Mags Loves Jimi

“They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” ― Frida Kahlo

Category: Art

Under|stated

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“Not everything you do needs to be seen, heard or discussed.”
— Miles Pierré #JustSaying

artwork by Frédéric Forest

via The Artidote

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Mis(s)Communication | Spotlight on Alain de Botton

I admire people who are good communicators. I also love people who show passion and nuance; the story of the spirit, the blooming of the body. I’ve started my Masters in Communication Management so I’ve been thinking about communication and conversation more than ever – away from my natural philosophic inclinations.

Communication Management: a fancy word for the study, exploration, and purposeful transformation of messages. I read a quote not long ago by George Bernard Shaw: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” How true those words are.

I saw Alain at the Opera House with a friend of mine in May. He was discussing his new book: On Love. We sat eagerly, along with many others, as he slowly unpacked a rather voluminous topic. He did, as we all strive to do, his authentic best in exploring the ennui in the myths of love…

How much more can we converse, exalt and indulge in the search for love – for understanding – for dialogue – for communication – for comfort?

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“Words are events, they do things, change things. They transform both speaker and hearer; they feed energy back and forth and amplify it,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her masterful meditation on the magic of real human conversation. “They feed understanding or emotion back and forth and amplify it.” But in moments of pain or anger, when words spring from the rawest recesses of the heart, they can amplify our deepest insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities, in turn fueling a maelstrom of mutual misunderstanding.

How to avoid that is what Alain de Botton explores in a portion of The Course of Love (public library) — the immeasurably insightful psychological novel that gave us De Botton on vulnerability and the paradox of why we sulk.

Read more at Brain Pickings

#BlackGirlMagic

 

Majesty and Meekness | The Myth of the Tortured Artist

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Illustration by Alessandro Gottardo

While writing my next article on the introduction of TEXTALYSERs in Australia (this is due to high mobile-phone related deaths on the road), I naturally gravitated towards tangents whenever possible (self-indulgent I know), which brought me to reference the ‘tortured artist‘ myth. I did a bit of a gooble (pronounced GOO-BELLED – the portmanteau of google and stumble… I’m not sure if it works as well out of my head as it did in *cheeky sigh of resign* I tried…

Perhaps goobling this article was meant to be? I think being a tortured artist, as I wrote in my interview with the renowned artist and loving father Gav Barbey; is a great sales pitch with potent ROI if governed by a steady sense of self and proportion.

Gav is a Painter, Film Maker, Sculptor, Fine Art Artist (he was trained at the prestigious NIDA) and a writer. “The ‘tortured artist’ thing adds to this drama – it’s a great sales pitch, isn’t it?” I have to agree, as an artist myself, it does concocts a mysterious and dangerous element to an otherwise romantic and established medium of presenting life as we know it with life as we wish to see it.

You can watch Gav’s enriching Tedx Talk here: How to draw like a child | Gav Barbey | TEDxUniMelb

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“These rituals around Artists are a bit funny.” I ask him if everyone is an artist; “This argument has been held in deep discussion since day dot. The word “art” has fucked everyone – art is decorative. Art is decorative to push an emotional understanding to the masses.” Gav maintains Picasso was just having fun, not reveling in his torturery but enjoying the freedom to move from style to style which is something we shun now. Pigeonholing is a key factor to the slow financial progress of the Artist. “This is what Picasso is saying: I want to experiment! He knew a lot of disciples and that translated as his best work.”

‘Tortured’ is a strong word… maybe we’re all ‘indecisive artists’,’confused’, ‘perplexed’, ‘vexed’ or just plain ‘not-happy-jan‘. Whatever you call yourself, the myth of the tortured artist is one of intrigue with many insights into the world of creativity and chaos.


I did not write this article. All credits go to Huffington Post + writer Christopher Zara.

 


The Myth of the Tortured Artist — and Why It’s Not a Myth

06/18/2012 03:46 pm ET | Updated Oct 15, 2012
  • Christopher Zara Media, Culture, and Arts Journalist
  • It’s always been my belief that all great art comes from pain. Van Gogh painted The Starry Night while in emotional torment; Lennon and McCartney forged their creative partnership following the death of their respective mothers; Milton pennedParadise Lost after losing his wife, his daughter, and his eyesight. Such unremitting grief would send even the most grounded among us into a frenzied Xanax binge and associated fetal position, but these celebrated artists chose not to recoil in passive suffering. Instead, they turned their sorrow into something the world would cherish.

     

    The idea of the tortured artist has long been debated in our culture, but to me it always seemed a self-evident truth. Art is a reflection of humanity, and humanity’s greatest virtue is its ability to overcome adversity. Why shouldn’t that same adversity inspire our greatest art? In fact, it’s a topic that fascinates me so much, I wrote a book about it, aptly titled Tortured Artists, which takes an admiring yet irreverent look at the link between creative genius and personal adversity. Did you know that Picasso nearly died in an earthquake at the age of three? Or that Frankenstein was inspired by a volcanic eruption? Or that Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse as an act of revenge?

     

    Although my book approaches the subject matter in a fun way, it centers on a weighty idea: the idea that suffering does not happen in vain. Van Gogh may have suffered from anxiety, absinthe addiction, and debilitating seizures, but his suffering gave him insight, and that insight, in turn, gave the world a new kind of art called Post-Impressionism. Such poetic symmetry is enough to convince even the stodgiest fatalist that the universe is not as cold and random as we perceive it to be, which is why I’ve always found the notion of tortured artists so appealing.

