Tuesday, December 13, 2011

THE NERDRUM AFFAIR and THE UNSUPRESSIBLE ART

Odd Nerdrum, Self - Portrait


On August 3, 2011 one of the greatest realist artists of our time Odd Nerdrum was much like Ai Weiwei of China convicted to two years in prison without the right to paint on a trumped up and highly politicized tax evasion charges.

AmericanArtist Magazine in its February/March issue runs an article The Nerdrum Affair by Allison Malafronte with contributions by great artists Nelson Shanks, Joakim Ericsson, Richard Thomas Scott, Daniel Graves, and Brandon Kralik describing events surrounding this shameful case. I was privileged to be part of this project and am deeply grateful to the the editorial board of American Artist for its support in this and for helping our voice to be heard. Yes, American and International Artists stand by their colleague and a great ARTIST, who belongs to the world much as he honors Norway!

Here are my thoughts on the issue.

I still remember an enormous impact Odd’s “Namegivers” had on me upon my arrival from the Soviet Union to the U.S. in the early 90s.

As I was consumed by figuring out the place for realist tradition within a modern society, his works were bright examples of the extraordinary possibilities this long neglected Art Form had offered in our time. They still are.

The recent shameful campaign of suppression by the government of Norway against this influential visionary, a cultural icon and one of my favorite true Masters amounts to nothing less than a government purging of intellectual independence.

I do not remember anything comparable to this travesty since the days of communist persecution of Joseph Brodsky or when communist party bosses were conducting similar campaigns against my Dad.

The unprecedented severity of sentence the Norwegian government rendered upon this great Artist is entirely disproportionate to any actions incriminated to him. For the country priding itself on liberal leniency and civilized fairness toward real and violent criminal offenders, Odd’s sentence amounts to nothing less than a capital punishment.

The glaring disconnect between the severity of punishment and incriminated actions, the questionable evidence and deeply flawed judicial process that would never stand the scrutiny of U.S. justice system - all smacks of Stalin’s infamous “show trials.”

When the leading governments of the world are collectively implicated in perpetration and cover up of the largest financial heist in the history of mankind; when through almost two decades they were enabling and now actively shielding from justice the gang of international banking criminals who deliberately impoverished nations and got away with it - for the Norwegian government to be throwing the full wrath of its fury for whatever financial infractions they accuse him of at the Artist and the international cultural treasure is shameful, unconscionable and despicable.

Odd Nerdrum’s case also brings to mind a social persecution and eventual imprisonment of Egon Schiele by the Austrian government on the trumped-up “pornography” charges.

Odd Nerdrum is another misunderstood artistic genius brutally victimized by the inhumane and immoral totalitarian bureaucracy permanently suspicious and threatened by the free spirit of an individual it is incapable of controlling.

Odd Nerdrum is a true ARTIST, and the true ARTISTS can never be silenced by the power.

Three Namegivers 1990, 226 x 207 cm


Twin Mothers

The Waterprotectors 1985, 153 x 183 cm


Self-Portrait

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Michael Klein’s “Moment In Time”


With the exciting phase the newly vigorous and subversive Serious Contemporary American Realism is entering rapidly and inevitably, and with the “official” art world having neither ability nor credibility to contemplate it - it is becoming increasingly important for artists themselves to fill the intellectual void and to give the insights to their thinking behind their constantly developing work.

I think it is of a crucial importance that the points of view from the significant to our movement figures are presented adequately, and that the artists have an ability to deliver their unpolluted message and to describe their position in the most authentic personal voice backed by their work, life-long reputation and experience.

Always fascinated with the views of artists whose work I admire and whose thinking I consider particularly relevant, even when they disagree with each other or with me, I am enormously happy to welcome a great friend and, in my opinion, one of the most sensitive and elegant artists alive today – Michael Klein - to share his current views on ART and to unveil his recent work, a complete masterpiece that can be at peace next to any work in any museum – his breathtakingly beautiful “Moment In Time.”

There are millions of still lives and thousands of flowers of various qualities painted every day, yet in rare instances this genre acquires all traits of my beloved figurative ART form.

