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Focus On Art

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.

The 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.

To 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.

The 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.

As 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.