It is a fast age and the visual language (especially in regard to
mass media) has been changing to keep pace with modern life - evolving
images into the ‘sign' which registers quickly, as with traffic
directions, billboards, TV commercials etc. The sign as such is
not to be consciously considered but responded to and in advertising
the response is used to exploit, taking advantage of the eyes' ability
to see in 1/35 of a second, faster than thought processes. The quick
punch or shock is the ‘thing' and the race is now on to find
means more novel or sensational to poke at the already unsensitized
sensory receptors of the masses; the bulk of whom live in the city
and are divorced from nature (with its lesson in harmony), and shaped
by a crude nerve jangling environment. Their tastes deadened by
the daily onslaught of industrial and commercial garbage.
artist (and others), faced with the desire to communicate must
either - 1) join up with the mass media,- 2)compete through creation
of even more shallowness and shock, - 3) or as many serious artists
have tried to do - work around the flanks, focusing on individuals
and staying in art's real domain as the language of the soul.
realize and appreciate a real work of art demands uncluttered,
unprejudiced attention - art is not entertainment but a contemplative
act, one which represents the difference between the animal and
the human. Even an animal, idiot or child thinks in one form or
another (problem solving etc), but man thinks and perceives and
is aware of his thoughts and perceptions, (he thinks that he thinks
and relates what he perceives ), hence abstractions and concepts.
a higher level of consciousness, not dress suits or bigger weapons
makes man and his unique culture.
modern schools (with few exceptions) have neglected the soul.
The distinguishing feature of modern art, (op-pop-hard edge etc),
is its purely physiological direction, a plucking at already raw
optic nerves. I t seems to become more mechanical and impersonal
yearly, reflecting the culture or lack of it, rather than leading
or creating it. (I am not speaking to the nostalgic, sentimental
philistine who is against all change.
the recent ‘isms' express no real values, there is no understanding
and by becoming more impersonal, there is no humanity - hence
dead, devoid of life or content. After a hundred years of analysis
without synthesis, materialism without spirit, it is time for
the synthetic approach and the stressing of the spiritual in the
work of art, the individual and our culture.