January 7,2013. I’d like to buy the world an Inflatable Kim Kardashian Doll, (sung to the 1971 Coke ad)

Art and my thoughts about being an artist
"America" ©2012

“America” ©2012 Robert Redus

“The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

This television commercial came out in 1971:

This was also going on in 1971:

 

I suggest turning the sound down on the Vietnam footage while listening to the coke commercial and watching the air strikes. There is an uneasy sort of harmony that goes with explosions while well manicured kids sing on a hilltop about a highly caffeinated, loaded with high fructose corn syrup, and who’d have ever known a relatively more destructive soft drink than bombs jingle.

This leads me to the quote this morning, “The Ranks of the Insane”…if I could play the guitar, I’d certainly be starting a band with that name! No really….I think……INSANITY IS THE NEW SANE.  I mean think about it….most people care more about Kim Kardashian’s “Baby Bump”, or did Jessica Simpson reveal a little too much breast on one of her press photographs than let’s say…..”ART”…yes I wrote ART, and for the reason that ART was once iconography …and the artists who produced that iconography were once the insane…the people mom and dad first off…didn’t want you to ever be and secondly surely didn’t want you to marry….and well because…”How’s he going to support you, and does he always dress like that?”…artists were the barometer of society the ones who redefined society with imagery…sculpture…words….ideas…the blurred edges of things….now it’s Brits boobs….

So here I am…the formerly insane….now the guy off the couch…sort of standing here wondering what exactly happened….while the people I always thought had it wired up so tight are in a frenzy…standing in lines waiting for new phones…exporting  $431,000.00 worth of almonds to Italy while importing $398,000.00 worth of almonds from Italy….wanting to “Go Green”….yet remain a polyamorous carnivore, who drives a  Hummer H5…and can only drink Melita  brewed, Half caf, soy, dry, pismo, light  easy foam, but make sure it’s in a Bio Cup…cool dude…. coffee.

So…I’m thinking of art installations more and more these days…maybe a 10,000 women with plastic baby bumps under their shirts…..filling elevators of busy high-rise buildings all wearing Jessica Simpson masks…or dropping Kim Kardashian inflatable dolls from Vintage B52’s over the entire state of Iowa….while loud speakers play “I’d like to buy the world a coke“….or maybe hire 500 people to just stand in line in front of every Apple store in NYC…and when asked why they are there….they can only answer…”You gotta be kidding…right, you mean you don’t know?” ….

so all of this being said….my mantra for the day is also my closing quote…..

“Please, if there is a god in heaven, bring back the insanity”

505. March 20th…A fire of Obscurity or an Iceberg of Perspicuity…hmmm….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The New Sea of Tranquility” 2011

“What a man calls his “conscience” is merely the mental action that follows a sentimental reaction after too much wine or love.” – Helen Rowland

seppuku is the ritual of suicide…

there is an enormous protocol that goes along with the getting to that place…firstly a dishonorable act had to have been comitted…once that was established…confirmed and decided honor would be regained by suicide…the person responsible had a significant lifestyle change…what they knew was certainly not what they were going to be living up to the day they took their life…they could only wear certain clothes of certain colors…eat with designated utensils…they were free…to do what they wanted…because they were considered an…”honorable man” they were not considered a prisoner….the seppuku was an event…much like a debutante ball with the level of regalia…and hype…

the samurai who was committing seppuku…did so in front of witnesses…dignitaries…his master..etc….he dressed accordingly….sat on a centralized raised wooden platform….contemplated his end…lowered his clothing to expose his abdomen…tucked his sleeves under his knees…so he fell forward…as a gentleman should always die falling forward…the condemed would stab the blade into his left side below his abdomen…pull across to his right and then in an upward motion…the samurai would extend his head and neck forward… this was the sign…the “Kaishaku” (the second cut)…who was appointed by the dishonored would then sever his head…

hopefully….honor was regained….

