Thursday, 17 May 2012

Solo Opinion 1: Coping with abstracts

This week, as JDA is away giving a talk on Alt Lit somewhere (which I think is a code for sitting in his mother's house eating hobnobs), I would like to take you on a spiritual journey. A journey I'd like to call:

Here at Art Opinion we receive a lot of great submissions of artworks to discuss and give our balanced and level-headed opinions about. Interestingly we haven't received one single abstract piece yet.

Now I know that abstract artworks can be very intimidating, as their visuals often want to tap into our rawest emotions, into a pre-intellectual space, where concepts can not quite be conceived but already push through into existence. Sometimes abstracts even leave the plane of emotions and enter the realm of post-intellectuality, where concepts are so vast and overwhelming we cannot conceive them, but hope to one day be able to.

Just have a look at Mondrian's Composition with Red, Yellow and Blue. Pre-Emotion, Post-Intellectual thrill ride:

I know you are filled with anxiety when looking at this painting. But I know a way to help you: I'll put a schlong on that.

Ah! What a relief! Now all its secrets are unlocked to me, and I need not fear it anymore!

But what about those scary Abstract Expressionists? Look at this Pollock for example: 

So much raw power, it's overwhelming... or is it?

Schlong'ed that Pollock!

Let's take on the big boy of abstract expressionism: Mark Rothko.
His paintings often can instill feelings of dread and devastating sadness in you. Like this piece:

Can you feel the melancholy just taking over your being? Or more importantly, can you schlong that abstract?

Yes, you can!

Let's schlong a German painter for good measure:

Before-Schlong Richter:

After-Schlong Richter:

You can even Schlong your own abstract:

Schlong'ed that Reinmüller well and good!

I am sure you have found this solo-opinion highly enlightening, so if you want to write your dissertation on this, I'm available for interviews.

Remember, though, to Schlong that Abstract is strictly internet-only, unless you schlong yourself!

See you next week for more opinions and some Art School Degree Show specials.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Past Opinions!

As me and JDA are still hotly debating your new art submissions, I thought it would be a good time to give a shout-out to those artists we already have discussed!

Who could ever forget our very first opinion on Polygonal Lasso Artist Robbie Penford Baker? We were so taken with it, we reviewed him twice! It also made me obtain a copy of photoshop, and sign up for a tumblr account. I did have to realise JDA is already occupying that space, so I left again.

Next in line was Nathan Anthony's flump noose - which resulted in an homage to the great Benjamin McKenzie, and a phone call to the authorities.

Catriona Gallagher gapped the void between my misunderstanding of Hegel with JDA's proficiency in Isou's poetry. Have a read here.

'Destruction of the Lover' is the name of Sue Beveridge's piece, which we thought might be used to resurrect my grandparents (aka Nazis) - alternatively it can be used as a magazine rack. More of it here.

We then delved into non-visual arts for the first time with Timothea Armour's haiku - a proposal to let the Beatpoet-Satan conquer the world and marry Timothea Armour to Charles Bukowski.

A big thank you to all these artists who let us give our opinion.
Opinions - such a rare commodity in the age of the internet. The world really does need more of them: #artopinion

In the next opinion: Mark Rothko vs Lucian Freud vs Tom Cruise.

See you soon.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Timothea Armour: A haiku

Imminent Approach
Passing Glance, Aggravation
Exit to Nowhere

[Haiku made from race horse names]
Woken up from an alcohol stupor, wounded, ashamed, but knowing very well that this routine will just continue (getting drunk, waking up, going to the horse races, getting drunk again), Charles Bukowski was a regular at the tracks.

Now I’m not sure how betting on horses works, what’s involved in the whole routine of weighing up the odds, and then betting on that outsider horse a guy with trembling eyes and only 7 digits on his hands promised you will win that race, but what I do know is that when I think about horse racing in the US, these guys show up:

In the UK, we got this bunch of people:

Now this might be a completely skewed view of reality, as the only window in my room looks into the internet, but I’m pretty sure when Charles Bukowski got up in the morning his head full of memories of school kids mocking his German accent, constipation, and the longing for pussy and alcohol, he didn’t expect to find a person, who would give him valuable insider tips so he wouldn’t have to return to the post office to work and avoid a good beating by those people he owes money to, named Timothea Armour.

