ART, IT IS SAID, RESIDES in the eye of the beholder. Clever critics may muse otherwise, but the ever diligent conjugating cogniscenti, in fact, mostly fail to disprove this rather quaint truism. A work of art must also be considered extremely personal and therefore, personalized to the artist himself. Even so, the seminal time-tested idea of creating the "compelling picture" regardless of subject matter, school of thought, or individual style is the driving force behind all genuine artistic motivation, whether that motivation be theoretically contrived or deemed naive by the tastemakers du jour.
THE ARTICULATION OF A COMPELLING "idea" or "emotion" is important but secondary since all art is subjective, and in the generalized sense that should the "picture" not prove interesting or compelling, the "common" is lost in a wash of indifference. Shifts in time and culture often betray the original significance of a work of art, and all that remains is a picture and the searing questions: is that picture compelling, or not? This is reality writ large. Conjecture and critical posturing, despite their obvious power and importance, must of necessity, bow to the whims of the changing observer since compelling art usually outlives both its creator and its contemporary critics. History is altogether another beast.
We are living in a dangerous, rapidly accelerating, greedy, image-saturated sub-atomic culture.
There is no time left to paint paintings, write poems, or sing hymns to false idols.
All of modern civilization cries out for redeeming action, even as the weary soul sighs, and prays for rest.
Humanity has simultaneously witnessed too much, and remarkably nothing, at all. This political contradiction describes the artistic inertia of our heavy times, and specifically informs my own artistic vision.
IN SHORT, ONE IMPETUS to my work is a study in observing the observers. Another might simply be stated in Miro's terms of attaining the maximum intensity with the minimum of means. In many ways, I think Picasso's remark that his paintings are a pictoral diary of his own life, also describes my own approach, especially in the more symbolic work.
Greatest influence: my own quivering brush hand and booby-trapped subconscious kicking and cajoling to make itself known.
MORE GABRIEL THY WORDS IN FLUX:
- Idiotsheet: Discover what makes this artist tick, as I survey the land and its people in crisis and in conflict, in confusion, exhuberance, and fear, in psychic relay from sea to shining sea with one eye on history and another on what's next in terms of my own painting and that of contemporary art theory.
- The Two-Fisted Quorum: Surveying America the Beautiful, Radical Centrism, the Project Manifesto and YOU DARLING with a sweetly perfumed flower jammed up your silly relentless nostrils. My domestic blog...
- The Bellicose Augur: The world of life according to the world of death. Manifesting those global tensions merely hinted at in the Chainthinker section of the Project. A long stare into the short fuse of Islam and other international concerns.
- Taking The Auspices: Flexing the literary muscle of the Project. Essays, poetry, correspondence, and odd assortments of anecdotal evidence of nothingness from the past thirty years this writer and poet feels compelled to publish. Taste from the Auspices, then dive straight for the papyrus in hardcover, bound, 400 pages worth of...
THE SILENT CULL AND OTHER MECHANICAL IDEAS
Collected Poems 1980-2005
AVAILABLE NOW FROM THE PUBLISHER, and can be ordered from other notable online retailers like AMAZON.COM. [397pgs, hardcover, softcover].
- Theosplatz: In the search for God, post-modern man seems nothing more than a pesky mosquito splat against an already filthy windshield of life, a dour remnant of man's best and worst qualities. Beyond Nietzsche and Jung, we rumble forward as civilization cracks. Hope has become yet another four-lettered word, joining love and jest as matters best left to another time when sincerity reigned among us. Now we have noise and apology as mere pretenders to the throne where joy and fantasy are real and not used as mere rote memorization tools.
- Good Reads: Ratings and short reviews packed into a serious list of those books Gabriel still cherishes, as he grapples with considerable weights and measures, a birthright and a burden. Some of you could do worse with your time. Browse, soak up the inspiration, then read a recommended book.