Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fashion. Show all posts

Sunday, February 8, 2009

fashion & art 2: vincent van gogh continued

ok. having posted the previous painting wheat field under thunderclouds i cannot leave out its famous sibling:

vincent van gogh, wheat field with crows, 1890

vincent van gogh, wheat field with crows (1890)

van gogh's works were not the fashion during his lifetime. he could not sell his paintings (i believe he sold just one painting during his life), but other artists recognized his genius. after his death, his paintings quickly gained reputation. vincent to me is probably the antinomy of fashion and contemporary fashion-like art.

theorem: (ralf kwaaknijd, 2008)

the fashionality in contemp art is largely due to the relativistic opportunism of postmodernism.

proof: we leave the proof as an exercise to the reader.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

fashion & art 1: vincent van gogh

frequently i find myself being old-fashioned. i suppose it has to do with my distaste of fashion. distaste of fashion? yes, you read correctly.

it's not that i dislike nice clothes, or that i dislike contemporary creativity. i dislike the enormous marketing component, the money machine which drives our fashions. not only in clothing, but also very prominently in contemporary art.

with the communication speed of the modern world, new newer newest cannot go fast enough. to maintain the illusion of `important buzz', the marketeers in fashion (and art and any other field) have to convince us time and again that `new' equals `better'.

please don't misunderstand me with regard to (post)(post)modern art. personally i feel that a much larger art world has been opened up to us in the past century, for which i'm grateful. but on considering which art works from this period i find exceptionally moving, seems to me that these works breathe the same qualities as the exceptionally moving art works from earlier times.

there is something timeless about these works. they and `fashion' are definitely not in the same existence plane.

vincent van gogh, wheat field under thunderclouds, 1890

vincent van gogh, wheat field under thunderclouds (1890)

Friday, July 25, 2008

example: sonsbeek 2008, the procession (advertising, the bane of modern art 4)

like multatuli, i do not have to go out and look for examples. if i stay at home and lock the doors, i still cannot escape them.

about 3/4 yr ago i was contacted by slak, an organization in the area arnhem/nijmegen that rents out subsidized studios to professional artists. slak announced that sonsbeek 2008, the 5-annual(?) open air sculpture exhibition in sonsbeek park arnhem, would be accompanied by a Procession...


well, because processions are becoming the fashion in modern art. there had been a procession in ... and also in ... and they had been a huge cultural and artistic success.

*but what the mahogany is the meaning of this `procession'?

well, to show that art is supported by the people, the procession will feature the exhibited sculptures carried by `guilds' through the streets of arnhem, before their placement in the park for exhibit. guilds of course, you uneducated artist, were what we had in medieval times, when processions were popular. And so it all makes sense, you see?

*but what do you need me for?

well, it would seem most appropriate if the artists of slak would form a guild, to carry one of the sculptures through arnhem. of course, a guild is more than just a labour gang. the guild will adopt their art work, meet its maker, and organize meetings around it, and take care of it in years to come, etc, you understand?

*ok, so let me get this straight. i'm a professional visual artist, but you are not interested in my work. instead you have some `star' visual artists, and to promote and advertise their work in a carnivalesque need me? oh, i see, that makes sense. but only if you think that art is entertainment. and then of course, satellite entertainers will enjoy their part (even if small) in the Grand Event. well...good luck...i hope...


let's see what the website has to say:

The Procession
Art carried by the people

It is unique that at Sonsbeek 2008 the inhabitants of a city carried works of art through the streets in a magnificent Procession. An event that states that art needs the support of many in order to acquire a real meaning in society. But the idea of the Procession is also a celebration, a festive way of presenting art as the symbol of human imagination.

On Sunday June 8, 2008 this Procession took place amidst the decor of the old innercity of Arnhem.


to me this is a perfect example of advertising winning out over art (at least what i call art). the advertising for art (that's what this procession nonsense is about) is surrounded with the same bla bla that art is surrounded with, and then pronounced art itself. the artistic success is measured in terms of advertising and entertainment terms. serious professional visual artists are even expected to join in for free, for the good cause of art i suppose (or because it will give them exposure...?).

let's all arty party...would you hold my sculpture there, then i can dosido around this painting...and take your brush and swing it wide, paint your partner side by side...

sonsbeek 2008, procession

Friday, April 4, 2008

art & communication

as an example of modern art issues in relation to communication, i give what i came across just now: the experimental art foundation.

