Saturday, December 10, 2016

The art in my life

Over at Cat Rotator's Quarterly, Alma posed the question: "Does modern culture have room for Rubens and Rembrandt, for Van Eyche and Velazquez, for Caravaggio and Bernini, for DrĂ¼rer and Holbein?"

Well, generally my opinion of what the idiots in NYC, DC, and LA try to feed us as "modern culture" is soul-dead excrement with a Marxist core they can't articulate for the same reason fish don't think about water, and teenagers don't notice whining.

However, if we talk about modern culture as what those of us out here in reality are living and creating every day, there's plenty of room for it. There's also plenty of room for smaller, less well-known artists to make their living. Now that there's enough wealth in the society that it pretty much takes active self-harm and mental dysfunction to live as badly off as the patrons of the old dead dutch guys who knew how to paint, any of us can be a partial patron to an artists instead of them being tied to one merchant family or king. (Seriously: we have vaccines, entire closets full of clothes, ice in the summer, heat in the winter, exotic foods prepared for us year round, and replaced hordes of servants with the stove, microwave, dishwasher, laundry machines, and vacuum cleaner.)

Also, with the advent of prints, artists can paint once, and then sell that painting to hundreds, or even tens of thousands, of people. This means that art has disseminated all over the place, if we're willing to get it.

Around our house, for example, we just hung a James C Christensen print, and I still have to get the wire on the back of the frame to hang a commissioned Ken Nelson original. (A friend got it for me for my birthday. They're awesome. So is Ken!) I have a print of a Keith Greba watercolor in the office, and we have yet to hang a James Humble that we picked up at Libertycon.

There's still more art that we haven't framed yet - a few treasured pieces that Peter brought from South Africa, from an artist he knew there. (He had to leave most of his art when he emigrated. A painful parting, not unlike cutting off a limb to escape a trap.) There's even more art yet in a few "coffee table" books, because I can't afford the prints, much less the originals: Bev Doolittle, Stephen Lyman, and a collected works of Frederick Remington.

There are also smaller spots around the house that are getting prints and works by artists I've come to know and like as people, as well as artists, including Melissa Gay and Sam Flegal...

But coming back to the original question: yes, I will get a Monet or two. I have a spot in the spare bedroom in mind.


  1. We have precious little artwork by anyone whose name would be recognizable outside of Alaska. Charles Tuckfield, for example. When we moved from the apartment in Anchorage to our new home, much that we'd had on display for a dozen years just didn't seem to fit the new place, which is more "chalet" than "cabin". On the bright side, we have leisure now to seek out new artists, and new works. We enjoy the voyage of discovery, but a few of the classics remain.

  2. I have some pieces, but nothing approaching what you and TXRed are talking about... sigh

  3. I'm not sure of your husband's taste in religious art, but you might find that the work of Daniel Mitsui would be an appropriate gift. This is an an example of his work, combining Japanese and traditional forms:

    I hope you find it interesting.

    Glen in Texas