June 17, 2021
Why did some historians in the 1960s think Wild Bill Hickok was gay? If you watched last night's Facebook Live broadcast you know the ridiculous answer. If you didn't watch it you can still retrieve the answer right here.
Meanwhile, on the existential artist front, I am reading Louis Menand's "The Free World: Art And Thought In The Cold War" and it is an eye opener, at least for me. Thought I knew the origins of The Cold War, Drip Paintings and Pop Art, but what I didn't know you could apparently fill an 857 page book with. One of the most troubling and maddening things so far, (I'm on page 235), is that one definition of Modern Art is "the imitation of imitating." And, if that isn't enough of a dead end conundrum, another intellectual hipster, back in the day, claimed Modern Art represents reality "by refusing to represent." And the crucial element in the entire effort is allegedly "the silent gesture toward what [is] no longer possible." And, here's the kicker, if a painting starts to make sense it's not art.
Damn, that pissses me off.
At least this tail-chasing-expository-BS begins to explain this amusing painting, which by the way, matches my sweatshirt.
Okay, so I Googled Mark Rothko (real name Markus Yakovlevich Rothkowitz) and found out his success in the mid-fifties branded him as a sellout by some of his petty peers and he became depressed and commited suicide in 1970. That I began this day despising him and his work, and now I am feeling empathy towards him says something about context and high school popularity dynamics. That, and he also wore a pretty cool hat, which gives me even more sympathy for the poor Latvian born, truth-seeking-artist.
"The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them. And if you, as you say, are moved only by their color relationships, then you miss the point."
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