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:Art History and Theory, katanaville style (colourful language)

April 16, 2009

Duchamp was a fucking genius. He was all challenging the status quo (because he was smart, not because he was an anarchist), and spent way more time thinking about art then making it (obviously, how long does it take to bolt a tire to a chair?). He also took a whole bunch of time off to kick some Chessmaster ass, and then came back and was like, “Hey, I still make art, Bitches!” by creating one last awesome thing that broke and it was still better than any shit put out by most art school hipsters, I mean, graduates.

I am spending a LOT of time these days thinking about the way things are made and created and the creative process and the gatekeepers of creativity (art teachers, marketing, gallery owners, art collectors) and the way that it takes Money to make art (and how to make money) and whether I should Make the money first, or learn how to make money and then make it doing Art. Or whether Commercial Art (ie movies, comic books, and graphic design) is in fact way more “ART” than the fine art world (which nobody hears much about) unless you’re Damien Hirst (marketing genius).

Part II: The Creative Process, Or what do I want to say with this Art?

First of all, there is the Medium. You can spend your WHOLE LIFE mastering a medium and still be putting out shitty art. How much does that suck? You OWN IT, and you still suck. On the other hand, the limits imposed on your creativity by the medium can be used to fuel your creativity. However, they are still just limits and as soon as someone is better at the medium than you are, your art gets reduced to suckage even before it’s out of the gate. And don’t give me the second year art critique excuse “I did it like that on purpose it’s in my artist statement.” You did NOT make the edges of the paper curl to represent the way you do your hair in the morning. Shut the fuck up.

Second of all, there is the Artist Statement. You are wanting your Art to say something (if it doesn’t that is what kitchy arts and crafts paint by numbers mass production colouring books are for). And so whatever medium you just picked had better be able to transmit your message, or else your art sucks (See above). If you’re writing screamo thrashcore, and you’re singing lyrics that are full of meaningful political intrigue, you’re failing, because only 2% of your fan base are reading the lyrics (IF they’re in the liner notes of your shittily produced MP. I mean, LP. whatever.) And besides, screamo thrashcore’s been done, so unless you’re AMAZING, you’re going to stay at the bottom of the pile. So say something interesting, but you still have to worry about HOW you’re saying it.

And what’s interesting? People are stupid, so you don’t have to work TOO hard to come up with something meaningful here. I mean, Tatu’s “All the things she said Running through my head” has about 2 tbsp of meaning in it and it had some tears in it for me (fuck the military, best friends all moving away and shit I do not approve), so you just gotta say something. Everyone’s got something.

So if you can’t really EXCEL in a medium and your medium is limiting your work already, what’s the best way to make art with NO LIMITS?

You know, the kindof shit that’s closest to your vision. The kind of joyful “I’m gonna make exactly what I want to” thing that God probably had if you believe that sort of created thing. How cool would it be to say, “Let there be light” and all of a sudden you have a WHOLE WORLD of pretty shadows and planes and highlights and glowing edges and sunrises? PRETTY KICK ASS I AM SURE.

So the best way to make art with no limits is to get a bunch of people who are kick ass at the medium and get them to produce it FOR YOU. Whoever has More is Winning. Let me tell you, Mr. Starving Artist, you are a loser. Someone is making your art better than you are. If you’re such a fucking genius, you are going to have to start beating people up at this game.

Be an art designer, if you will. Andy Warhol, Michelangelo. This is not a new idea. Studios. With production. As soon as you’ve manufactured one idea you’re onto the next.

AHA you say. This is Art-for-consumers. There’s no honor or integrity in THAT kind of art, you scoff.

Oh, stop being so fucking close minded. I don’t want to hear it. HAHA (see what I did there? got all close minded on your Adbusters sensibilities)

No, really, you can totally have artistic integrity in being commercial. I don’t THINK anyone’s telling Damien Hirst what to do. And I don’t think anyone’s telling Lady Gaga what to do either. You can’t MAKE someone not wear pants unless they want to not be wearing pants. Also, the only way a thinking person would sing “bluffin with my muffin” is if they wrote the line themselves. I hope I’m not shooting my argument in the foot with this.

Anyways, there isn’t a point to this argument, this is just an exploration. With curse words. So that you see I’m being fucking genuine and emo here.

And I want to see my artist friends rise above the starving artist thing and stop thinking so poorly of themselves because its really depressing to see so many geniuses selling themselves so short. You’re smart and clever and talented, so can we put some of that energy into also ruling the world?


Edited to Add: What I’m saying here is I want to be in charge of people to make art for me without going through all the art world rigamarole that doesn’t promise you a job at the end.

(WATCHMEN SPOILER I mean, thought:)

I really loved this movie. Dr. Manhatten totally made me want to Make Awesome Shit, so I came home and wrote this rant.

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