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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Neil Lowe Sounding Mechanical and Meaningless (29) RE: Sounding Mechanical and Meaningless 11 Apr 00

Up to a point, how masterful an artist becomes at plying his/her avenue of expression is secondary to the subject itself. I'd much rather experience a good theme expressed poorly than a poor theme expressed proficiently. In the all too rare instances when inspired ideas are expressed masterfully, I say we are in the realm of art.

When I saw Van Gogh's "Peach Tree In Bloom" for the first time, I got the impression he was the conduit between his inspiration and the canvas, as if he were trying to capture, in feverishly short and fat brush strokes, the dreamscape in his mind's eye before he awoke. I not only saw a beautiful rendering of a tree, but also a gleam of Van Gogh's divine urgency as he painted it. Subjectively, he has imparted to me what it must've felt like to paint that tree, and thus has imbued his painting with a part of himself. That's art, not "product."

When I hear Lightnin' Hopkins' music, it's like listening to hundreds of years of collective oppression and hard luck condensed into one man and one guitar. When he sings, "Mama got mad at Papa, 'cause he didn't bring no coffee home," there's a deeper meaning conveyed beyond the stated words that gets you right in your water.

Their work endures because they seem to have the ability to pour themselves out through their chosen medium. I am reborn as a voyeurist or an eavesdropper when I experience their artistry.

In a lot of cases, there must be an irritant around which artists can secrete their creativity. Madness, addiction, and unrequited love have produced many beautiful pearls. Contented artists can produce good art, but to me conflicting influences bubbling within the artist's vessel cook up the most savory feasts for the palate.


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