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Aug 19, 2007

Keeping art alive on the planet of brain-dead zombies

Ok, I confess -my greatest desire is to be God!

I know, not possible.
Then, the second best option -can I be Steve Hanks?
Steve is a most amazing artist. Whenever I look at his work, I wonder -what makes him tick? How does he do it? And -can I be him?


A watercolor by Steve Hanks

A watercolor by Steve Hanks



We owe Steve and artists like him a huge debt for keeping art alive in these bleak times. For surely, as far as art is concerned we are passing through the dark ages. Just like the dark ages mentioned in the history books, we have mostly lost the ancient knowledge and are dominated by a brain-dead art establishment that that has it's absolute modernist and post-modernist dogmas. One of the articles of faith of 'High Art' is that artist's like Steve are childish, banal, of not much aesthetic value while this-


People posing naked for a photo on a glacier.
People posing naked
for a photo on a glacier.


and this-

A huge skull crafted out of aluminum pots and pans
A huge skull crafted out of aluminum
pots and pans and weighing 1,000 kilos,
constructed by Subodh Gupta.

are greatness embodied.

Just like the discovery of ancient Greek knowledge made Renaissance possible and thus led to the age of Enlightenment, the age of Reason, great leaps in science, freeing the mind from the medieval grip of faith, and then to the Industrial revolution and capitalism-so one day the work of artists like Steve Hanks, Malcolm T.Liepke and hundreds of others will inspire a renaissance in arts, a rediscovery of knowledge that almost died in the 20th century. Almost, but not completely, thanks to the perseverance of Mr. Hanks and others.

A painting by Malcolm T.Liepke


God bless them.


Note -
Subodh Gupta has been seen on this blog before, taking a bath in dung (an appropriate comment on himself, I think).


Update
- John Hinderaker takes a swing at that 'artwork' on ice-

World literature is replete with "artists" who bamboozle would-be sophisticates into doing foolish things, usually to the benefit, financial or otherwise, of the "artist." A master practitioner of this age-old craft is Spencer Tunick, an American photographer who travels around the globe, directing thousands of people to take off their clothes so he can photograph them. Really.

Tunick's shtick is massing hundreds of naked human bodies in a locale that ostensibly has significance for one reason or another, and photographing them, always from the rear. Tunick wants us to know, though, that he isn't just a scammer--he's an environmentalist! Hence his latest project, in which he persuaded hundreds of nude people from all over Europe to pose on Switzerland's Aletsch glacier to benefit Greenpeace, and call attention to the supposed threat of global warming:

Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, directed nearly 600 volunteers from all over Europe and photographed them on a rocky outcrop overlooking the glacier, which is the largest in the Alps.

Later he took pictures of them standing in groups on the mass of ice and lying down. Camera crews were staged at five different points on the glacier to take photographs.


The truly dedicated volunteers, of course, were those who didn't just stand on the glacier, but sat or lay down on it. As the Reuters story notes, glaciers world-wide have been shrinking since around the start of the Industrial Revolution--that is to say, since the end of the Little Ace Age. They'll keep shrinking, too, until the next Little Ice Age or, God forbid, a full-fledged Ice Age. Never mind: neither Greenpeace nor Spencer Tunick nor all the governments in the world will have any perceptible impact on the world's glaciers, but in the meantime, the ranks of those who have been made fools of by Tunick continue to grow.


(emphasis mine)

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