Separating “trick” from knowledge of nature, exercising restraint and intensity within remarkably delicate, yet firm and grounded color range, Michael physically slows the flow of time as we start realizing the rarefied complexity of his tonal definitions in this seemingly mundane objects.

As we do – they gain soul and share it with us. The pots that smell of earth, their emptiness inviting the cool glow of the Rose that is all at the same time real and ethereal like an Idea of Beauty itself, in his “Moment In Time” Michael delivers a sense of noble embrace of Life-As-It-Is reconciling it with the one he believes in.

Authentic and refined voice coming straight from the heart - it is a cheer aesthetic pleasure to witness Michael deliver a work of such main caliber.

Alexey

 Michael Klein "Moment In Time" oil on paper  20" X 24"





The Importance of Art and Beauty
by
Michael Klein


When observing art, we look through a context of something other than the art itself.  Essentially every person will end up deciding what they believe art is and what function it serves.  The question I ask myself is, "Is there a basis we can judge art by?"  I've come to the belief that there is.  I will attempt in this article to clarify my position on what I consider truly to be "Art."

I must first point out that individuals are FREE to pursue whatever form of expression they choose and this liberty is completely unlike any other time period in history.  Nonetheless, due to the absence of some external standard, chaos has occurred in the art world and now everyone is scrambling to find a way out of an "everything is art" philosophy.  Essentially if EVERYTHING is art then NOTHING is art, and I can't agree with this position. I believe there is a necessity to find a common language to unite and guide us that allows for freedom of ideas without destroying the craft of painting.  

We can observe nature through many different "conceptual" lenses and it will essentially remain the same.  Therefore, I believe that everything has to be tied into "natural law."  The only concrete thing that connects us back to great art from different time periods is the physical world in which we exist.  A piece of wood from a tree is visually identical today as it was a thousand years ago. 

Furthermore, our minds have the capacity to be able to contemplate our very being. There is no other creature in existence that can stop and admire the beauty of something so profound as a sunset.  There are few things in our daily lives more fascinating than watching the sun rise in the early morning or set in the evening.  So how did this subject become one of the most despised forms of art to the modern thinker?  It can't be true that a modern artist does not want to contemplate the sunset.  I think it is a deeper philosophical or psychological issue.  Yet another example would be the human figure; the human figure is one of the most breathtaking subjects in art much like the sunset.

Let's take a recent example of a modern artist such as Jackson Pollock.  There are many interesting things about what Pollock did in his career and what his life's work represents.  Eventually though, one always comes back to the simple fact that his art is literally just paint thrown on the canvas.  This artist was passionate about something and I agree that his spirit of freedom did come through in his art.  There was no other artist in our history that dripped paint on a canvas.  The thought probably never occurred to anyone that something so basic could have any importance at all.  The innovation within his process was that it broke a pattern of thinking about what art is and why it matters. 

I believe that a form of exceptional representational painting is closer to science because you have a fixed truth, which is the external world around us.  Making art is a series of personal decisions based on that true source, which is the natural world.  We can refer to it as natural law because it doesn't change; the law of gravity is the same now as it was before it was discovered.  From the beginning of time the gravitational pulls of different parts of the universe have existed. 

This brings us to painting and how it has evolved, or gone through changes, throughout the different eras of our existence.  These are important issues to discuss because they have a profound effect on our understanding of art.  We can observe just about any other activity and there is always a set of limits that the person participating cannot violate.  Take for example doctors; they must work within the limits of how the human body functions to adequately do their job. They must respect the fact that our brains need oxygen that is carried through the blood stream and if that flow is altered we will eventually die.  A tennis player must respect the law of gravity when contemplating where the ball will land and at what speed, etc.  He must also respect the specific rules of the game or it ceases to be tennis and may become ping-pong.  The examples go on forever, in every activity except that of our beloved representational art.

The modern-art world has completely missed the point of what painting is and why it is important.  Painting is a subset of something much larger.  It is a sort of homage to human existence and the joy of life as we know it.  When I observe nature while painting, it is a long process of discovering many infinite subtle changes that make up a larger human experience.  If I spend a month on a project, it is a month of my life poured into the study and eventually artistic reaction to my surroundings in paint.  If you spend time with anyone that long, you will become acquainted with that person’s character, their spirit or their individual personality.  The same is true with art.  Painting is a reflection of the physical and metaphysical world.  The artist is confronted with the immense task of trying to capture the human spirit within a few ordinary objects such as a linen canvas and ground pigments. 

