Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

i, art-philosoph expounds a little

Think about art off a timeline for a minute. Instead of thinking about art originating in one location and in some order, think about art that never gets better or improves, merely discovers what is already present inside of the mindscape.

Any mention of Impressionism usually revolves around France, and around Paris, and around the late nineteenth century. Also, it usually involves a fellow by the name of Monet, Degas, or Manet. The paintings are clearly gorgeous explorations of the light of the world. Among the European bourgeois classes, sunlight seemed to be working differently than for the rest of us. Gone is the searing heat of Texas, and the distant eye of Siberia, and instead the light seems to splash all over the landscape in tiny photon droplets, luminous and bright.

The thing that's happening in Impressionism is not just the light, though. This is an attempt at a daring realism that didn't exist before this time. Gone are the neo-classical lines, and the paintings as allegories. Instead, Monet attempts to give us these slices of life painted in nature as simple as ships at sea or water-lilies blooming in a pond.

I'll let more qualified individuals go into detail about the masterful brushstrokes used to create these visions of reality. However, I do think we should focus on what's happening in the paintings due to these distinctive brush strokes. The strokes seem to suggest that the light is a glowing cornucopia from the people and landscapes present.

Think about art off a timeline for a minute, though. Instead of thinking about art originating in one location and in some order, think about art that never gets better or improves, merely discovers what is already present inside of the mindscape.

Now, how does this relate to the art off the timeline? Modernism strives to find the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the… You get the idea. In Impressionism, we have an artistic presentation of one potential beginning of all beginnings. In Impressionism, light reflects off of the objects of the world…

Of course, this beginning presupposes the light. So, I guess I must turn instead to Jakob Mattner's brilliant explorations of light and sunlight. I guess I'll call him the father of Impressionism. Okay, he's still alive today, I know, and he's certainly not in any way affiliated with an artistic movement that precedes the world wars, Foucault, Derrida, and modern photography, but Mattner studies the light that inspires the Impressionists.

Wait, Impressionism also presupposes an eye, too, right? Okay, than Newton is the first artist. He's the one that stuck a needle into the lens of his eye and studied what happened. He's the one who played with prisms and a scientific method to discover the composition of light.

Think about art off a timeline for a minute, though. Instead of thinking about art originating in one location and in some order, think about art that never gets better or improves, merely discovers what is already present inside of the mindscape.

Instead of viewing these artistic movements of history as dead and passé, approach them as the discovered landscape on a quest to all beginnings, all ends of all creation.

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