jo_dis's Blog

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3:45 pm

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Today’s gallery world – once a caldron of controversy and innovation – has become a petrified state of mind where nostalgia thumbs retrospective albums of the “Glory Days” … a fossil world that has little to say to the universal consciousness of digital nodes in the 21st Century’s neural network … an arrogant world blind to revolutionary bloggers shaping new political realities; smugly indifferent to web artists whose imaginations touch every corner of Earth with visions grander than the limitations of small computer screens.

Sadly, mainstream art in America is a Sunset Boulevard still addicted to its withered celebrities, still clinging to a dead-end notion that its current stars have something to say because their giant constructions and outsize paintings fill vast spaces with special effects Imperial Romans would applaud. Indeed, the gallery-philosophy-of-now is a corporate merger of: IF IT’S BIG, IT’S BEAUTIFUL! IF IT’S HUGE, IT HAS IMPORT! IF IT COST MILLIONS TO PRODUCE, IT MERITS AWE! And to gag critics who suggest art in America is a collection of bloated Hallmark Cards, our galleries and museums flaunt embalmed cows, dung-madonnas and the stench of rotting carcasses as proof they’re still terribly-terribly avant-garde.

If, by chance, glazed-over eyes of dullard audiences can’t appreciate the significance of corporate creativity, the establishment recites rosaries of academic gobblygook to patiently explain the “soul” and investment values of what it chooses to exhibit, completely confident its propaganda hides the fact. Its emperor of post postmodern art has no clothes! The sight of his limp nakedness is even more pathetic when reality sinks in. There are no Viagra causes, no passionate movements or titillating geniuses to save our creep from impotence to sterility.

And what about us … we who finger electronic keyboards to orchestrate sonatas of shapes and shadows, we who calculate the codes and decipher technology’s enigmas to present images to being? The Old Guard, defining creativity in terms of brush strokes and emulsions, views us as “dismissibles” not worth a gallery corner or a critic’s mention … tinker-nerds with toys suffering the same ostracism our ancestors faced when they saw the art in cameras before the elite decided on a vocabulary to admit the output of gadgets into the holy of holies.

Whether the Mausoleum Crowd gets it or admits it doesn’t matter. WE ARE THIS CENTURY’S VISUAL EXCITEMENT! There are armies of us around the world: some appropriating programs to express science fiction folk art, others shoplifting models and textures to cartoon naughty thoughts or dirty desires, hobbyists exploring the possibilities of being more than electronic numbers pixel painters and a few -- an important few -- with the gifts of transubstantiating the icy logic of diodes and processors into lifelike statements of the human experience.

Take note art world! We’ve already enriched the medias of motion with amazing talents. SO … when you condescend to consider us acceptable for entrance into the sanctum sanctorum of freeze-frame canvas and archival paper, be of good cheer! Even your “size thing” is safe! Our printers are prepared to morph Faberge’s little perfections into David’s masterful dimensions. And, when you allow us to adorn your walls with dazzling imagination, we won’t even whisper the embarrassing question: “WHY HAVE YOU WAITED SO LONG TO UNLOCK YOUR DOORS?”

j j di Salvo
July 2006

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