When we intentionally turn our backs on natural law or nature, then we are dismantling the very foundation of everything that is the only true thing in the universe.  Popular trends come and go, but the same torso that was sculpted in ancient Greece strikes a chord and resonates equally profoundly today because it was based on a truth.  When we enter into the realm of representational art, we immediately are confronted with the complexities that exist.  What has previously been a respectable pursuit of human intelligence has almost been entirely neglected by certain institutions for their ignorance to what art really is.  My hope is that eventually people will turn back to the world around us for their inspiration.

More new works by Michael Klein 

 "Boat Dock" oil on panel  5.5" x 10.5"


 "Karina's Rose II" oil on panel  44" x 24"


"Las Sababs" oil on panel  4.5" x 7.5"
 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

POWER OF ROMANTICISM IN THE EMERGING ART OF THE 21ST CENTURY: The NOVOREALISM gang is part of The New Romantic Figure show at CLU


Paintings by 
Michael Lynn Adams, Peter Adams, Jeremy Lipking, Cyn McCurry, 
Michael Pearce,Tony Pro, Alexey Steele and Mia Tavonatti

August 20 - September 30, 2011
Kwan Fong Gallery
California Lutheran University

On a spring day of 1805 with two haunting and soul-steering abrupt opening chords of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony No. 3, Romanticism forever etched into our collective consciousness and greatly changed the world we live in.

Manifesting deep-rooted revolt against social and political norms of the previous era, it waged a rebellion against regimented and ordained of the classicism, against impending Industrial Revolution and over-rationalization of nature.  It did so through unambiguous and unapologetic engagement of the personal putting an individual ahead of the sanctity of the world’s order.  It made its stand on an unshakably deep faith in the ability of an individual to challenge the course of pre-ordained destiny and proclaimed liberation of deep personal emotions. The notions of Love, Destiny, Service, Sacrifice became a propelling force of this heroic drive.

While severely broken by the horrors of the 20th century beginning with WWI, then emergence of Communism and Fascism followed by WWII, Romanticism still manifested itself even in the complete and violent rejection by modernist movement of any Romantic notion entirely and which eventually were purged from any prominence in the cultural field in the second half of the 20th century.

Today as we experience a new dramatic change in the flow of global events and rapid shifts in the ways society used to function through the last century, the Romantic notion of liberating of Personal once again destined to shift the course of cultural history.

A peculiar aspect of the official post-modernist establishment is that it largely reminiscing later day classicism with its regimented prescription of how appropriate art shall look like.  In this part modern day romanticists are continuing on the freedom of self-expression notion of their artistic fore-bearers.

Another inherently Romantic view is a sense of Purposeful Seriousness in the Act of Being. Y es, there are things in life worth living for outside of consumption, greed and glee promoted mercilessly by the official main stream.

Liberating true emotions from the suppression of both - the entrenched precepts of the official post-modernist establishment which delegitimizes any human feeling in Art just as much as from the clutches of commercialist packaging pushing mass consumed goods for the purpose of corporate bottom line - Romanticism of our day seeks re-affirming the humanistic sanctity of Personal Truth, Meaning, Beauty and Purpose.

Truthfulness in complexity of Image and Character as opposite to stereotypical convention, found in the works of serious leading artists of our days is exploring the depths of what is Real and True, piercing in a constant search into the very mysteries of the Visible.

As all social declines precipitated by apathy and convenient relativism – the trail blazing Romanticism once again flares its flames as an expression of wide public discontent with the forces of hyper-greed, injustice and corruption within society and affirmation of human ability to overcome any emerging challenge.

The all-powerful opening bursts of Eroica are striking a chord with humanity in flux once again.


