Saturday, February 18, 2012

No one in his right mind pays for random letters printed on paper

which in turn is why some authors sell well, and others do not sell well, because what people are buying is the information conveyed by the paper and ink.

This is also why those who pay big money for modern art do exhibit signs of insanity, because they, for all practical purposes, are paying for nothing more than random ink splotches.

All art is to some extent an abstraction. Even the realists abstract. But what those like Jackson Pollock did is not abstraction of the visible world about us, their paintings are nothing more than disordered paint splotches pretending to be art.

Of course some will argue that Pollock does have some kind of method, and that his method and technique is the art. But the same could be said of someone who writes letters on a sheet of paper without intent to form words, let alone form sentences. The letter writer can likewise have method and technique, but he is not doing what a writer does which is form coherent thought conveyed by letters.

The writing is disordered because its not ordered to the proper final end of writing. Similarly, Pollock is disordered because he too does not order his painting to the proper final end of painting.

What Jackson Pollock does is paint gibberish. And similar to Jackson are those who paint squares and circle or some such pretending that those paintings are likewise art.

Similarly, photorealism is not fine art. It does have some kind of method and technique, but it's not abstraction. There is not an imitation of nature, but a mere copying of nature. A perfect 3d replica of a red rose may be intriguing, but what makes it intriguing is not the abstraction, but instead the artisan's technical skill at his craft.

In the Denver Art Museum's new wing, (a wing virtually devoid of actual art), there's a wall with one line quotes by a number of 'artists' telling us what they think art is. For instance, Andy Warhol : "Art is what you can get away with". What stands out from reading the quotes is how not one of them recognizes the necessity of their art conforming to the proper final end.

The artists are similar to the museum wing's deconstructionist 'architect' who specifically designed a building which is indifferent to its intended use as museum. Or similar to a doctor who uses his art subjectively to prescribe not what is best for his patient, but prescribes medicine according to some other standard of goodness. It's not that they lack talent, but that they use their talent in a disordered manner.

It should be noted that the museum has the appearance of architecture but insofar as it's not directed to its proper final end as museum it is not architecture. Architecture like all the arts is by nature known by its final end, such as a doctor's art is known by its final end which is to heal. That is what a doctor does, he heals and further heals each individual patient according to the ailment he suffers from.

If a design is supposed to be a museum, then it is architecture only insofar as it directed toward that end, i.e. being a museum.

Similarly, as St Thomas writes, a unjust law has the appearance of a law but is not a law per se, so likewise is it with all the arts, the final end is not accidental to the art, and insofar as a art is not directed to its proper final end that which is produced is not an object of the art. So that while the structure appears to be a museum, it is not a museum but a structure which is being used as a museum despite its inappropriate unintended design.

Now some people may like the art museum's new wing, but their liking it does not cause it to be proper to its intended use. Any more that someone may like Pollack or a book full of gibberish. The liking of it is either a disordered understanding of the art, or a misunderstanding of the art where a false standard is used to understand the art.

Lastly, the Denver Art Museum's new wing can be said to be in some respects architecture, in so far as it does intend to do what architecture does.

Please note: This post is currently being written, read at your own risk

The Gothic Cathedral / Origins of Gothic Architecture and the Medieval Concept of Order pages xvi - xvii
. . . The physical world . . has no reality except as symbol . . . Maximus the Confessor, a thinker we shall meet again later, actually defines what he calls "symbolic vision" as the ability to apprehend within the objects of sense perception the invisible reality of the intelligible that lays beyond them . . .

. . . The modern mind has severed the symbol,the image, from all metaphysical moorings; . . . The Middle Ages perceived beauty as the "splendor veritatis," the radiance of truth; they perceived the image not as illusion but as revelation. The modern artist is free to create; we demand of him only that he be true to himself. The medieval artist was committed to a truth that transcended human existence.
Other than it's more accurate to say, the physical world as we understand it has no reality apart from symbol, but other than that, the quote explains well the difference between a modernist understanding where goodness is subjective, as opposed to a Catholic understanding where goodness is conformity to a higher order.

Further, as Catholics we correctly distinguish between what is the symbol, i.e. reflecting some aspect of reality while not being the reality per se, and what is the symbolized reality Where as in contrast the modern sciences, secular world, and false religions tend to get their symbols and reality ass backwards in those areas they part ways with the Faith.

As I've written elsewhere we apprehend the color in a red rose, we don't apprehend light waves and transform those waves into color in our imagination as the modern sciences say we do. The light waves are the mathematically ordered symbol reflecting our apprehension of color, not the other way around.

Light in Gothic architecture is specifically used to move us physically as proper to the mater in a sacramental, and spiritually as proper to the image in a sacramental. What we do is abstract the spiritual from the material.

"This is to show the world that I can paint like Titian, [See drawing], "only technical details are missing."" Wolfgang Pauli

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