Monday, April 16, 2012

Art for Art’s Sake


One of my favorite undergraduate film professors was Mojmir Drvota.  In his classes he often referred to plastic art, which meant visual art that was not literature, music, or film.  That term jarred my mind, because as a Film major plastic was not something I associated with any form of art other than film.   I recently did a web search for Mojmir Drvota (who died in 2006), to see if I could find out more.  I found little except some references to text books he had written and films he had produced.  He was a professor in the Department of Photography and Cinema (which no longer exists) at The Ohio State University.  He was a native of Czechoslovakia (which no longer exists), who produced films about the Nazi horror.  But for me, he was one of the most interesting professors I studied under during my undergraduate years. 

When I sat in on a Reubens seminar, I made the distinction.  Photography and Cinema was more a craft than an art.  The difference between Reubens and other painters who worked with raw elements but achieved a result that was more than a sum of the parts, and a filmmaker or printmaker who worked with static 2-dimensional images was, in a small way, like the difference between the Creator who is the originator and designer, and the creature who can only manipulate what is already created. 

Philosophical discussions about plastic arts and other visual arts can wait.  Here are some examples of art from my favorite living plastic artists.  I own their prints or hope to own them at some time in my life.  I am the one who always is

Tim Botts is a calligrapher who combines words with art in exciting ways that make the words sing.  I have several of his prints.  Most hang in my cabin.  The one you see here is in my dining room because I wanted to look at it every day:

Smadar Levine is a fabric artist using colors reminiscent of Marc Chagall. She builds fabric hangings of depth and feeling. I cannot afford her original work, nor do I have anywhere large enough to display it. I have a print from one of her large fabric hangings. That print hangs in my entry hall. She does not have it on her website, but here is one that is similar:

Cornelis Monsma is an expressionist painter. His works are based on the Bible. He is a prolific painter. I don’t like every painting, but there is usually one from each month that I would like to hang in my home. I have not yet decided which one to purchase. Here is one example of his work:

Who are your favorite contemporary artists?  Who has had the greatest artistic influence on you?   

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