Article: The Spiritual Imagination of Tolkien

How Tolkien’s faith informed his art.

The piece makes a good point regarding the earthiness of Tolkien hobbit protagonists, who love their simple joys. In a story filled with powerful kings, warriors and wizards, the greatest heroes are the small, humble, rustic folk.

The respect Tolkien pays to to the hobbits, the many examples of courage and principles he ascribes to them, shows how art can serve to reinforce positive cultural values without becoming sanctimonious.

Influences: Francis Bacon

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”

-Francis Bacon

A video depicting many paintings.

English painter Francis Bacon (1909 – 1992) used painterly distortion to express the existential angst and shock of the 20th century. The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC had an impressive collection of his works on display which I saw as a child, before I had any sense of what modern art was all about. His intense narratives and mysterious atmospheres haunt me to this day.

Commentary: Historical Perspective

I recently posted this on Facebook, attached to a video of Stuckism founder Charles Thomson discussing art history (see video here)
Remodernism founder Charles Thomson discusses the changes happening in the art world, which is of course a harbinger for changes happening in society in general. This is a time of the failure of the “experts.”
The self-absorbed post modern/conceptual art bias of the cultural industries has created a contemporary art bubble, where essentially valueless works exist to pander to creative class shibboleths.
Valuelessness doesn’t refer to price-it means there is no intrinsic human worth in the artifice that is passed off as art all around us. It explains why visual art is so marginalized in our current culture-what the “experts” present fail to fulfill the human need for art. They attempt to substitute an intellectual approximation of art. And no one outside of their echo chamber is interested.
But this is why I’m optimistic about the future of art. The monopoly of thought is being broken. Individuals are creating and promoting work that does not cater to the establishment expectations for art, and does not rely on the official channels of distribution. We don’t need or want their approval-they’ve been dead wrong for decades.
The current culture of nihlism, aloofness, and conformity encouraged by elitists cannot endure historical perspective. Remodernism presents the alternative of positive creation.

Video: How Stuckism Got Its Name

Remodernism grew out of a painterly art movement called Stuckism.

Like many art movements, the name of Stuckism grew out of an attempted criticism.

The Stuckists have generated much attention and controversy by their willingness to tackle art world dogma and celebrity worship. Stuckism is a much more recognizable “brand name” in the insular world of art, compared to the more generalized term of Remodernism.

Both movements were founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, artists of great vision and integrity. They were able to precisely articulate the failings of establishment art, and suggest constructive alternatives.