Art is not shallow unless we make it so.

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Work in progress- having trouble saving drafts)

With so much division in the world today I am left contemplating the one question that is my foundation: What is Art? To assist in a reawakening of my understand, and to help me perhaps help others, I did some quick exploration on line on Art and Beauty. For to many the best art is Beautiful, or is it? I ask that question because I ponder an elitism that is permeating our society and causing cracks in connections like a rock breaking ice. I feel that art, which is the foundation of our culture, though not an activity as valued as it should be, is subliminally at the root of many of our conflicts today. We are deviating from the true meaning of free speech, and the true meaning of art.

First there is this very interesting course on Lumen learning Art History. The final conclusion is that in contemporary society anything can be art. In addition art does not have to be beautiful to all. However this is the best I found to explain the concepts of beauty within art, and article Philosophy Now, “What is Art?

Anything that is a form of expression can be art, but whether a work of art is Beautiful, is up to the observer. And we now live in a world where there is an elitism in art. And what is worse it is an elitism that to me feels hypocritical. It is the celebrated celebrities who on the one hand preach democracy and speak out for the people, yet are selected by the elite to deliver their messages, watered down by a need to be hire-able and accepted by the very people who represent the voice of the elite. It is the artist who somehow is selected by the elite and sells million dollar paintings, while unknown gifted artists with even more genuine talent live homeless in Venice Beach, selling their talent for $10 a sketch.

As an article called “The Art of Alienation – Elitism in the Arts” points out, there are more naked women hanging in prominent art museums, than art by women, yet we still represent fifty percent of the population. It is also the fact that film and TV directors and producers and writers and actors are still MEN. Yes as far as ARTISTICHOPE is concerned, a TV show on SYFY has just as much of an artistic impact as a painting at the MET. That is what we need to start embracing. ART BY THE PEOPLE. Art is the culture of the TIME. Art can be in the form of a painting, or a well told story. Art though needs to be of the people, for the people, by the people.

Art is becoming once again an activity of the rich and upper crust of America. SAG AFTRA have excluded me from events since 2012 and I have been attacked over and over on Twitter, told that the UNION can exclude me for being, white, Buddhist, from Maryland, and not being a “cultured person.” I was writing Haiku when I was a child, and reading Shakespeare at 10. The elitist ignorance of this TROLL exposes the hypocrisy that they project they are better than me and that despite claiming to be cultured and sophisticated, they lack the knowledge of geography to realize that where I grew up in Baltimore is near the Capital of America, Washington, DC, the home of the Kennedy Center, and the Smithsonian. All the National Cultural Treasures in Washington, DC are free and open to the public. Libraries are also free. My generation saw the birth of Cable TV and the INTERNET. To insinuate I am not cultured enough, demonstrates a form or bigotry, and a gross misunderstanding of the CONSTITUTION and its fundamental rights.

Under the Constitution:

Article I Section 8. Clause 8 – Patent and Copyright Clause of the Constitution. [The Congress shall have power] “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”

The Constitution gives authors and inventors the rights to their creative works, and it does not state that these authors and inventors are a part of an exclusive group in society. ON an international level, copyright agreements have extended these rights to other forms of art beyond the written word and even to an extent performances. State laws also give certain rights to artist and performers. Yet on some level it feels as if the powerful decide what is art, and the wealthy determines the voices that are heard. It is one of the key problems with giving Corporations the power to be PEOPLE because by allowing that, it can create a world where Corporations supersede the voices of People that need to be heard. Art is an act of an individual.

The first Amendment Free Speech in America has a broad meaning. It includes more than just spoken words. It is any form of self expression. Yet our society still has a cultural way of silencing and diminishing voices that perhaps need to be heard. Talent and expression is lost to populism and snobbery.

Debate.org seems to agree in a Debate entitled “Are the arts too elitist?” 53% of respondents agreed. A quote from on participant Prerna describes perfectly the point I am trying to make:

Upcoming artists and actors find it harder to get jobs than those who are most established. People already in the arts are approached without need to auditions and its much more competitive and harder to get in to.

The system is not becoming more open, but closed to only the established and the connected in the arts, and entertainment. It is driving a deeper rift between the haves and the have nots. Yet talent is often not gifted to just one group or genetic line.

However the British artist, Mackenzie Thorpe, argues the art itself is not elitist. An object can not by itself be selective in who gets to be impacted by it. I would counter that by pointing out, however, that the process of making art and having it be seen, is elitist. If we all have the right to self expression, but society limits who among us can make an impact on everyone else, there is elitism. I for one wish the gatekeepers for who gets to be seen and who gets to be known were called into question and that the system of selection needs to be criticized for bigotry and misogyny.

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2018 New Year Do we still have HOPE?

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That is a really good question. Do we have HOPE? Where is it?

