"A Man Who Is Lost And knows Not Where He Is Headed Will Never Find His Way Out Of Wherever He Is"
.........thus the dichotomy of being lost...........
This was response to an artist who does erotica whose work I saw at ModelMayhem and liked.
Yeah Paul...we seem to be on the same page here.
Porno is merely erotic art or art in general that has work to do. It is the deepest darkest way of sublimating a society's dark motivators and obsessions and yes, needs. I feel if prostitution was legalized and controlled in well established house there would be far less crime or need to sublimate these dark needs through acts of violence or pornography. History proves that in times in history where that was the case there was far less of what we see today.
Americans are still dictated by the hypocrisy of the Puritan ethic. And for as long as that remains the truth we are all looked on as the greatest hypocritical culture in the world. Not only in the way we govern our selves as individuals, as a culture and as a country but how we try to impose our mind set and influence to our neighbors and to the rest of the world. All one has to do is turn on the evening news, that wonderful propaganda machine and ultimate entertainer of the numb, dumb blind masses to realize that.
Yeah artists in general are still, in some circles, viewed as "the leaches of society" and therefore deserving of disrespect. According to some of these assholes we prefer hovering in the shadows doodling our obsessions and filthy mind wanderings and starving with our hands held out for assistance to doing solid honest work and dressing grubby to dressing fashionable and clean and neat. Never mind that if weren't for artists in all areas we would still be living in caves and grunting like pigs wondering why we can't move ourselves from point A to point B with ease!
I can't tell you how many times in my life as a starving artist I was desperate enough to seek government assistance and was adamently refused. had I been a nice fat black or white trash trailer park drunk with twenty kids who declared themselves as law abiding and God fearing, I would have gotten it and then some.
What I got instead was:
"Get a job...you can work"...or..."You will have to sell your photo gear before we can give you anything"...or..."Such a shame all your education and you can't find work, should have picked a better or more equitable profession...maybe you can go back to school and pursue a real career, it's not too late!".
Now out of work for a year and desperate, totally un-connected in the art community no longer having any idea what I am or want to be"when I grow up" and at that ripe old age of 54 (Yeah I gave up the dream and sold out..no longer call myself an artist!) I have no energy to become an artist again. Also, I no longer have any fucking desire to give my skills and abilities up for less than I feel they are worth to help some asshole businessman with "a better profession" better market his/her business with my artistic skills, my indirect assistance and at my indirect expense. Fuck them all!
I do my art work (erotica or whatever else strikes me) for me...since that is who seem in retrospect, to have always done it for anyway.
The internet allows some showcase though not as open minded as I would like.
Try doing some exhibition work in Europe. Many artist who could not find their place or respect in the American community or the political correctness imbued gallery/art scene here, who have ventured overseas, have succeeded.
Might be an option for you worth exploring. You are still young and active...go for it!
Try finding international publications who do the same kind of work you do and submit work to them. Having on-line exposure gives you a chance of pointing them to your already "Published" work there and therefore a bit more credibility. In my day that was an option that was not available.
Try contacting the Webmasters of sites you see out there who do the kind of work you do or want to do. Might get some lead as to getting your foot in the door there. many of the Porno site service providers are overseas and therefore somewhat protected from the asshole witch hunters here.
Fuck Boston! Too much Irish-Catholic Pseudo-Religious righteousness there. It owns the damn city. Go to California or New York to find a gallery for some of your stuff. Use the internet dude. There are other sites publishing erotica that are linked to the site that sponsored that erotic art contest. Go there and communicate with them.
But dude YOU GOTTA DO A LOT OF WORK! ALWAYS! WORK AT WHAT YOU LOVE! BETTER YOURSELF AND TECHNIQUE (digital or otherwise) AND GROW! Or you are dead and never be worth a plug copper! :)
I don't mind not winning some of these contests. I did see the winners of the one you mentioned (in fact I have copies of ALL the digital submissions from the site which I downloaded not only because I "collect" in some way but also as a reminder and reference of what to possibly do next time) and the ones that won I feel did deserve to win in some ways. Their art was clean and simple and embraced the "rules" of presentation even for erotica. Rules adhered to by classic erotic artists like Bertrand, Fini, Von Byros, Payne, Felicien Rops, Belmer...to name a small few.
My sister who has no real art training is doing fibre art on her own. She does it for her own pleasure. For the first time in a few years she showed some of the pieces to a yarn selling store locally and got immediately invited to attend a group of other fibre artists. She attended that group yesterday and got so overwhelmed by all the rave reviews and invitations and ideas of how to proceed to obtain "Legitimacy" in the community she broke down...went numb. She left with a headache and no clue what anyone was talking about. She has to go back with a recorder so she can record all their ideas and suggestions so we can review it and decide where she should go with it.
She is so convinced that I could be so much more successful than her at it she wants to include me in the workings. I am trying to explain to her that I am not a Fibre Artist.
She insists she isn't either though it comes as easily and naturally to her as photography or erotica come to me. She says, though she can respect it, she doesn't understand my long attachment to erotica and quite simply doesn't understand it as some art form enough to criticize or complement me on my obvious passionate tenacity to it. But is it possible I can't do any other kind of art beside erotica she asked?