     

    But not everyone shares my zeal. In fact, the more I speak about tortured artists at author events and in interviews, the more I realize what a polarizing topic it actually is. Some folks seem to consider the primary thesis in Tortured Artists — that pain is a requirement for producing great art — a biased assessment of the creative process.

    However, I never claimed that art cannot be produced without suffering, only that art produced without suffering is not likely to be very good. Why? Because the central function of an artist is to convey an idea. That idea can be visceral or intellectual; it can be conveyed through a painting, a song, a poem, or a guy dancing around in a moose costume. The method doesn’t matter. Artists, both brilliant and hackneyed, create out of the same basic desire to communicate. But it’s we art lovers who invest our attention, our time, in their creations. Why should we invest in a work of art that was created without conflict, or struggle, or pain? Where is the challenge?

     

    Of course, I always knew there would be people who wouldn’t buy the tortured-artist concept, but what I find most surprising is that the people who are least likely to subscribe to the idea also happen to be artists themselves. Indeed, many creative types are simply fed up with what they see as a baseless falsehood perpetuated by romantic tales of Kurt Cobain blowing his brains out and Sylvia Plath putting her head in the oven. In a 2011 interview, the indie rocker Jeff Tweedy, of Wilco fame, called the concept of the tortured artist a “damaging mythology,” one that impeded his own battles with addiction, anxiety, and depression.

     

    And Tweedy is not alone in his hostility. In speaking publicly about tortured artists, I’ve been accused of suggesting that drug addicts are better off high and the mentally ill should not seek help, if only because such impediments, by my estimation, help them produce better art. But calling John Belushi one of the greatest comic performers of the 1970s is not the same as condoning his excessive drug use. Even if we ignore the fact that few performers were not on drugs in the 1970s, we needn’t see Belushi’s brutal addiction as having caused his talent. Rather, it was a symptom of the same insatiable void that drove his need to perform. You might say that void tortured Belushi; you might also say it’s what made him great.

     

    So why, then, are so many artists still turned off by the tortured-artist concept? For some, I suspect, it simply hits too close to home. Consider the wedge it creates between two fundamental desires: the desire to be happy versus the desire to produce great art. The stereotype of the tortured artist as a long-suffering creative genius suggests that those two states are mutually exclusive — and that’s an unsettling thought for anyone who practices a creative craft. But even those of us who don’t have the wherewithal to choose between happiness and being a great artist can take comfort in knowing that the former is within our grasp. Let’s leave the suffering to the geniuses. It’s what they do.

    Further reading:

    Scientists: The ‘Tortured Artist’ Is a Real Thing via Mental Floss

    (Silly) #Saturday

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    *Artwork by Matt Blease

    Chances | Destiny is a Matter of Choice

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    “It is as though this newest generation of conservative voters desire the right to express their true feelings, free of any filter and free of any consequence. I too harbor a similar sentiment regarding censorship and self-expression, as I am an artist. I cherish my ability to express myself freely, yet remain totally aware that for every action, there will be a reaction.”

    Sincerely,
    – Miss Azealia A Banks.

    *Open apology letter to Sarah Palin following Miss Banks exercising her first amendment right upon jumping the gun on a satire post Mrs. Palin quoted to have stated on ‘coloured people’.

     

    Somewhere there is a poem | Gina Loring, Poet Spotlight

    For the women who are not afraid.

    #IWD

    (Somewhere there is a poem)

    #FBF

    @ginastarlight

    Emotions | Advice to Writers

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    One Must Be Poisoned by Emotion

    I think that to write well and convincingly, one must be somewhat poisoned by emotion. Dislike, displeasure, resentment, fault-finding, imagination, passionate remonstrance, a sense of injustice—they all make fine fuel.

    EDNA FERBER

    #AdviceToWriters

    Sound advice | Seth Godin

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    “When creativity becomes a profession…

    It often stops being creative.

    Ad agencies are some of the most conservative organizations you’ll encounter. They’ve been so trained by fearful clients, they censor themselves regularly.

    Successful authors are pushed by concerned publishers to become more true to their genres.

    And the movie industry… well, it’s an industry first.

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    This is why so many bestsellers are surprise bestsellers. In the words of William Goldman, no one knows anything. But, even though they don’t know, the industrial protocol demands that they act like they do. Shareholders hesitate to give bonuses to CEOs who say, “I don’t know, let’s try it.”

    If you want to be creative, truly creative, it might pay to avoid a job with the word ‘creative’ in it.”

    SETH GODIN

    ‪#‎thestruggleisreal‬

     

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    ThrowbackThursday | The Eye of Guy Bourdin

    I love Guy Bourdin. He is a fashion photographer and, dare I say it – a conceptual artist with the sensibility (and moxie) of a poet. I did not write this article. All rights go to The Business of Fashion. Enjoy #TBT

    ***

    BY COLIN MCDOWELL DECEMBER 3, 2014 09:00

    On the occasion of “Guy Bourdin: Image Maker,” currently on view at London’s Somerset House, Colin McDowell remembers the enigmatic photographer who revolutionised fashion imagery.

    http://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/colins-column/colins-column-eye-guy-bourdin