Monday, February 9, 2009

Now that there are no priests or philosophers left, artists are the most important people in the world

Today is Gerhard Richter's birthday, it is also Tu B'Shvat (Jewish Arbor Day). I also managed to accomplish some stuff, like going to the Absorption Ministry to get unemployment. Took my business card to the printer. Went to the doctor; he's starting me on physical therapy - that should give me more to do, given my unemployment. Looked into a program in Industrial Design at a local college; it is intense and I don't think I have the discipline to handle such a huge course load, especially in a foreign language. I have to figure out what I am going to do when the course I am taking ends. I certainly want to continue in the field. Speaking of which, I made some not so minor tweaks to my kitchen plan. I extended a counter so the kitchen area is more of a U than an L. I haven't decided the height of the extension; if it will be table height with a couple of chairs, or higher with a stools.
The two images are Richter's. I saw the Toilet Paper image at a MoMA showing of his a few years ago, and for some reason, this image resonated with me (as did the entire exhibition, but for some reason, this image especially). Also the above are his "Trees," fitting both with Tu B'Shvat and with the motif of my Thoreau apartment. If last post touched on the relationship between artist and viewer, then I suppose one of my themes in this post can be the relationship between nature and art. And, perhaps, photography as art. Gerhard Richter said of photography: "Photography altered ways of seeing and thinking. Photographs were regarded as true, paintings as artificial. The painted picture was no longer credible; its representation froze into immobility, because it was not authentic but invented."


  1. Interesting... my husband Aharon feels strongly that the reverse is true. He finds photographs to be artifice, whereas paintings are, in his mind, true. I guess he feels that the artifice lies in framing the photo itself, adjusting the light and angle, etc. But you could probably say the same thing about a painting, more or less. A painting only shows the stuff inside the frame, and not the world around it. The truth of a painting or photograph lies in its relationship with the viewer, I suppose. In that sense, you could say that all art is both truth and artifice at the same time.

    I saw a remarkable exhibit at the Met last summer. It was an exhibit of surrealist photographs by the early photographers and surrealist painters. One thing that strikes me about the photos in that exhibit is their capacity to lie while seemingly documenting the real, physical world.

    Hope you're well (read about the physical therapy... hope it's not serious).

  2. That is interesting that he feels that way. There is an artist in Jerusalem who feels that photography is not a legitimate form of art since there is no physical work that goes into its creation but he also believes that only the classics are true artists and that a painting has to be realistically true to nature. I don't really agree with his philosophy.
    I am doing well, just some minor back and neck issues. I'm gettin' old...

  3. In this times of 'photoshoping' or 'gimping' et al - where is the frontier between photography and painting today?
    Okay, I like both and while in my first years of digital photography I was totally against processing now I come to like many of the opportunities it gives me.
    Art is art (I am not talking about me and what I am doing - lol) and it doesn't matter how it is done but what it does to you. Just my 2p. Looking forward reading more about the Thoreau kitchen plan ...

  4. I agree with @Martina, I do not think art can be defined very easily, I consider music art... even a well designed webpage is art to me. As long as it moves you in some way, or surprises you, or makes you think. That is all that matters in my opinion.

  5. Adam, that's very Platonic of you! As for Thoreau's kitchen, it just got turned on its ear earlier this evening. Details TK!

  6. I'm with Frank Zappa on this one. You can put a splotch on the wall and call it art as long as it's in a frame (paraphrasing).


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