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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Amy Sherald is no John Singer Sargent

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/12/michelle-obama-portrait-faces-social-media-mockery-after-unveiling.html

Amy Sherald is no John Singer Sargent and not even a Gilbert Stuart. But artists with actual skill are no longer appreciated by the elites, so this crap is what we get.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 12, 2018 at EDT pm

Posted in Art, Uncategorized

Thomas Kinkade

Following up with another art post.

This is from a letter to the NY Times published in 1999:

If Mr. Kinkade is ”America’s most collected living artist,” it’s a damning indictment of our society. Were citizens to graduate from our school systems believing a diet of pure candy to be nutritionally acceptable or, worse, ”uplifting,” Congress would waste no time appropriating funds to combat such ignorance before it destroyed our national health. Funding for art education, as well as the National Endowment, must be drastically increased before treacle factories like Mr. Kinkade’s plunge our nation into a cultural coma.

The tone of this letter demonstrates the irrational elite hatred of anything that the proles like.

The idea that somehow Congress could somehow pass a law that would result in people no longer liking pretty paintings, it’s pretty of ludicrous. How could you teach that? And, of course, even if you could somehow teach the proles to like something else, the elites would then snub whatever the proles like instead, in order to continue to distinguish themselves from the masses.

While I do agree that Kinkade’s subject matter is on the prole side of landscape art (hey, it’s hard for me to not be an elitist), let’s admire his skill as a painter. He may not be the most skilled landscape artist there ever was (perhaps that person was Albert Bierstadt), but his level of skill is nevertheless head and shoulders above the typical dreck on display in galleries in Chelsea.

Also, let’s give Kinkade credit for having the prescience to develop a style that predicted the look of HDR photography (made possible with digital cameras and computers) before Photoshop even existed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 11, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Art

About contemporary art

THE SHORT ANSWER

The elites will always choose to like stuff that proles don’t like in order to separate themselves from the lower classes. Thus in the case of art, this manifests in the elevation of non-objective and weird-looking, even ugly, art. Art that proles like, pretty, realistic, requiring skill on the part of the artist, is looked down upon as being “kitsch.”

THE LONGER ANSWER

The very word “art” has changed its meaning a great deal during the last two hundred years. The main definition of “art” from a 1928 dictionary, “The disposition or modification of things by human skill, to answer the purpose intended.”

There is also the following note about the “polite arts”: “The liberal or polite arts are those in which the mind or imagination is chiefly concerned; as poetry, music and painting.”

But even as art evolved to being primarily about things like poetry, music and painting, for a long time art was synonymous with skill. As in not any schmuck off the street could create a decent painting or compose music or write a poem. All of these things required skill.

The term “art” has since evolved to be not about skill, but about something more transcendent and metaphysical, perhaps even a substitute for religion among those elites who don’t believe in conventional religions like Christianity or Judaism. If you read Tom Wolfe’s book “Back to Blood,” one of the major points of the book is the difference between how the elites and proles see art.

The development of mass reproduction technologies obviously had a significant impact on art. There was once a time when, if you wanted something pretty to hang on your wall, someone had to manually paint it. And there weren’t Chinese painting factories back then, so the painting had to be created by local artist. But today, with cheap color printing, even the poor can afford to decorate their walls with beautiful prints.

One way to distinguish the wealth of homeowners is not to look at what’s inside the frames, but to look at the frames themselves. A high quality frame is often more expensive than the reproduction that’s inside it. At the bottom end of wealth and sophistication is the typical prole teenager’s room where posters are affixed to the wall without the benefit of any frame at all.

There was once a time when the value of art was determined by how skillfully it was created. It didn’t matter how famous or unknown the artist was, if it was a skillfully created painting, it was worth money. In the contemporary art scene, this is no longer the case. For starters, no one can tell the difference between highly skilled non-objective art and unskilled art. The people today who call themselves artists aren’t even trained in the careful craft of drawing and painting or sculpting, art school is just a bunch of lectures about the “meaning” of art, the meaning always being from a leftist perspective.

To become famous in contemporary art, one needs only a modest amount of artistic skill compared to, say, Norman Rockwell (one of the most-skilled mid-20th Century painters, mocked by the elites for being kitsch). To become famous, an artist most come up with some gimmick or scheme that’s unique and hasn’t been done before. Then the artist has to market himself against all of the other artists trying to do the same thing. Contemporary art is very much a winner-take-all endeavor in which only a lucky and select few have success (because they won the competition to market themselves and know the right people), and the rest of the artists create stuff that no one would display in their homes even if it was given away for free. Only the works of famous artists are valuable.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 11, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Art

Racist American Museum of Natural History, part 5

In the Hall of African Peoples. Here is what the block of text, to the left of the helmet and chainmail, reads:

JIHAD – THE HOLY WAR

When Islam swept across North Africa in the 7th century, jihad was considered a sacred duty. It was religious fervor that helped push the holy wars not only up into Europe but right down the West African coast. North Africa long remained a religious battleground; relics of the Crusades, still found, testify to the threat posed to Europe in the Middle Ages. After the initial religious zeal subsided, though, the basis of Islamic expansion changed from war to trade. Traders still proselytized, but the new African Muslim converts retained many traditional customs and beliefs and, for instance, did not relegate women to the inferior status accorded to them by some orthodox Muslims. The ultimate power of Islam still lies in its adaptability, the lack of internal schism, and in the sense of superiority it instills in its converts.