Jeremy Lipking "Evening Light" oil 40" X 30"


Jeremy Lipking "Nude In Repose" oil 12" X 20"


Tony Pro "Thoughts Of Whistler" oil 24" X 18"


 Alexey Steele "Madonna Of The Storm: Unia and Wolf. 
The Storm is Comming" oil 80" X 36"


Alexey Steele "Rising: Jaboy, Christian, Derron, Michael, Luis" 
100" X  80" charcoal, pastel pencils, mixed medium on paper


Opening reception:   
Saturday, Aug. 20, 7 p.m.
Artists' reception:     
Saturday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Arrival of ART Spring: Pope John Paul II statue by Oliviero Rainaldi debacle and public revolt against “Official Modernism”




The lame excuse of work being “modern” does not justify “ugly” any more as public outcry over newly erected with all “official art” approvals John Paul II statue by Oliviero Rainaldi in Rome clearly shows. Times DO change!!!!!!!!

Lets be absolutely clear it is “ugly” not because it attempted to be modern, it is ugly because it is soooooooo utterly bad.

The abstract shape of the cloak simply does not work. From a purely abstract point of view there is not a hint of spatial or compositional dynamics or tension in it. There are neither lines of tension nor volume of austere stillness. There are neither unity, nor motion. It is neither severe, nor it is whimsical. It is simply dull and yawningly boring visually, while being intolerably bulky. That is what makes it seem ridiculously out of place and monstrously oppressive. That is what makes it truly “ugly.”


The stated attempt of a heavily stylized open robe to convey “embrace” is just as “original” in its idea as it is “compelling” in its execution.  It actually resembles more a 125mm shell distorted by misfire. 


Then there is an issue of a conspicuous head rendition of much admired world wide JPII. The nakedly obvious to any Italian or anyone even slightly versed in the painful history of 20th century visual reference to Benito Mussolini while might’ve tickled someone’s fancy and get some giggles out of “enlightened elite” does not stand any intellectual scrutiny what so ever and shall be considered plain stupid! Claiming “ignorance” wouldn’t cut it.













So much for “tong-in-cheek” requirement for any “officially approved” by cultural politburo art. There are clear limitations to the extent and effectiveness of dumb-down mockery. 

If this guy has some beef with Roman Catholic Church/despite making his living of it for 30 years it is/ – he has every right to express it, but than he should’ve declined the commission and do a memorial for victims of clergy abuse instead. The current opus is too hideous and incoherent for that either. So not only the reference to Mussolini is stupid, it is a dishonest one too.

The only defense by the sculptor is that “he wanted to create something contemporary rather than realistic rendition in the style of the 19th century” is just as lame of an excuse as it betrays the totally conformist and disingenuous mindset. Simply decrying 19th century art while producing something hideous does not qualify for "modern work" it only brings to light the overriding desire to fit “lucrative stylistic criteria” which is a definition of commercialism.

Any attempt to pull an old dusty “genius, un-understood by vulgar public” line of defense is just as laughable in this case as it is deeply pathetic.

Yet, the main issue here is the aspect of “official approvals” as the work went through all “appropriate channels”. We witness the inevitable bankruptcy of the very concept of the “official art form” – the only one sanctioned, demanded and enforced by authority, which modernism had sadly become at the end of last century. The most fascinating part of the report in L’Osservatorre Romano is that it acknowledged the sculpture being a “modern work” and therefore felt obliged to call the city’s initiative “praiseworthy” - oh, but of course, in order to be “officially” progressive, one has to proclaim allegiance to “modern” /much like there had to be ritualistic references to "genius of Lenin and leading role of the communist party" in the old Soviet Union/ and in order for anything to be “modern” it just has to be “ugly”…well these guys are desperately stuck waaaaaay in the last century.

No, it does not have to be “ugly” to be “modern”, the prime of this notion has gone alone with virginity of summer of love bra burners.

Yes, there is a need for a coherent unity of Content Clarity and Formal Integrity in any style to be “modern.” That Formal Integrity shall come directly as a genuine desire to deliver that Clarity of Content regardless of any expected judgment of high priests of an outlived its usefulness establishment cult.


A really instructive lesson of this debacle is yes, one can bull shit his or her way out of a failed “conceptual” work and no, same is impossible with the figurative work.

