So many of my ideas, my reactions to the art world appear in this program. I almost remember seeing this many years ago. I feel like I was used. As a blank tape I seemed to have recorded so much. Which makes me wonder about any so called original ideas I thought I had. I love the program. Like I love my own thoughts. Agreeing with ideas is a form of vanity. This is a long program, almost an hour. But its a great story.
“My paintings employ layers of color, subtly collaged printed matter from the 1950’s and 1960’s, and stark, black imagery. Remote, indistinct landscapes capture the once poetic, and now nearly lost highway strips of the American past. Formerly the promise of hope and prosperity; these icons are now a sign of desperation and ruin.”
Robert Mars’ work borders on the pseudo-intellectual claptrap that passes as art in art schools. Especially with collages/montages. The use of material without representative figures as if there was something indigenous in the texture of materials that made them beautiful. But Mars avoids that trap.
There is in Mars work a sense of bleakness. Peeled paint. Abandoned gas stations. Restaurants abandoned. A landscape where the language has somehow been lost. Some of the collages almost look like road maps. Like aerial shots of the landscape. With the roads gone. It is an ‘existential’ world. (Forgive me for using the word existential. I should have used ‘camusish’. Perhaps.)
McKay’s work is highly religious. I don’t think I’ve seen work where humanity has seemed so small compared to the universe around him. If you focus on the individual then it is depressing. A total lack of confidence. In man. If you focus on the universe it is exhilerating. To have this wonderous playground to explore. And there to be seemingly no end to our journeys. The universe is there for us.
What is beauty? Is it’s appreciation reserved for the pure of heart?
Albert Speer is an interesting fellow. And a frightening one. Because he raises the question that many of us don’t appreciate. We assume that art is associated with the good. That beauty is not part of the make up of monsters. Hitler himself was a second grade artist. But so was Churchill. So are most artists.