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Reply to "The Spiritual Problem With Modernist Art"


My art is about the vulnerability of individuals and how they react to the struggle. How do I cope in a digressive society that? The masses have given me the cold shoulder, because I don't conform to this unneccessary struggle, and surcome to an unneccessary fate of being stoned to death. I am stoned because the majority says we can't judge between right and wrong, my right is their wrong simply because morality IS oppressive <--which I don't dispute. So the masses oppress morality, by playing the victimized underdogs <--makes sense to me. I rebel. I may come off as self-righteous, and egotistic because I don't care. But I will expose the vulnerabilty and the shamelessness of the masses. I will be wrong in spite of their right. To me, this is the way of life, this is the way of art. To me art IS the struggle, without the struggle their is no art.
There is truth in your words. What I think you might have left out, though, is that one who would say this has tried to speak to the masses, to, what, wake them, warn them, uplift them? Something, anyway, and that is a far different impulse from the one that I am concerned about. The one I reject is the one that says, "I care nothing for the masses. Let them rot because they do not understand true art. They criticize me? I am the artist and I will not bow to their pewling cries. If they will not understand, let them live their short, miserable lives in their own filth. The world would be better off without them. I will show them what art is, and let them follow or die."

This is different from the artist who has tried to speak to them and they would not listen. As I told art-gurl, there are those who do not care to hear what the artist says. I think that they are impoverished in doing so, but it is their choice. The artist's reaction that you posited is understandable, sometimes even true, but I would bet that such an artist would, after a short rest some place, be driven back to his art. He might do so in despondency or at least pessimism, but I think he'd do it. I do not think that he's the artist I'm concerned about.

If he does not, if he means exactly what he says, then I fear for his art. He sounds like an angry Nietzsche, whose political offspring gave us the Nazis. To rebel for the sake of rebellion is, in a perverse irony, to let the masses determine his work: whatever they do not want, that's what I will do. To rebel for a goal could vewry well be a good thing. To rebel for the sake of rebellion is a critical danger to all, even himself. I hope for his sake that he would not do that.

What would I tell such an artist? To take a break, to go to a riverside retreat, a cabin in the woods, with a couple of friends, and walk in the woods a while, talk about what pleases him, think of the beauty of the earth and what is worth defending. Then, when he is ready, come back and defend that good with all his heart.