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Wild and insolent

Joe's Creative Journal

1998 Year 1 No. 7

Sep 9

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See also the other journals:

Daily Drawing 1.34 Art Journal 1.7 Pablo Journal 1.5 Marketing Musings on Art 1.7

565, big mama

Rembrandt: Bathsheba
Picasso' Bathsheba

Rubens / Cranach
Most beautiful women

Feedback from friends


This series is not intended to be a university course. I am not an art scholar, I am just a painter. I will tell you some secrets I stumbled about - as I later found out, I was not the first, of course, you can even find them in books. Nevertheless, it is hard to decipher them, so I will take the pain to spread the word. My motto will be, as always: Als ich kan (from a painting of Jan van Eyck, found as a citation in a modern mathamatical book, meaning: as good as I might).

Your appreciation will give me the power and strength to endure. It is for you and all the great masters that I do this work, and I hope you will enjoy it. So don't hesitate to send me your feedback in order to help me with that goal! This kind of journal is new to the net, so please tell me if the size is ok (images are great, but big!).

As I am writing in a foreign language, I am not sure to express myself correctly, but I hope you will be able to guess what I mean any time.

Also, I invite you to join in my effort. Send me your articles and comments to be published in this journal.

Yours truly,

Wild and insolent

Last week I talked about learning from the heritage. We have a problem here. It is most important that you produce your own thing. If you don't produce, you ain't got nothing. But if you do and you are not satisfied, you are not better off. The reason will most probably be: You probably haven't found your way. No surprise: How can you? "What do you want" is a really big question. It actually means more precisely: "Who are you?"

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Now I think think this is just the question of life: "Find out who you are". You'll know exactly the moment you die. So it's rather a path than a goal. If you are born, you simply cannot know. If you start your life as adult, you probably don't know yet. If you gon on, you will learn about yourself more and more. Eventually, you will become a full fledged person. Your art will show just as clearly as your face or figure. You can't fake. You can't pretend to be more than you are. Or less. You can't pretend to be authentic. And it is not a matter of commercial success.

I just completed the last issue of the series about Rembrandt's Bathsheba with a comparison to Picasso's paraphrase on that painting. It shows pretty clearly that Picasso, although commercially successful, failed in his life and consequently in painting, whereas Rembrandt failed commercially, but not in his life and as a painter.

This is puzzling, but if you ask last questions, there is no easy hiding. So I come back to my message stated several times in this series: You are the most prominent person in this world, and all you can do for the world is to care for yourself.

Jesus said (The original wording will be much more powerful, but I don't know them): "Love your neighbor like yourself." So you got to care for yourself first, then for others, because if you don't care for yourself, how can you care for them?

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     by Tina Tacke, Gallery Clay at Art Quarter  

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Now you are here at one specific point of your development. You always are, obviously. And you don't know where to go from here. You look for a little help from your friends.

Art like all culture is based on heritage. So you look around and see what stimulates you, where you get energy from, what you would like to do yourself. You want to produce and be satisfied. If you are satisfied you found yourself. If you found yourself you are on the right track. Go on. If you're not satisfied, you still got a problem. You got to move. You got to look.

Today's issue is titled: Wild and insolent. I thought of my generation, post WW II, when abstract art reigned the art world, America / New York became the Mecca of Art, leaving Paris behind. When I was a young man, opposition finally arose, Pop Art rushed in, delivering new formulas to fill in the void.

Soon artists were sick of it, and crude, brutal protest emerged in the eighties. In Germany, the term "Neue Wilde" was coined, reminiscent of the "Fauves" from the early years of this century. I'll show you some examples. Make up your mind. Scans are by Mark Harden, links lead to his blowups (you got to be online for them to work).

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Richter, Courbet

Basquiat, Heel Part II

Luepertz, Griechisches Interieur

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Look at those pictures not from an expert's point of view. Ask yourself how you would feel if you had done this thing. Remember, it's not a question of technique. You can learn all what you need to do what you want. Look back at earlier lessons. The question is only: Who are you?


Kiefer, Nero

Perlstein, Kilim Rug

Polke, Jess

Don't ask yourself: What did the artist want to communicate? Ask instead: What does this thing with me? Don't be quick - give yourself time. Music requires time, but often it is not sufficient to listen once. If you like it the first time you'll probably can't stand it after the fifth. If you need 5 or 10 times to get into, chances are you'll love it the more often you hear it. You can't outwear great music. Now give art a chance, too.

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To be precise: Give the work a chance to prove its strength and weakness alike. Don't take these things for granted. I don't claim that these works are great. If you like, I can talk about them like I did with the painting of Zozzy. But I want you to look for yourself now.


Tansey, Picasso and Braque

Murray, Her Story

Immendorff, Deutschland IV

Think of all the artists as of someone like you: Born to this beautiful earth to live his life in triumph and agony, as time comes, to do the best possible in order to leave this earth easily, thereby knowing that an awful lot of bad and wrong had to be done, too. They found their way, what is yours?

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Zozzy sent me another picture, produced digitally. I liked it much better than the other. But does that prove anything? He did both and sent the other first. I deduce from this fact that there is something hidden in this painting which has great power to him. I can give hints to the obvious. I can't possibly know what is his way. I don't know even mine. I'm just another rich poor soul like you.

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So, if you dare to send me some of your own, bold like Zozzy, I'll be glad to help you as I can. I got help from others, I'll pass it on to you. By the way, I still need help from others. Sometimes I realize it, sometimes not. Picasso sure needed help from friends very badly in his old age, but he got none. Poor boy.

Last week:
Learning from the heritage

Next week:
My way

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