Remodernist Painters' Group - 2/CALENDAR MONTH

Remodernism is an alternative to the established High Art hegemony, known as Post-Modernism.

Why I am a Remodernist

Carson Collins Carson Collins 639 posts

Remodernism is an Art movement that can be very attractive for those of us who are aware of what Post-Modernism actually is.

Post-Modernism is the mainstream of contemporary art. I would even go so far as to say that being a Post-Modernist is absolutely mandatory for anyone hoping to be taken seriously by the mavens of High Art today (publishers of art magazines, published art critics, museum curators, administrators of art endowments, prominent gallery owners, “important” art collectors, and other chic billionaires). Post-Modernism is the party line. It’s the only product that the High Art establishment is selling.

Post-Modernism is based on goofy ideas by overly dramatic writers who talked about how we’re at the end of history, etc.

I’m not swallowing it. I don’t think the virtual is more real than the real, I don’t think that a painting has to be dripping with nihilistic irony to be taken seriously, and I do believe that one of the goals of an artist can still legitimately be the communication of a uniquely personal (dare I say ‘Spiritual’?) vision.

Post-Modernism is not a movement created by artists. It’s a vocabulary dictated by the system of insiders for artists to adhere to. For example:

“_there is little reason not to believe that all value-orientations are equally well-founded. Therefore, increasingly, choice becomes meaningless… we must now come to terms with the second revolution, …of postmodernity, which is the immense process of the destruction of meaning equal to the earlier destruction of appearances.”_
- David Ashley, Theories of Modernity and Postmodernity,1990

Why Po-Mo is Such a Huge $ucce$$:

There are more signs than referents in the current world, and the signs have few, if any, meaningful relationships with the things they once represented.

The virtual is more real to us than reality. These simulacra are so dominant that it is no longer possible to know what’s real.

Thus, expression through art is meaningless and pointless. The art mavens understand this and accordingly champion artists who tickle their sense of irony.

To be radical, art has to defend itself against it’s own commodification by becoming an ever-more-attenuated caricature of itself as a commodity.

“_Through reinforcing the formal and fetishized abstraction of merchandise, becoming more mercantile than merchandise itself… it becomes more object than the object; this gives it a fatal quality.”_
- Jean Baudrillard, “America”, 1998

Result: the chic billionaires get to run the art world like a global money laundry, and they get to feel all smug and radical while doing it.

According to the doctrine of Post-Modernism, we, as artists, are not only required to make art that is meaningless – we are even forbidden to believe that art can be meaningful.

Further, we have a situation today where beauty in art has been, by consensus of all the mavens who really matter, completely devalued. If you want to be considered an “important” painter, you’d better by God steer clear of anything that smacks of beauty.

The central theme in my painting is the search for stillness, the sort of profound and lucid calm that is the result of meditation or contemplation; another main theme is the relationship between humans, the ocean, and the atmosphere. The intent of my work is to create an ambiance where the spiritual dimension of this relationship can be experienced.

My intent is to create paintings that are both beautiful and meaningful.

Whether or not I achieve this goal is not for me to say, but I am damned in today’s art world for the mere intent.

Therefore, I am a Remodernist.

Patrick Miller Patrick Miller 9 posts

First off, let me state that I am unsure if I actually am a “dyed in the wool” Remodernist.

Whew….now that that’s been taken care of, let me also say that I am unsure I am anything. I am also unsure if I NEED to be anything, do I need to validate? Is it validation for validations’ sake?

At one point I was certain that I was an impressionist, and I thought, “thats silly”. I then concluded that for me, I was more “modern impressionist”? I know….silly.

Ever since someone tried to convince me that Post-Modernism was the cats meow, I already knew then that it had mutated into its own cliche. I always thought it was a bit pathetic, a real idea in the beginning that had been “dumbed down”…….all Burger King-like.

Then I discovered Childish’s writing….Stuckism seemed to hold all that I was seeking (if I was even seeking?).

It was real, it was honest, it was about communication, expression, thought, feeling and the merging of all of these important pieces (to me) of art. No formulaic outline had to be used so some pleb knew it was art. It was all about whats been rattling around in my head for God knows how long, until you finally find a way to spit it out. Most importantly, it rallied artists around the same campfire. Discussions were happening. Artists were taking the reins of their own lives instead of trying to puke out what “they” wanted. But I found Stuckism to be a elitist in some of their core ideas. Some of them I actually agree with, but my inner voice tells me that it can’t be that way. I thought any group that mutually excludes all of another group cannot be right. Anyone who spews absolutes is by definition wrong…….I think.

