Saturday, January 21, 2012

Calf plaque finally finished...

The calf plaque against a South Western sky all finished up (approx 6" x 8")

Here's my calf plaque with the cloudy background all finished up with patina.
When I first modeled it I was a bit worried that my somewhat obsessive fascination with anatomy could have resulted in a cadaverous looking beast, but after seeing it all done in bronze I was very happy with the finished results.

Besides that, I have been assiduously testing my bronze toad bottle opener and I'm happy to say it functions just fine after numerous openings!

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Am I an Art Bigot?

Below is an article I wrote for 
Since they edited (which I half expected) about a quarter of it out, added to the title and re-worded some bits, they have inadvertently diminished my main point (which I repeated for effect, and they repeatedly removed!), which focused on being able to ignore something (or, more to the point, not being allowed to ignore something) over the objectionable thing itself.

Without that as my main point strongly accented throughout the copy, I fear on their website it may just read as a whine about stuff I don't like!

Anyhow, see what you think, below is how I sent it, unedited.
Some of the parts emptyeasel subsequently either removed or altered that are key to my point are shown here in red...(in case you read their altered version on their website first).
If you didn't, and this is your first look, that's better!
There's a link to their version at the end.

Am I an art bigot?

Why do I hate so much 20th Century visual art with such a passion?
I'm not that way with music.
I have everything from Mozart to the Sex Pistols on my iPod, and if I hear some awful music, I don't rail against it, I just ignore it.

But I really do hate so much 20th Century art. I mean of course the really ridiculous stuff that gets thrust in your face but can only leave you scratching your head.

Why does it get under my skin so much?
Every time I ponder that question I see the implication that I must be an art bigot or snob of some kind, while at the same time being a pleasantly open minded music appreciator.

Why am I not consistently open minded, or consistently vehemently apposed, in both cases?

I believe I know the answer.
It's because the musical equivalent of the modern/post modern pretend art is really nowhere to be heard, and is easily ignored.
Actually it exists, but one listen is all it takes to turn you off it for good.

It's called atonal music and it simply gets ignored.

This dawned on me thanks to having read THIS ARTICLE (definitely worth a read).

In it, Spengler points out that the reason atonal music is not often played to audiences is because you are stuck once it starts and in for an aurally painful experience, and you can't pretend to like it with a token 10 second listen and then quickly wander off.

Which you can of course, with things hanging around in a gallery, no matter how bad they are.

And so the visual art equivalent of atonal music, far from getting ignored, keeps getting pushed in our faces.

Since we've been mired in this for so long, it might be easier to describe a scenario where the situation that exists for visual art - but doesn't for music, were reversed…

An Alternative Reality.

I imagine right now everything in your music collection appeals to your emotions on some level.
And it all follows some musical laws.
The melodies and rhythms might not be to everyone else's taste, but there are melodies and rhythms none the less for you to enjoy.

I'm guessing you don't listen to any atonal music.

That's the stuff carefully conceived to sound awful: You'll find no identifiable rhythm, harmony, or tune.
In essence it bears no resemblance to anything harmonious, and won't illicit any foot tapping at all.

And so you just ignore it.
You might never have even heard of it before, it's that unbearable on the ears.

But now let's pretend something for a minute:
Let's say that music museums exist where you can go and somehow enjoy live performances of any musical experience the museum sees fit to exhibit, even if the performers, conductors and composers are all long dead.
Somehow (unlike watching a DVD) it would be just like being there for real.
True virtual reality.

Who would you want to see first?

Let's say it costs a fortune for the museums to acquire the exhibits, and your tax money is often used to buy them.
And they insist on buying loads and loads of the atonal stuff, and give you lengthy explanations of its genius, and how you must basically be a moron if you don't want to come and experience it.

Mind you, these curators and critics can't play a note of anything themselves, you just have to take their word for it that they know more about serious music than you do.
Even if you're a musician.
No, make that especially if you're a musician.

And if you kick up a stink, well what are you? Stupid?

They might throw in some token performances of actual music, but really, if you're serious about enjoying music, this atonal stuff is what you should really be focused on.

If all that was true, then you couldn't ignore it at museums.
And let's also imagine it keeps getting played on TV anytime serious music is discussed.

Let's say the atonal authors are getting paid enormous amounts for their cacophony.
And of course museums and collectors keep popping up in the news since they are paying such absurd sums to acquire it.

Of course it still wouldn't live in your music collection, at least not on any playlists you actually listen to, but it would be getting shoved in your ears all the time.

What would actually competent musicians and bands and orchestras make of that, once they were marginalized and diminished in value in favor of the more supposedly meaningful atonal stuff?

What if their rare gifts and wonderful performances were pushed aside and belittled, while a person dropping some pots and pans on a mattress at random intervals was glorified and hailed a genius?
Even though it was obvious the genius couldn't play a note on any instrument?

And your tax money was making them a fortune.

It doesn't bother anyone that atonal music exists because it's not regularly hailed as genius and shoved in our ears.

So if that alternative scenario was true: would the usurped and outraged musicians, along with those who appreciate their music become music bigots?

I think it would make perfectly good sense if they did.


Emptyeasel's re-worked version HERE

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Winged Angel Mice are coming along nicely...

'Angel Chubby' Metal Master

'Angel Pug' Metal Master

'Angel Sprightly' Metal Master

What you see here are called 'metal masters': finished metal sculptures that the foundry will use to make its own molds to produce my Winged Angel Mice.
Right now they are freshly sandblasted, but once they are finished they will have an other-worldly silver patina.

The early morning sun was creating a nice little show on the mantel, which I couldn't resist snapping pics of before the light moved along the wall to work it magic on other bits and pieces scattered about the place...

Click these links to visit my website... - Sculpture that loves you back
or my Etsy store, CritterVille