Of course you are only right to mention Bukowski here, as one of the world’s leading Czech and of course the person who introduced horses to the United States. Before the literate Czech carried out a formal introduction between Eisenhower and Seabiscuit no horse was allowed U.S. citizenship, a fact that led to many of them migrating to Canada. Within the context of the powerful emotional history it seems odd that Armour has tackled it so obliquely. It is possible of course that Armour is simply ignorant of the facts, that this is merely some Fulton-esque approach at concrete poetry. I will try and contact Basho via the ouija board and see what he thinks.

I think you got your facts wrong again, JDA. Seabiscuit was known for not needing an introduction to anyone ever, especially not to Eisenhower. As you can clearly gather from the 1939 melodramatic animation called ‘Porky and Teabiscuit’ the legend of Seabiscuit was presupposed by this outstanding performance by Porky Pig, while Dwight was busy preparing to kill himself some Nazis, deeply in love with the tale of underdog success that was Seabiscuit’s race track career.

Unfortunately Porky Pig’s career took a turn for the worse when he decided to become Toby Maguire in 2003 to reprise his role as the floppy manmeat part of Seabiscuit that spurns it around the track.
Porky Pig's worst role.
Timothea Armour’s poem is clearly about Porky Pig’s career as Toby Maguire:
Imminent Approach (Seabiscuit)
Passing Glance, Aggravation (Spiderman 2, Spiderman 3)
Exit to Nowhere (Brothers)

As promised I asked Basho:

Here is his response:
    GuN iN DeaF NatIon
   BUT cRITICal cAr
                                     pErhapS INuRE aBoUt
                                       ASsEmBlY AlONG reSponSiBLe HEALth
                         As schOlAsTiC
         WIfE wiLl lEAD leAst
   carE pLUs AtTEnTIoN bRiNG
                                                                   youR TRAck cOnSult cONSUlt38, 44
                                                                   but Review SoUthweSTeRN bAtTLe
wE ExpLAIN qUaLIFied rE-eleCtIon
               76 FAsT aChiEVEMENT
                                     PErioD ShALl OpErATE bATTle
                                     acTuaLLY Or all
                                                       gENuiNe aMeRIcan DisCHArGEUnanimousLY
                                                 35, 73, 87 HOur FUlFiL
off or oUTrigHT

I think that last line of his “off or oUTrigHT” chimes nicely with Boris Groy’s last essay.

There is an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Xander together with Willow, Riley and Giles are searching for some kind of solution for a mystical problem of some sort. Riley, a paramilitaristic college student, isn’t as familiar with the paranormal world as the rest of the group is and wonders if spells actually work.
‘Sure do’, reassures Willow.
Xander, looking up from a book interjects: ‘But it’s not like you can just say ‘Librum incendere’ and expect...’ Xander is interrupted by his book catching fire.
Their English middle aged friend Giles adjusts his glasses and reminds Xander not to speak Latin in front of the books.

Similarly I’m convinced that Timothea Armour will find a combination of race horse names that will enable her - through the incantation of internet ghosts, as practiced by JDA - to resurrect Charles Bukowski.
Then both of them Timothea Armour, and Charles Bukowski can happily skip along to the track and read each other their poetry. I do hope Ms Armour does appreciate the rugged charm of a serious alcoholic pervert of the likes of Mr Bukowski, though.

I think I agree with you here DJR, and, for the delight of Ms Armour, have adopted a satanic ritual for use on beat poets:

The initiation ritual is very personal, unless you decide to have friends participate, or are doing it as part of a group.
You will need:
  • 1 or more black, blue or red candles (as many as you like)
  • A sterilized needle or razor
  • A piece of clean paper, large enough to write the prayer below
  • A dry pen, where you sign your name in whisky (dip the tip of the pen in your whiskey)
Write the following prayer:
Before the almighty and ineffable God (Insert Name of Beat Poet) and in the presence of all, (insert other beat poets names) who are the True and the Original beat poets , I, (state your full name) renounce any and all past allegiances. I renounce the false Judeo/Christian god Jehova, I renounce his vile and worthless son Jesus Christ, I renounce his foul, odious, and rotten holy spirit.
I proclaim (Insert beat poet) as my one and only God. I promise to recognize and honor him in all things, without reservation, desiring in return, his manifold assistance in the successful completion of my endeavors.

It is important to bathe before any rituals you perform, this is done out of respect. When you are ready, you can light the candle. Take the needle, prick the index finger of your left hand, squeeze some whiskey out.
Sign your name in whiskey.
Recite the prayer either aloud or in your head
Fold the paper and let it burn in the fire of the candle. Many of us have stayed and meditated until the candle had burned itself out.
At the end of the ritual, close with the words "So mote it be." And a Big "HAIL (insert name of beat poet)"