catherine hall
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blog/site updates art for sale and sketches info and contacts back to the home page


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Sunday, February 29, 2K4:

when i was younger, i wondered what state of movement art was in. you know, like modernism or futurism or mannerism. for awhile, i thought that i had to have a movement to attach myself to in order to be an artist, or create one of my own. it scared me, because i didn't have a clue what any of the movements of history were, let alone what the contemporary movements might be.
eventually i got observant and decided that there is no movement going on now, at least not at a large scale. i didn't know whether i was right or not until we finally got around to talking about it in art history last month. dr. raverty spoke on how the trend for the last several decades has been for the artist to do whatever he or she wants. there are no large schools of thought going on. it seems odd to me, because as far as i've been taught (and i could easily be wrong) there have been two main ways of making art: continuing in the classical style, or embarking as part of a movement.
it could be argued that art movements only alienate audiences or force artists to reduce their works to universals. in fact, that was argued, pretty much word-for-word, by scott of Webmaster Scott fame. My reply was that movements always alienate people. that's their job. outsiders find them strange until you get enough weirdoes to follow you and explore it. that's just the way it was, it seems like: you either painted in a more or less traditional painting style (i.e., movements that had already been accepted) or you had a movement.
the purposes of these movements were to advance thinking or to advance humans or to advance art. futurists believed that it was the role of the artist to press man onward. they did art that the Man of the Future would want--full of movement and complexity, with everything done at once. through them, art changed and the thinking about art changed. they were revolutionary at first, but there are few movements that we look back on now that seem bizarre to us.
but now, it's like we're stuck. maybe because of the influx of outsider art and the loss of emphasis on academicism, so many people without proper training are coming in, taking art up as a hobby, and some are making it as artists. and i'm not saying that this is a bad thing. but there's nothing unifying any of it anymore. it's hard to compare artwork to artwork in the present day, because the "movement" is like free love--let everybody do whatever they want, because everyone who wants to can find an outlet somewhere. naive middle-classers who want cheap art, or the hundreds of discussion boards on the internet.
i'm a horribly mean art critic. i hate almost everyone. it links strongly back to this, in my opinion. the art world doesn't have a direction. when there's a movement, it unifies the efforts of artists so that all their advancements can build upon each other. independent, "discovery" artists are forging a way alone. they learn little from each other, and they aren't forced to look at the world in a new way. you know what you get from this? thomas kincaid paintings and pencil sketches sold in mall booths of eagles and deer and golf balls.

i have no idea how coherent this is. it's a late night rant written several days after the inciting event, and it's not as if i'm the most cogent of writers as it is. but enjoy. and let me know what you think.

Thursday, Feb.12.2K4

whoo! we are finally up and online! i'm excited, even if no one else is. so there.

Tuesday, Feb.10.2K4

the study of art history must have in innate attraction for nuts. not necessarily the bad nuts, like the lady in my soc class, but the flamboyant and theatrical and sex-focused. today we studied mannerism, a weird little movement that was sort of a sub-movement during the high renaissance period. it's definitely creepy and not at all flush with the movements preceding or following it, but the professor was flailing and was eager to point out the innuendo in the paintings. you'd think the crucifixion and paintings of mary and her baby jesus would be innocuous little pieces, too. of course, last semester's professor talked (and looked) like the hypothetical offspring of JFK and Woody Allen, and he found sexual connotations in everything. According to him, the steam engine was one large monument to sex.

Monday, Feb.9.2K4

people are so weird. i'm in sociology lecture, and there's some guy two rows in front of me licking a spoon, sure he was probably just eating a breakfast on the go, but it still looks weird in the middle of lecture. also, the crazy lady who usually sits in the corner to my left is now sitting in the row behind me. when she sat down, she was talking to herself about souls. she's asking a question now--which she does often--but today she seems to have affected an accent.

today, i am finally turning in my glass sculpture. its craft is a little messy, and i've thought of a multitude of things i'd do differently if i had the time or patience, but it's due today, and that makes me the happiest girl in the world. also, my hands are the happiest hands in the world.
perhaps when i get the piece back, i will tear apart the bits i don't like to make them neater and more pleasing. or perhaps i will accidentally drop it while sashaying carelessly around the top of the stairwell, and enjoy watching it explode.

all images, text, and designs copyright 2004 catherine hall