I have. I started as a photographer with a BA from RIT. I spent 8 months working as ship photographer in the West Indies. I went to Europe and tried finding work there and got nothing but an ulcer from the experience returning broke and depressed. I opened a studio and tried doing industrial/commercial photography, grip and grins, model agency graduation classes/portfolios, annual report photography and dance imagery and made no money at any of it.
Drawing was my escape and erotica my numbing agent along with a lot of other more illegal compounds! No matter what I ddid or where I went I was always coming back to erotica or the fine art nude.
Hungry a frustrated and needing other venues for expression, I designed jewelry and my obsession with erotica migrated me to leather. I got pretty good working it and even sold a few pieces in a tuxedo shop of all places! I have a patent pending on a buckleless leather belt design. I also started doing some design work for some small clients who needed ads designed to incorporate with the photo work I did for them. So that led into logo design and business imagery.
I returned to school and got an MA in design and tried getting an art magazine out. Needing their support and "official stamp of approval" I approached the Arts For Greater Rochester Group" a government subsidized arts organization with my business plan and preliminary visual boards of my magazine. Because they felt the initial design and objective looked more like that of a men's magazine than an art magazine and because my definition of what constituted "ART" was so far from their collective benevolent view of it, I was dutifully shot down by the local arts organization (run, BTW, by a troop of stodgy arrogant wealthy "conservative" women doing volunteer work who, in leu of their misguided belief, refused to give me their much needed support. I can you assure that being non-challantly "Dismissed" is at best an infuriating and painful experience for anyone.
Broke and frustrated when the economy crashed in the early 90's, I sold out and not wanting to be seen doing it by friends and peers I left the comfort of my home town and came to Virginia..where I ceased being "An Artist" and worked for my living!
I hated every minute of every day of it but I needed to work and start saving money for my old age. Reality is a cruel medicine but one we eventually have to choke on and I m=have been choking for about 16 years now.
Though I am still an artist deep in my broken aging bones and where the sun refuses to shine, I really don't see my work as art anymore. I see it as either "Irrelevant Kitsch" or "Irreverent Kitsch" (depending on who I am talking to about it or how I feel that particular day). Even when I ventured to call what I did "ART" it was never HIGH ART nor would it ever be. I always viewed High Art as something stripped of all passion and darkness and honesty and relegated to something decorative and unnecessary. What I always found sardonically humorous and ironic was how the great Master's works are considered High Art today.
If people really studied the lives of those painters they would better understand that then in their world in their time they were no different than we are now. They recorded their moments in their time. They struggled like we struggle for recognition and respect or money to pay their way and they too were considered by the arts community and its rich patrons and marketers, outsiders in their time. Now they are revered!
Life sure sucks then we die and hopefully someone that finds my shit will make some money selling it when I am gone! :)
I will leave you with these thought for now! Cheers!
Ruminations Of The Lost Muse
Jan 31, 2008
Never had a blog before so I thought I would start one here.
What does a grown person do who has been been under the thrall of the creative muse all his or her life..for as long as can be remembered...and suddenly find themselves abandoned by that same muse?
What does one do when that muse moves on or is suddenly silent?
There seems a deep feeling of abandonment, an empty void unlike coming off a fine drug high. A permeating numbness and directionless existence when you find yourself on in years and not knowing what you want to be when you grow up?
Where are the answers found?
Psychoanalysis? Religion? Drugs or alcohol?
Work could be the answer for many people until at the damned age of 54 you find yourself discarded and unemployed? What fills your time then? The job search? For what job? What kind of work do you look for when you no longer know what you are or who you are or where you want to go now? You search endlessly through the myriad job posting sites and want adds if you are lucky to find them (which at a recession time in history I have not been!), applying for jobs you are not sure you can do or really don't want to do and knowing that because to get a job you must really want it...you never will-a mind set that quickly becomes a prophetic circle you cannot escape. What then?
Is this emptiness a product of a late midlife crisis? I don't know...never had a midlife crisis and being a late bloomer I am not sure if this is it or not? I always thought that was supposed to happen in my forties. I also thought that only happened to married guys working a stressful unfulfilling job living in the burbs whose only pass time after a stressful or anxiety ridden pointless job is going home to the family composing of 2.5 kids and a chunky and boring Plain Jane wife, where they eat a typical communal dinner churning the endless and pointless personal daily experiences before crashing in front of the boob-tube?
If this "condition" I seem to be afflicted with is indeed "Mid-life crisis" then I am wrong about my assumptions...like I have been wrong about many other things in my life. God what a rude awakening! What an epiphany to finally realize you are the guy in that song "Nowhere Man"!
I want to go back to the crazy creative energy of my youth where every day was a productive learning and doing day and where every night offered at least some excitement and thrill. Though without real commitments or responsibilities (emotional or financial) to children or wife (which I might add my thoughtless biological clock has reminded me for the past 10 years I long for), I seem none the less trapped.
When I moved to Virginia 15...16...17...Hell I no longer remember...years ago I seem to have escorted my "SELF" into this self made cage and locking the door behind me tossed the key just out of reach. I see it and I am confident I can reach that key to implement my escape but I do not. I feel frozen and through the years have become blurred on my vision of why I would want to leave the painful comfort of this prison of my choosing.
No friends. No peers. No lovers. No life. Now, no job. No future. No juice.
How do I move forward? I desperately need an impetus to move forward but it escapes me. Instead I feel like one of those Three Stooges one foot firmly planted on the ground while the other desperately propels me around in circles.