So I thought….I am a “Modified Stuckist” if I ever encounter the need to “be something”.

Remodernism for me is Stuckism without the elitist bullshit. I don’t want or need to be the king, or the kings friend. I know I like talking to artists when I am in group shows, I learn a lot and maybe I turn someone on to an idea or two. Any “ISM” that can do that is OK in my book.

I have never done rules very well. Rules imply control, and only I control my head. Because my head is the art….the canvas gives it form.

I am rambling.

Patrick Miller Patrick Miller 9 posts

Although I have to say, if Redbubble is indicative of any sort of trend, I understand the need for a common bond among painters. How many painters are on this site?….like 20? Could we be the last of the turpentine sniffers?
Ha ha

Carson Collins Carson Collins 639 posts

Far from “rambling”, you speak very movingly and from the heart, and I think you share an aspect of the Remodernist experience that we can all relate to on a deeply personal level.

You also raise an interesting point. I don’t know the actual statistics, but I will hazard a guess that at least 19 out of 20 participants at redbubble are photographers, mostly amateurs.

That’s why I made this the Remodernist Painters’ Group. Not because a photographer can’t be a Remodernist; as a matter of fact, several very fine photographers are contributors to one of our sister groups, Remodernists of DeviantArt, and I would encourage any photographers who feel excluded here to join and support that group.

The Spirit of Remodernism is neither elitist nor exclusive; it is, on the contrary, egalitarian and inclusive.

Anyhow, as there are at this moment 152 members of the RPG (and 721 members of PiMT), I think we can safely assume that there are more than 20 “turpentine sniffers” and/or acrylic polymer emulsion sniffers, on redbubble. ; – )

FatherOKnow FatherOKnow 1 post

Modernist vs. Remodernist Revisited

I have been following these discussions for some time and I think that many of you are allowing it to descend into opaque, shallow or intellectual verbiage, a situation not dissimilar to what has happened to the Modernist school. More importantly to me, this includes a lot of Jazz, Classical, and Popular Culture’s music. The basic problem remains in the fact that the true content of the greatest works of art lays in the emotions and not in the technique or form of the art. As we are all aware, emotional states are extraordinarily hard to put into representations because the emotional system operates so terribly quickly compared to the glacial speed of the intellect. To make my point let me digress for a moment.

Many of you will remember the “Power Tie” craze some years ago. It turned into a big wing-dang-do for a time with annual reports on what the season’s “new” Power Tie was. For all the variations and complexities presented, it was all based on a very simple and common sense concept. When about to enter into any sort of negotiation, wear a piece of clothing that is a bit distracting without being so distracting that the other party becomes aware that they are being distracted. It just gives you that little bit of an edge. As in “The Outlaw Josie Wales”, having the sun at your back or spitting at the right moment gave the gunfighter an edge.

It is the same with the Modernist movement. Its simple “Edge” was the sheer raw emotional content. Unfortunately, making the technique, or the never-before-seen or heardness the point could only engage the emotions as long as the recipient was new to the idea. Once the Modernist movement had permeated the culture the impact was gone. Thus most of the art produced had a limited life span. Granted, there are a few such as Rothko who managed to make emotions a part of the art, but the majority ceased to be relevant and the Modernist ideas became a sort of ongoing “do’s and do not’s” that informed the art gallery owners and the critics. Many now purchase or play the art simply because it fits the intended ambience.

Being a poet and musician, my field is more aural than visual. Over these fifty-five years in the field, I have seen Jazz become so increasingly out there that it becomes an intellectual exercise simply to figure out where the musicians are going. There have been massive classical works involving constantly changing meter and serious dissonance that have little appeal except to, again, the intellect. Our most popular composer of musical theater has in his last twenty works produced only one or two songs that one can whistle to oneself on the drive home. Having rhyme, meter and complex nuance is a sure way for a modern poet to be driven out of an agent’s office. Hip Hop takes so much liberty with rhyme and meter, and is so devoid of emotional overtones that it can actually numb the heart.

So here is the simplest edge and the most basic difference between Modernist and Remodernist. Make once more the emotions the most significant part of the content of the art. After this I pray that the discussion will be more about why and how what works to achieve the kinds of emotional content that Remodernist’s want to achieve.

