30 March 2007


"Art is art. Everything else is everything else."
~ Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967)

Image: Ad Reinhardt,
"Red Painting," 1950

29 March 2007


an·o·mie or an·o·my (ăn'ə-mē)
noun. 1. Social instability caused by erosion of standards and values. 2. Alienation and purposelessness experienced by a person or a class as a result of a lack of standards, values, or ideals.

[French, from Greek anomiā, lawlessness, from anomos, lawless : a-, without + nomos, law.]

"The generic anomie and surrealism lite that are in vogue among the Leipzigers is standard art-school fare. How many young artists don't feel that they're somehow out of sync with modern life and that they've spotted its melting clocks?"
~ Blake Gopnik, "New Leipzig School Provides a Study in Hype," The Washington Post, 3 October 2006

"In the Art Institute of Chicago hangs one of the most enduring portraits of American nightlife rendered in this century, an icon of urban anomie so widely recognized it has become a cliché for marketing spoofs. Yet hundreds of thousands of visitors who every year come to view the original of Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks' are struck by its power to rivet our attention on three customers who share a space but nothing else in the stark light of a 1940s diner."
~ "From Ancient Egypt to Andy Warhol, Chicago's Art Institute Amazes," Psychiatric News, 18 February 2000

28 March 2007

Think & Feel

“art should make you think and feel. it doesn’t have to match your couch.”
~ damali ayo

25 March 2007


  1. observe and describe characters in situations;
  2. use simple words to convey rich thoughts;
  3. deal frankly with those people otherwise dispossessed of song;
  4. carry a hint of the subconscious at play, of shrewd implications about personal identity and social anxieties;
  5. possess a dry humour, finely balanced between satire and cynicism.

~ obligations of a songwriter, as ennumerated by Richard Witts in his book, The Velvet Underground

Are there parallel "obligations" for the visual artist?

24 March 2007

Surprised Recognition

"It is the function of the artist to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: to show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows." – William S. Burroughs, "Helnwein's work"

Gottfried Helnwein: works

21 March 2007

Instrument of Thought

"I hold it imperative to evolve an instrument of thought which will aid in cutting through all cultural opiates, past and present, so that a direct, immediate, and truly free vision can be achieved... and I affirm my profound concern to achieve a purpose beyond vanity, ambition, or remembrance."
~ Clyfford Still

20 March 2007


louche (lōōsh)
adj. Of questionable taste or morality; decadent.
[French, from Old French losche, squint-eyed, feminine of lois, from Latin luscus, blind in one eye.]
~ American Heritage® Dictionary, Fourth Edition

"Its mix of a structural element from high modernism and almost louche use of cheap and unlikely materials sets the tone for a kind of hippy abstraction."
~ from "Painting when Painting was Dead," by David Cohen