The Experimental Art Foundation was established in 1974 as an initiative by Adelaide artists and theorists to encourage new approaches to the visual arts, promoting the idea of art as 'radical and only incidentally aesthetic'.


To assist, promote and develop, through production, exhibition, distribution and the encouragement of debate, art and art practices that are analytical, critical and experimental, which challenge established thinking and expand cultural languages and discussion.

The EAF's current OBJECTIVES are

To actively assist, develop and promote new and investigative art practices; To promote discussion, understanding and appreciation of contemporary arts issues and to provide a forum for critical debate; To encourage and support the production and the exchange of ideas by South Australian, Australian and International artists through production, exhibition and dissemination; To respond to artists and arts community initiatives; To develop new and informed audiences through advocacy, education and information strategies; To support emerging artists; To foster strategic partnerships; To maintain a high profile city location; To practise access and equity principles; To maintain sound financial and organisational management

behold above one of the reasons that i consider myself to be a very old-fashioned artist. i don't think of art as radical and only incidentally aesthetic, i don't see art's primacy/duty/charge to lie in societal communication of `new' ideas. new newer newest: the world of advertising and fashion is encroaching on the world of art, if one can even tell a fundamental difference at all.

to me a lot of modern visual art becomes entertainment / performance / advertisement / fashion. however, who am i to say that this is an unwanted development? i can only state how art `works' for me: strongly when quiet. when universal themes (humanity, nature, (non)beauty, patterns, life, death) are explored in a profound way, which can be as varied as light itself.

still, i think the experimental art foundation is a good thing. and probably a lot of things coming about from its endeavors i will consider quite interesting and worthwile. it's just not really my way of communicating, like i said i feel more traditionalist by simply painting, drawing, sculpture.

shelter from the storm, 2008

suddenly i turned around and she was standing there / with silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair/ she walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns/ come in she said i'll give you...shelter from the storm from bob dylan: shelter from the storm

Monday, March 24, 2008

searching for visual depth

in my humble opinion:

looking for visual depth, developing layers of visual communication, is a different endeavour than creating fashion. although i'm sure fashion designers would disagree. to me the contemporary world of fashion exemplifies everything which i find so difficult to palate in the art world (and beyond).

fashion. as well as money-intensive extensive advertising. it seems we care about little else. in dutch they say: if only your hair looks good. (then all is well, is implied). keeping up and creating superficial appearances, preferably based on age-old clichés especially about gender, sex, age, influence, affluence, happiness.

women fall for the bmw swatwomen fall for the bmw swat, 2005

what then could art be? so often i see art which is little more than the above sentence. and this art is then proclaimed by art gurus to be profound. well, i apologise for sounding like a character out of the emperor's new clothes, but most often i don't see it!

for me art should not divulge everything immediately. let it simmer on the boilerplate of your sub- or unconsciousness. let it change the way you see, feel. not by some vague philosophical `concept' but by the visual imagery itself. these things take time.

hm. there i go sounding all grumpy again...sorry folks. but then again: how often do you hear someone complain about the superficiality of fashion, art, advertisements,...? not to mention the societal costs involved.

advertisements especially: it is comparable to the tropical rainforest. since everybody is advertising, everybody must advertise more and more, else one does not catch any sunlight. this means that we as a society are spending (energy, effort, creativity,...) increasingly on advertising, instead of on better ideas/products/care/cooperation.

and this same blablabla phenomenon pollutes the art world, i think. artists & art must be pimped up more and more and more, to justify the fashion-like overattention and overpayment.

it seems we all need fairy tales to give our life meaning. for this no price is too high. please do not rupture our soap bubbles of self- or other importance, be it in the context of religion, way of life, music, art, whatever. if you do so, then we will close ranks on you, decry you, ignore you, whatever is most effective.

not to say that i would truly know better. but i feel the balance is missing. fine, repeat all the old clichés with a modern icing. they are not clichés for nothing, and some icings can be interesting. but why not also give generous room to non-clichés? or why not bark ferociously at many of these clichés which are not helping us any further since primitive mankind became, well, non-primitive enough to in principle look further than first instincts.

is art meant to be affirmative to: we are monkeys with a thin icing of civilization, and even thinner icing of spirituality. or can art also explore a deepening of civilization, spirituality? does anyone care, anyway? does this matter? etc.

(oh, i know, there is no doubt some clever art-historical term for this question perspective, and the perspective itself is no doubt considered outdated. superseded by postmodernism or postpostmodernism, or part of it and therefore ... well i'm no art critic.)