“I spent most of that time driving through the desert…while he slept…..”wake me up if anything happens”…. he’d say…..I sat on a phone book…thinking of Marcia…and her moving to Mexico that next year…I wondered what 5th grade was like in Mexico….we always stopped at the same place….piss by the back of the truck….had  a Falstaff…beer…he’d let me light his Camel cigarette….I’d watch the smoke disappear in the air…sometimes cough…but more often than not….just be quite….and listen him to tell me about Southeast Asia…and how he was going back there some day….”Going back to Goddamn Vietnam”…..he really said “Vetnam”…left out the “i” but he said a lot of words with left out letters”

Richard Diebenkorn…painted an entire series of paintings on cigar box lids…that clearly illustrated that abstraction can be magnificent with little regard to scale…he originally made these paintings as gifts…not a part of his inventory…and yet they have become a part of his inventory…posthumously…

maybe what starts as one thing …follows it’s course…stays what it is…dies as it is…and becomes something else…because  it gets made that way…not because it has a destiny to be so…but we make it what it is…from what it wasn’t…

there is something very appealing about the nature of obscurity…as the idea that once we recognized and genuinely acknowledge what might be seen as…unimportant and dim…allows for the possibility of perspicuity then to exist…and flourish…

“Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.” – Ad Reinhart

457. December 16th…Letter exchange…kind of like information exchange without all of the…information…and they’re letters instead….

Writings from the "Cuff'

“Sometime Before” 2010

“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.” – Frank Zappa

yesterday…my students and I made and painted cards for the holiday…it was far above exciting and stimulating….

there are very few feelings like getting a card or a hand written letter these days…not to mention writing a letter…folding…it perfectly…slipping it into the envelope… addressing it…putting the stamp on and sending it off… and somehow…it finds its way to the person who is supposed to get it….I’ve not sent a letter in a long time…at least one that is important…and is not subscribing me to a magazine…or truck driving school…

I have all of the letters my father sent me from Vietnam in 1958 when I was 2…they are all written on hotel stationary and the envelopes are a certain type paper….almost see through and fabric like….his penmanship was like something from a manual on the proper method of writing…each envelope has “Par Avion ” across the wavy red and blue lines…the stamps are terrific…little masterpieces…sometimes there are no stamps…replaced with an APO address…the whole letter is a story…the envelope….the paper..the fragile nature of it all…everything about it is so tangable…and real…I could put it in an evelope…mail it off to someone else….somewhere else….

as a young teenager…I fell in love with a girl via the postal service…we’d met once in west Texas…while she and her family were visiting relatives there…the likelyhood of us ever seeing each other again was pretty slim….so our only option was the mail…we took a pretty small encounter…with attraction..turned it into love …for what ever love meant then…we talked about moving away together…the concerts we had seen…sent photographs…never talked on the phone as my parents had convinced me a long distance call was something like $500.00…a second…our love affair lasted through the fall..then the girl down the street started showing an interest in me…my letters…became less…as did hers….until she sent me a “BreakUp” letter…she too had found another…our love dissolved at the hands of the USPS….

for many years I practiced writing my signature…wanted something strong…kind of scary…a little over the top with a dash of the unknown…no matter how I tried…I got what I got…I saw for the very first time…while buying silver at the jewelry supply store the other day…an older Navajo man…make his mark…when signing….the invoice….his signature was a giant “X”…it said a great deal without revealing a thing…

I am going to start writing letters…sending cards….and I think maybe if I write one…two will be easier…and if I work this based on Fibonacci numbers…in no time at all I could be up to a few hundred thousand letters in a month or so…not really my desire though…so…I’m guessing that won’t be the best approach…maybe the quickest way to start this process is just start writing…if you want a letter…leave me your address….I’ll write you a card…we could be pen pals…like the pen pal I had in Africa when I was 10…except for the obvious I’m not 10 …most days…and you may or may not live in…Africa….who knows…I’ll send you a card…and if you want to write back…that would be great…

“A letter is an unannounced visit, the postman the agent of rude surprises.  One ought to reserve an hour a week for receiving letters and afterwards take a bath.”  ~Friedrich Nietzsche