It is so sad, yet poignant that it had to be a venerable legacy of a beloved John Paul II desecrated by the much removed from current cultural reality art apparatchiks in the midst of infinitely inspiring Eternal City to spark the outrage and the revolt of the public sick of being treated as “vulgar mob.” The public had head it with permanent visual water boarding of ugliness on our streets under the banner of fraudulent “modernity”. It is the season of not just Middle East Spring – it is a season of ART Spring as well!!!


AWAY with the “official art” of a required “ugliness”!!!!!!!!!!!
VIVA NOVO!

Friday, February 25, 2011

NYT is calling into question the entire term “contemporary art” – a tectonic shift for the Art World!




In the most staggering for NYT manner SOUREN MELIKIAN in his February 24, 2011 article

  • questioning the validity of the entire term "contemporary art"
  •  
  • calling contemporary art "contemporary rejectionism"
  •  
  • establishing the lack of financial security in the art based on negation
  •  
  • calling into question the financial sanity of its hyper-inflated price tags
  •  
  • stating the necessity to define the style of the artist and the shared aesthetics within the group of artists
  •  
  • and, oh, havens, openly sarcastic of an untouchable Koons!!!!!!

isn'it what NOVOREALISM is all about!

“The feverish debate goes on about contemporary art, causing considerable angst among its many new fans. How safe a haven is it for those in search of tangible assets for their liquidities?” he opens up with a really big, couple of billion bucks worth question.

He questions the reasons for volatility in price swings: “One reason is that it is often impossible to define the style of the artist”

Then he offers a refreshingly open, sarcastic view on Koons noting on his "work" that “neither was made by the artist using his hands” upon which point duly proceeds to laughing at a resell of household and hardware store items on the “art” auctions.

Yet the most staggering and consequential part is this:

“The day has yet to arrive when someone comes up with a clear definition of just what contemporary art is/emphasis is mine, AS/… Works by long dead artists are sold under the “contemporary art” banner…At Sotheby’s in November, 36 of 55 lots were credited to defunct artists, and at Christie’s 52 out of 76. Arshile Gorky died in 1948, Mark Rothko in 1970, Andy Warhol in 1987, Roy Lichtenstein and Willem de Kooning in 1997, to mention but a few among the most famous and expensive.”

This is one of the central points of concern I have been raising on this pages and in my public talks - the gross inappropriateness of using outside of its proper commonly shared meaning of a clearly defined in the dictionary word to market a very narrow, arbitrarily picked items of vested interest while implying that everything else is not "contemporary."  The word "contemporary" does not have any qualitative meaning  attached to it and can only be used to describe anything or anyone present concurrently in our time. Any artist working and alive today is a "contemporary artist" while long dead Andy Warhol is most certainly not.
 
Then while observing that “the absence of shared aesthetics is glaring” within what is sold under “contemporary art” brand Souren addresses its main unifying quality:

“..But while the works dubbed contemporary are as disparate in visual terms as they vary in their material execution, they can be said to reflect the same cultural reality: one way or another, they proceed from a violent reaction against the century-old tradition of Western art as it developed until World War I”

From this he concludes that “the only binding characteristic is they all “form of rejectionism.”

Then he goes to the root of Marcel Duchamp factor “The French intellectual, contemptuous of the establishment, wanted to bury the ancient culture of Europe.”

And he calls him a grand father of “artistic nihilism that much of the contemporary art promoted on the auction scene represents.”

Than Souren makes an important analysis:

“If there is one thing that cannot be guaranteed to be financially rock solid, this is an art based on negation.” Now that’s really BIG –  Wall Street dirty handed hedge-funders, Russian social climbing oligarchs and Chinese Nouveau riche better pay good attention.

From that sound financial advice Souren proceeds to giving the best definition to what is now pushed on us as contemporary art – it is“contemporary rejectionism”  bravo NYT!!!!!

It’s a really great term all the way around that really shall be adopted by the institutions as it finally defines what it is that they so fervently, adamantly and narrowly represent!

The closing of the article is really worth pondering for many in every corner of our great and diverse truly contemporary ART world - the ART world of our days:

“The day one of the pundits discovers that the king has no clothes on, all the glib talk of marketing teams telling investors how savvy they are will not prevent tens of millions of dollars from melting like butter in the sun.”

Thanks NYT! Finally!!!!!!! Thanks Souren!