Father O’Know

Carson Collins Carson Collins 639 posts

Holey Farter,
I think, maybe, that what you intended to say, by way of a title, was “Post-Modernist versus Remodernist Revisited”?

Anyhow, thank you for what is, in my view, a very incisive analysis of the situation. The direct communication of sincere emotional content is, indeed, the very core value of the Remodernists, and can be traced back to Kandinsky, who is often credited as being the inventor of what was known as “Abstract Art” in the 20th Century.

Be that as it may, all one really has to do in order to become a Remodernist is to stop hiding behind the institutionalized cynicism and ironic detachment of the dominant Post-Modernist hegemony.

Thanks awfully much for contributing to our little dialogue, old friend. I hope that your remarks will evoke some argument from other members – “argument” being defined as ‘discussion involving inference’.

I love a good argument.

fesseldreg fesseldreg 157 posts

Am I Remodernist?

When I pick up my pencil to draw, it is in response to a feeling not unlike the appetite for food. The longer I do not satisfy the urge, the stronger it becomes. It is surely a necessary part of the human condition to provide an outlet for the subconcious and particularly the emotions. Everyone has their own ways of doing this – and it will come out somehow eventually, whether we like it or not!

As an artist, (I hesitate to use the word as a description for myself as it is only very recently that I have plucked up the courage to show any of my pictures to anyone, but it will do for now), that’s what I’m doing, letting it out.

However, I choose to present my ideas and feelings in a way I think is acceptable and appealing to the senses. I do not (at present, anyway) feel inclined to subject myself or anyone else to my raw feelings, which I know would sometimes be extremely ugly and disturbing. Rather, it is for me, a transformation of those very negative emotions into something positive, without disguising them, for which I strive.

Certainly my pictures are emotionally driven. I am beginning to suspect though, that what I thought was really obvious in my paintings, is often anything but! (I am currently debating with myself about this very thing.)

So, having admitted that I am conciously NOT communicating my feelings directly, then I am surely not a Remodernist……….

which is a shame. I’d be sad to leave this little group, I like it, it’s so interesting!

Carson Collins Carson Collins 639 posts

Please don’t leave – as I have so often said before, all are welcome.

The Spirit of Remodernism is inclusive and egalitarian, and our little group would be infinitely poorer without you. We need those who are sincere in their questioning to keep the movement alive.

Stay with us for a while – things are just about to get interesting. Or anyway, so I do believe.

fesseldreg fesseldreg 157 posts

I am very pleased to hear all that and will be delighted to linger longer, thanks!

Richard Whitehouse Richard Whiteh... 28 posts

i have only recently been reading about remoderists and stuckists for a few days now, and to be honest, i’m very exciited that these guys exist.
for the past five or so years i have been working for a prestigious arts college in melbourne, and have been listening to the arts lectures given to the students, right now i work in an inner city gallery.

it seems to me that the state of the arts is about over-intellectualising art. perhaps this comes from a culture where writing lengthy arts-grants is a good way for artists to survive. i don’t feel that this is a particularly good thing for art to be. firstly, it alienates the uninitiated. it has created an artistic elite of intelligentsia to the exclusion of the rest of the population. empty galleries and pretentious gallery openings attest to this.

post-modern art, to me, feels cold and cynnical, and has gone on for too long to be of value. I’m sure in it’s day it seemed fresh- but like watching tv, and pointing out it’s many flaws is fun and gratifying for a while, after 20 or so years it gets old.

so in a nutshell? i hope that my art comes from and speaks to the heart rather than the head. to me, effective art does this. to my understanding remodernism has similar principles. correct me if i’m wrong, but that’s why i clicked the ‘join this group’ button just now

Carson Collins Carson Collins 639 posts

This from one of our new members, Saren Dobkins

" …When I read your description of what the work is about a light went on in my head when I recognized that so much of how and what I paint about is aligned with what Remodernists are about. I have battled for so long with the restrictions of the Post Modernist mantle and as such have made very little head way in getting my work into galleries around Melbourne because my work considered “too Modernist” and as such behind the times. I have always been inspired to infuse my work with a ‘spiritual" meaning and a recognition of “consciousness” as a guiding principle as well as “story’. All my work comes out of my imagination and is not appropriated from others…”