Tag Archives: politics

monuments to Confederate generals finally gone

not my photo

Yesterday one of my best friends rode with me to D.C. and we had a nice time driving and talking. She’s a black lady I knew for 30 years or more. We worked together at different places in Richmond. There were years we didn’t see each other but we always reconnected.

One topic that came up was the monuments to the Confederate generals being taken down. There might be another one still standing, I’m not sure, but the one I’m thinking about isn’t on Monument Ave. Since I left Richmond 4 years ago and they have messed up Broad St. so bad with rerouting the street it’s really difficult to drive. but that’s a complaint for another day. I rarely drive through Richmond these days.

The thing about the monuments is, when I moved to Richmond from PA. in 1976, one of the first things that concerned me was the Confederate monuments. I knew they would have to come down that long ago and I told people it would be a big problem eventually if they kept them. They told me the monuments belong to the state not the city. As if the city didn’t want to take responsibility for them.

In this photo people are praying for peace.

I wonder why the HMFICs waited until things got really bad before they took the monuments down when I knew it 40 years ago. They knew as well as I did. What? They didn’t want to hear backlash from die hard Confederates? They got some worse backlash than they would have had from Confederates.

I hope this means the Civil War is finally over. (150 years too late)

And as a damn Yankee who was born to rebel, those generals were never my heroes. I hope they replace the monuments with nonpolitical subjects like cool stuff, angels, dragons, dogs and cats, or even crappy modern art would be better than freakin’ dead Confederate generals.

political art is propaganda

Banksy

Google political art and this is the first thing you find. This is weak art. It doesn’t stand alone. It needs a caption.

I’m guessing Banksy is rich but I don’t know enough about him. Is he putting his money where his mouth is? Is he a philanthropist helping the marginalized people? I know if I had a ton of money I’d help the veterans who are struggling. I see them. I feel for them.

Will art like this change society? Do you think it’s possible to change society with a catchy slogan? I doubt it. I guess its possible to change yourself but did you ever try to change someone else? Am I right to think this art is only benefitting the guy who sells the posters? Please feel free to enlighten me if I’m wrong.

What if you feel ok with yourself? Would this make you want to change? Is the homeless veteran problem my fault? I don’t think so. Is poverty my fault? Is racism my fault? No. How can I change to make those things go away?

This is the kind of art that doesn’t last very long. It might be saved somehow even if it’s outside on a wall in the weather. Someone might put it in a museum but when this era is past it could go into a warehouse with all the other bad political propaganda art.

marsh sketch / debunking a famous quote

Do you remember that famous quote, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” ?

sounds like b-s to me. It makes me think they want art to be political and that is not the main reason for art.

When I was in art school my wise teachers told us art serves 3 purposes, decoration, illustration and self expression. Self expression being the least important. It’s only the huge egos of the modern art world that think they can change society with a painting. And who cares about my self expression? I don’t have that kind of ego. I blame my parents. You might want to thank them. If an art viewer is savvy enough to analyze my paintings, there’s plenty of information in there about me. I can’t keep self expression out of it. I don’t need to deliberately make paintings expressing my moods.

Now, let’s say I know a disturbed person. Am I going to show them Starry Night and think that will comfort them? If I want to comfort someone who is disturbed I’ll find out what’s bugging them and try to find a real practical solution. If I showed Starry Night to a disturbed person and asked them if that comforts them they might say yes because they think I want to hear a yes. Then they go right back to their problems and forget Starry Night instantly.

What if I had some resentment to people who are comfortable? I don’t, but that would be political and if someone’s comfortable why should I try to ruin that for them. They’re not hurting me.

I don’t care really, if art metaphorically stomps on some high muckety muck’s toes. Whatever. I only want to say, if a quote sounds stupid, stop repeating that nonsense. Make art for illustration or decoration. Making the comfortable disturbed is a weak kind of art.