VIVA NOVO!!!!!!!!! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Time for ART REVOLUTION!

On December 8, 2010 a group of some of today’s remarkable Realist Artists, thinkers and supporters gathered in New York for a heavy dose of ART insurgency plotting at an undisclosed location. Never liking prepped or written speeches, this time around this is exactly what I did.




So here it is. 

***


We are an enormously fortunate generation; we live at the era of across-the-board exhausted old and still emerging new. We live at the moment in ART history that only happens once in 70 – 80 years.

We are grateful to those who carried the torch of our ART before us in the darkest hour, to the generation of Richard Schmid, my Dad Leonid Steele, Burt Silverman, and others.

We are grateful to those, who should have been here with us today, but whom I consider fallen as soldiers on the battlefield of our ART. I am talking first and foremost about my friend and inspiration Frederick Heart, whom I invite everybody to remember… as he is certainly with us today.

We are an enormously fortunate generation who have an ability to establish ourselves independently. We witness this generation to enter Art - life prime collectively creating a Serious Realist Art.

We are the first great and genuine movement of the 21st century. Genuine Movement by no means is a “certain look” or gimmick; genuine movement is a codex of certain principles and judgments based on shared Ideas and World view that drives a multi-faceted and diverse face of today’s Serious Realism.

Now, as the reality of our movement is closing in – we have a new set of responsibilities and obligations as artists. First and foremost I deeply believe it is to come up with works that reflect this new-found position, second and just as important is to self-reflect, self-examine, self-define and to convey it to the public. Cut away from public, ART suffocates as interacting with a viewer is just as much part of making it as paints or clay.

Logic is incontrovertible, logic is beyond interpretation. Where we start is as important as where we want to end.

It is time to think about ourselves – who we are and what is it, that makes us who we are, what is it, that connects us while clearly separates from other valid expressions of our time.

It is also crucial to define our audience and the message we are to convey to them. I believe our audience is not just “art shoppers,” but the society and the public at large.

We have to deliver to the public a compelling ART and the compelling message about it, which reflects this new reality.

I. So the first great Issue is who are we and what is our ART?

In my absolutely firm belief based on a culture I am from, ART is not a product, but an Idea, ART is not a product – it is a Cause. It means that Intangibles of this objects that we create generate more value than objects themselves.

That is why ART is not a retail product, but eventually a financial instrument, based on these Intangibles. Modernism is not a product, but an Idea and you cannot fight Idea with a Product.

It is this shared Idea of ART that gives a cohesion to an enormously diverse group of some of today’s greatest talents, that chose consciously a specific language and set of tools based on this Idea as a vehicles of their expression.

We are enormously diverse within itself group, yet there’s something despite all the variety of approaches that exists as a common thread and that clearly distinguishes it from other diverse forms in today’s ART.

That distinction I believe shall be established with all clarity as this exact distinction is an Idea worth spending your life pursuing and fighting for and which defines the Intangibles that ultimately create the cultural value of our movement.

This overriding, across the board distinction I believe is the Spirit of the work being the Spirit and the World View of a Classical Humanistic Ideal and representing anything less within our format would be throwing a baby alone with the water. I believe our most common thread is the innate quality of work that derives only from the deeply embedded, revering experience of studying life and working live.

This overriding Idea that fuels systems most of us deploy is the persecuted by a Modernist and post-modernist establishment concept of Humanistic Beauty, which is no, not in the eyes of a beholder any more – relativism is just as dead as shock or deconstruction in the era of suicide bombings. What we do I believe is based on the concept of Beauty, which is understood as innately residing within unalienable qualities of a beheld.

To that extent what are the boundaries of our movement?

In my view the buck stops at photorealism, because where the Photorealism starts, Realism ends. Photorealism is a perfectly valid and widely accepted by the establishment part of post-modernist canon and we only can be that happy about any and all of its distinguished practitioners. But this is not what we do.

Photorealism is a recreation of techno-experience, reflecting last century’s fascination with technological revolution and mass consumption. In the 21st century we live with the consequences of this fascination in extinguishing our resources and seeing the humanity beginning to rebel against the rule of corporate monopoly induced consumerism.