Fist I want to clear something up about my intent with this site. I started this site not to be a commercial entity. And I am not a Communist. Sorry I had to add that, but there is this archaic notion that art and giving are some how anti American. I started this site out of a natural need I have to support what I think is important. For me that is the first amendment and creativity. I grew up in a world where art was a hobby not a life time pursuit, but I had this need to be creative. I was writing poetry at the age of 10 and reading voraciously literary fiction. In my head a had an imaginative world no one could see. As a child there was only so much of the world I could control, but my creative mind was boundless. Recently due to gas lighting I have discovered the painful result of being in a world where others with power and money try to control even my inner mind. It pushed me almost to the edge. I am fighting every day to find a way to make it stop.

I will not taint this page with any mention of the current political control in Washington, but I have to say it is shameful that this person has no love for animals, the planet, or art. The absence of our highest elected official from the Kennedy awards this past year speaks volumes as to his acceptance within the artistic world and culture of American, and his respect for the creative endeavors of American Citizens. However for now, the Kennedy Center still exists, Smithsonian, National Endowment for the Arts, and National Endowment of the Humanities still function and still go on. In California where I am based and live and make my home, art museums will be free all day on January 28. The beauty of our system is that even if our current federal Government turns it back on the cultural backbone of America, local states, at least some, will not.

Russia by the way is technically not a Communist country, but they are not exactly are friend either, at least not the current leader. Their government is not based on equality, but is a semi dictatorship. The art of Acting grew from the unrest within that country a century ago, when Stanislavsky the grandfather of the METHOD inspired actors and playwrights like Chekhov. I respect the acting world of Russia and hope they too find a way to survive these troubled times. I do not forget what you contributed to the craft. Stanislavsky was the first person to apply the science of the mind to the acting process and began the movement to realism within the theater community.

Back to the question do we have hope? For me Hope in the context of art stands for four words. Holistic. Organic. Philanthropic. Expression. Holistic means WHOLE. We are somewhat broken. We are beating each other up. We are being lead by a fool. But because we have voices that will not be silenced there are voices calling out the truth. Voices that are calling for solidarity and community and an end to the hate. And while I myself have been torn apart and gas lite, I am not going to be deterred. I have learned that coincidences happen. People will judge and misinterpret. I ask that people look to art and open their minds to let go of judgments. I ask that people step into others’ shoes. It is painful to be hurt and degraded by people claiming to project the same message as you, but we live in a time when those with money do not even see their own flaws and abuse.

Organic means evolving or growing. It is connected to the very essence of life. Art is nothing without a connection to the human condition. It has an emotional quality and effect on the mind.

Philanthropic means giving. Part of me wants to think I need no more explanation than that, but I may be second guessing. Minds can not be read, at least we have not evolved that far yet. Art is always giving. You look at art or hear art and are impacted by it. Maybe you bought a ticket to see it, but even so, the impact of what you see can last beyond the moment of presence.

Expression is simple. It is the practice of the first amendment. Art leads to the mind being open to create. It acts as a stimulus to creating more art. A painting can lead to inspiration for a poem, a song, a character in a book, or even an entire play or movie. The process works in multiple directions. A statute could lead to a movie.
A poem can inspire a painting. I myself have read a poem and then wrote a rough for a film script inspired by the poem, but if you read the poem and the script they have no similarity other than they are both kind of creepy. (Yes I write some horror.) I could write pages on this topic.

As long as there are creative voices to express and make positive change and to stimulate more voices and human connection, we have HOPE.

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When you need a breath…write poetry!

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When you need a breath. Turn to art.
Today Dan Rather posted on his facebook page the following:

“[S]ometimes it’s important to step back from the din for a moment to gather one’s thoughts.”
“To summon up the plight of refugees, to force us to confront unsettling questions about who these people are and what they’ve endured, I share this powerful piece of art. It’s called “Home” by Warsan Shire, a Somali writer who emigrated to the United Kingdom at a young age.”

The poem can be found at this link.

Words can be powerful weapons. But not just of war. For peace. The Living Poetry Project is collecting poems to place on postcards for concerned citizens to use to contact their representatives about issues of concern. They plan a Poetry Party on March 4th 2017 from 11 am to 3 pm. The party will be at Beyond Baroque in Venice Beach California. Some will be able to hand make cards. If you are a poet or someone who may feel inspired by words to make a difference, information on how to submit and details for the event can be found here.

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Venice Art Block 2016

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Will update this blog later. For now I just want to post the pictures.

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Gallery

Frogtown Art Walk Rediscovering Capitalism.

This gallery contains 23 photos.

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There is a place called Frogtown. It is in the area where the 2 and Riverside Drive meet. There is a bike trail that follows the Los Angeles River. Along the trail are warehouses and bike shops and art gallery … Continue reading

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