Can you believe that?

1. It says that Islam spread in the 7th century through holy war. I thought Islam was a religion of peace?

2. It says that the Crusades happened because of “the threat posed to Europe in the Middle Ages” by Islam. So the Crusdes were a justified response to an Islamic threat, and not just blind religious hatred on the part of Christians?

Racist! Racist! Racist!

* * *

Commentary: The paragraph wouldn’t have been written that way today, but I think this room dates back to the 1960s, and no one changed any of the exhibits in 50 years. To the Museum’s credit, every change they make is obviously very carefully considered and not done willy-nilly.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 23, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

Racist American Museum of Natural History, part 4

In the Hall of Northwest Coast Indians.

First of all, the name of the hall is racist, it’s Native Americans, not Indians!

However, it’s racist that this hall exists at all. Why are statues from ancient Greece and ancient Rome at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, while statues created by Native Americans are housed here, next to animal dioramas? This is an example of the racist disregard for the art or non-Western cultures.

Furthermore, how were these artifacts obtained? At best, the museum ripped off the Native Americans by purchasing them for far below their fair value, and at worst they were stolen by white men. Some of these artifacts are sacred to their religion and it’s sacrilege to display them as curiosities of a “primitive” culture. Everything in this hall should be returned to the Native American tribes to which they morally belong.

* * *

I hardly made anything up, most of this was on the website of the SJWs who had a protest against the Teddy Roosevelt statue.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 22, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

Racist American Museum of Natural History, part 3

These cute animal dioramas hide a macabre secret: those were once living animals who were murdered by racist white men. These dioramas are barbaric, and they glorify the hunting of endangered species.

They must be taken down at once. And reparations must be paid to the countries from which these beautiful creatures of nature were killed and stolen.

* * *

I recommend visiting these dioramas while they still exist. No more will ever be made, and who can say how long these will remain on display? The SJWs could go after these dioramas after they succeed in getting Teddy Roosevelt removed.

The Halls of African Mammals and North American Mammals have both been restored during the last ten years, do they don’t look old and decrepit like most of the museum.

* * *

It’s important to place these dioramas into a historical technological context. In 1936, when the Hall of African Mammals opened, color photography was in its infancy, and zoos weren’t as advanced as they are today. These dioramas were the only way for people to see what these animals looked like in their natural environment. The backgrounds are hand-painted oil paintings, because, as stated above, color photography wasn’t up to the task back then. But they represent the real environment, the artists actually went to Africa. A lot of effort and a lot of TLC went into each diorama.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 21, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

Racist American Museum of Natural History, part 2

The Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda is the first thing you see if you walk up the big steps through the main entrance (past the security guard checking your bag who was never there before 2001).

This big room is like a huge love-fest for the racist white-supremacist Teddy Roosevelt. The only way to cleanse it is to take down all of the Teddy Roosevelt quotations and murals, and rename it the Barrack Obama Rotunda.

* * *

The white-supremacists would be much better off carrying around pictures of Teddy Roosevelt than Adolf Hitler. Teddy is still loved, by many, as a great American president. Although I suppose that would quickly change if white supremacists adopted him as their mascot. But still better to have a former U.S. president as a mascot than a totalitarian ruler of Germany who started World War II and killed millions of Jews.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 20, 2017 at EDT am

Posted in Art, Photography

Racist American Museum of Natural History

In front of the American Museum of Natural History is the Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt. From this angle, we can see the half-naked black guy wearing primitive African garb standing to Teddy Roosevelt’s left. The black guy is there to show Teddy Roosevelt’s noble-minded but racist humanitarianism to what he considered to be inferior races.

I took some pictures to preserve the memory of this great work of art which will surely be the first statue in New York City to be taken down in this current mania of statue removal.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 19, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

A Pauper, a Prince, the Pope and Death

I photographed this 500-year-old roundel at The Cloisters. The meaning seems pretty obvious to me. No matter what station you achieve in life, at the end you still die.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 16, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

Nude George Washington in the NY Times

Some people say that there’s nothing in the NY Times worth reading, but the article about a nude statue of George Washington demonstrates that there’s a lot of good stuff in there.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

April 27, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Art

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