The relationship of Photo and Serious Realism is somewhat reminds me the relationship of Solzhenitsyn and Soviet Interior Minister/Chief of Police/ a wonderfully educated man who tried quite courageously to plead Solzhenitsin’s case to Politburo obviously to no avail. Despite all personal affinity Soviet police state system and Solzhenitsyn turned out to be incompatibles.

Contemporary Humanistic Realism, as a trained, human perception based method stands ready to reflect this new cultural transformation.

It is why the distinction between techno experience driven photorealism and human perception driven realism cannot be clearer or more vital.

II. As we talk about our future and future of what we do in every practical sense – it is impossible to ignore the issue of our position toward existing modernist and post-modernist Institutional Art Establishment and about their position toward us.

I know, some people who seen the worst say, well modernist rule was predicted to fall for so long that its never going to happen – well, it is exactly what very informed and intelligent people were saying about Soviet rule…a few short years before its inevitable collapse.

There is no more single righteous aesthetic system of the day in the modern world, the way it existed for millennia. There are a number of established, sometimes mutually exclusive, even completely opposite aesthetic systems coexisting in the cultural field of our time and functioning based on the set of their own complex rules and principles. Each of them has an undeniable historic and cultural validity regardless of anyone’s personal preference.

Based on this notion the existence of Institutions, exclusively dominated by a single aesthetic system is not only an “old model” that is outlived its usefulness, it is a criminal model that is an affront to a modern principles of diversity and equality.

What we collectively call “modernism” or “post-modernism” is one of the historically important aesthetic modes, yet modernist dictatorship and totalitarian control of institutions is unacceptable violation of modern principles of fairness under any circumstances.

Never and under any circumstances would I accept a second-class citizenship status at the back of the ART bus imposed upon us by the “official” art authority of our day.

I consider it an affront to any perception of modern values for bright young talents who would choose to learn in the accredited institutions based on a worldview that I happen to share to be denigrated to the status of “illustration” and most certainly not a “fine art”. This is the crime of “Institutional Prejudice” perpetrated by the totalitarian dictatorship of a single aesthetic mode authority.

SO:

• We are not a group that is making “good” art while wining and complaining about a group that is making “bad” art, we are unfairly marginalized by the authority group that fights for equal rights. We are against ANY group ever to be in a position to suppress another – therefore each group shall be judged only by its peers and according to its internal rules, principles and criteria – anything less is “Institutional Prejudice”.

• We fight for “De-privatization” of the ultimate public asset, our common language, we fight for de-privatization of term “Contemporary” as marketing description of a single, arbitrarily chosen by the authority group – any publically funded institution claiming representing “contemporary” art process shall adequately represent the diversity of an actually existing cultural contemporary reality

• We are not fighting to replace current totalitarian aesthetic establishment with totalitarian rule of our own – we are fighting to replace the outlived totalitarian institutional model all together, we are fighting for the aesthetic diversity and objectivity of the publically funded institutions for their own viability and longevity sake

ß Realists have no competence to judge modernist expression; Modernists have no competence to judge realist expression

• Serious Contemporary Realism shall be equally represented in all institutional venues claiming objectivity: Museums, Art Criticism, Accredited Educational Facilities, Academic Research – anything less is “Institutional Prejudice”

• We fight for an equal public access as an institutional establishment cannot discriminate against an existing and viable art movement

• We are standing firmly on the position of the Artistic Freedom of Expression that is being presently suppressed, stymied and inhibited by the institutional authority

• Until that happens - American Realism is a newest form of American non-conformism suppressed by Institutional Prejudice and Discrimination of a modern day “academy”

ß Serious Humanistically driven Realism of our day, based on the concept of inalienable rights of BEAUTY - is a true “Modernism” of our day heralding the new wider stage in ART history that could be called “Post-Post Modernism” or “Super-Post Modernism.” It is now the flag bearer of the very anti-establishment and anti-authoritarian Spirit upon which the MOMA was founded, but which it is now wholly betrayed. This movement now occupies the same position Modernism had 100 years ago, this movement is charting the course for the Art of the 21st century


Now this is the message worth carrying as credo in our work and for public to be excited about, this is the message Rick Heart would’ve been proud off.

Thank you.


***