Tuesday, January 03, 2006

more art and spirituality

Wow, second post related to this topic in two days.

Edward Winkleman weighs in with a very honest post : God or Me: One of Us Might Have to Go
Yes, given my position and passion, it seems natural that I should just turn to art for spirituality, but let's face it, looking for the spiritual in contemporary art is often like looking for a trenchcoat you like in your size at Century 21. Even if you find one, there's bound to be some imperfection in it that makes you shake your head and move on.
He refers several times to the introduction to A Critical History of 20th-Century Art by Donald Kuspit, published on artnet.com, which is quite long. I'm going to have to set aside some time to read it. I usually don't like Kuspit's writing style (I've often found him needlessly obtuse) but the pieces Edward excerpted were interesting.

Anyhow, as with many of Edward's posts there is a great discussion that follows. James Leonard writes
And this somehow cycles back (at least momentarily) to why this is a fitting topic for a contemporary art blog. There is a sensual aspect to all spiritual practices. Successful works of art often tap into a similar sensuality. For the past year, with this blog, Ed has displayed a keen ability to evoke insight on what is lacking in most contemporary art.

So Ed, connect the dots for me, where does this all lead? What's missing in today's art (/art world) for you? Gospel? Church? Soul? Something else?
These are the very questions I've found myself asking this past year.


At 7:59 AM, Blogger Joseph Barbaccia said...

Although I posted on Mr Winkleman's blog on his subject, what I didn't say was that what I believe is missing is the enphasis on showing/selling their work rather than creating. When an artist moves their creative attention away from the object, the object loses energy and becomes empty. The focus seems to be more on the show itself rather than the pieces in the show. Context rather than content.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Yeah, I can see that - the commercialization of the art world isn't new but it does seem to have reached a kind of annoying level.

I'm not sure an object (in the traditional sense) is necessary for a work to have content, for it to have power. Maybe it requires the artist's focus on the creative act rather than the career, which I think you were probably saying...

I'm sleepy and not thinking too logically.

At 7:21 AM, Blogger Joseph Barbaccia said...

Yes Amy, sleepy or not you put it well. Career before the work. It's one of the things I distrust about Andy Warhol.

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Amy said...

Ah, but I admire Warhol for putting it all out there - for pointing out that art is business (in this society). No pretending that art is somehow more pure and noble than other pursuits. Warhol turned the career into the work, and there's something honest about that.

It's the people who say one thing while doing the other that bother me. Turning the work into the career.


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