age or in our youth

When greed rules, the basest, noble thieves and villains at the top
Media-fed, proud ignorance, mob mentality too rabid, too violent to stop
Till blood runs bright, grim death invited to the feast, an honored guest
Blood darkening the robe of this fell specter upon an endless quest

Despite all, head down, humanity crawls on, humbled by staggering blows
Yet art, beauty truth, hope lift our eyes where light a distant vista shows

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FICTIONAL REALITY

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2013 by brentharrisfineart
A man with a hood over his head sails blythly down a swift-moving stream, unaware and unconcerned that he's cruising to a fiery doom. He is watched, but is it by gods or monsters, or does that refer to us?

Gods or Monsters
16″ x 20″
Oil on canvas

When we visit a museum or gallery, read a book or watch a movie we tend to believe the art, the creative expression portrays what the artist saw. But are we sure? I’m not referring to style. I am not willing to say that Dali, Bosch, Escher and others didn’t see the worlds the created. In one sense, it is a foregone conclusion that they did. How else could they have created them for us?

Yet creative expression, even so-called nonfiction, documentaries and even photography are almost always fiction. And once we ingest them into our psyches, they become fiction, since we reinvent what we see, hear, read and are otherwise exposed to every time we think about them. Even with the original creator, scenes are carefully or casually selected, framed, cropped, retouched, enhanced and changed to suit the artist’s vision. Sometimes, this creates almost a super-reality, where we can examine our place in the world. We are shown a version of reality, a great play or movie, a masterpiece of art or music or whatever you think of when you read these words.

This becomes a problem when material is used to manipulate people into to seeing the world other than as it is for personal gain, money, power, a moral viewpoint that allows damaging behavior. Artists, writers, politicians, and others use a form of this every time they seek to create their vision. If we are aware of this, remember the fiction, we can watch for the editorial bias inherent in this process. We are able to think more clearly. Editorial bias, rather than simply shaping our world to the most honest and true expression, reflects and supports the dominant ideology of the person or group who created it.

Conservative, liberal, anarchist, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, black, white, red, yellow, tan, straight, gay, capitalist, communist, socialist, fascist, green, hunter, vegan, war monger, peacenik, pro-life, pro-choice, NRA supporter, anti-gun advocate,  patriot, subversive, survivalist, revolutionary and other unnamed will channel what they present and what they have presented to them based on their views and beliefs. The conflict arises because their target audiences perceive their presentations as reality, the only truth. This perception blinds them, blinds us, to any other point of view. Usually, it makes us antagonistic towards the views and beliefs of others, which may erupt into violence.

Artists, writers, musicians and other creatives, as well as the ruling elite wherever you are understand that access is power. The power brokers constantly reinforce their view of the world on those they directly influence. Our current ready availability to communicate instantly widens such groups immensely. Creative endeavors may do this as well, but often they disguise their version of reality to fool the filters, the censors we and others place on our view of the world. Creative visions may only succeed in small ways occasionally. Yet each success is a grain of sand added to a growing volume seeking a tipping point to change reality for you, me and everyone we know. Sometimes, that grain of sand may lodge in your shoe, irritating, painful, a constant reminder of others you must deal with daily. Sometimes, creative people change not only themselves and others, but the whole society. If you believe this is far-fetched think of Galileo, Newton, Da Vinci, Beethoven, the Beatles, Gandhi, or whomever your personal heroes are. Just remember, the villains also have this power.

Open your eyes, your ears, and your mind and look at the world anew today.