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"CONTEMPLATING AESTHETIC EXILE"


The other day as we were on our way to purchase plants for the flower beds that are around our studio building my wife asked me one of her usual probing and always unsettling questions. She wondered if I would rather be doing core inspired artwork that went virtually unrecognized by this human world, or would I rather have surface level art that was highly praised and applauded by society and that came with it's ample rewards, numerous accolades, and financial stability. "Yikes" I thought to myself don't ask me that.

Humm. believing that you have truly great artwork but are literally starving to death in virtual obscurity OR producing mediocre work but you are flush financially from selling it and considered by many to be a modern day artistic master, but maybe not really feeling it inside yourself. Sensing a trap of sorts, somehow being caught naked between a rock and a hard place I heard myself saying, "You will have to let me think about that one."

Luckily we arrived at the gardening center and I never did answer the question....phew, but later on I thought that I really needed to work towards some clarity and understanding of this question, if just to come to grips with it myself.


THE ARTISTIC BIRTHING PROCESS

Creatively conceiving and birthing, literally giving life to aesthetic creation, especially the kind that stems from core based artistic intuitive roots, is always a very arduous process to successfully undertake and complete. The artistic individual must in my opinion mute their mental ties with the human world and try to deaden the banal decoratively inspired lesser creative energy that is constantly bubbling up and fermenting within the commercially minded every day art world.

"Genuine core sincere art" is the human translation and honest declaration of an inspired inner voice that flows forth from the central core of life's most earnest inner framework. When I think of a "core message" I really mean that state of having societal conditioning peeled away, exposing the creative individual down to their inner foundation stone, we know this as the human psyche or soul. That core entity is the one that is completely apart from any external daily human world influences. Once there and all alone with your naked inner self, it is those interior thoughts and driving motivations that make up the genuine inspiration and provide the foundation for creation of core inspired artistic magic.

Truly "inspired art" something that flows from this central core of being, is not affected nor controlled by the interfering non-essential fluff and errata distractions found in this human societal crazed circus in which we all try and eke out our collective survivals. By daring to mute everything and go into a kind of an "aesthetic exile" mode of being, in a way heightened spiritual enlightenment, you literally create an environment that allows you to strip down to the question "what do you wish to extract from this earthly life?"

However, even if you cast yourself out of society and try merging with the core creative force looking for the illusive magic, there is a possibility that you may not be able to properly translate those inner artistic core founded signals in such a way that others share in their value and worth. You may even feel the aesthetic drive racing through your veins as you sacrifice everything on this journey of inner discovery. There you are literally in a "zone" of your own; focused on creative awareness and peace in your life but nothing of much consequence is there for others to receive.

Great artistic communication is literally core magic manifested, reaching out from within ourselves, sharing the charm and unlocking it for others to experience. Without that exchange it remains false and surface felt. It is in other words, not completely and fully resolved creation.

The fact is this, genuine artistic creativity does not sit paddling about on the surface mantle of any civilization nor of it's societies platitudinous artifice. It is really only found or attained by diving down much deeper into the undulating and rippling artistic wellspring. Daring to delve in and dig out the nuggets of artistic insight and genuine wisdom that are found in the serious deeper legitimate aesthetic realms, all by peeling back discovering and then revealing a true inner core self.

By laying out, exposing the creative core's sum and substance, the artist stands mentally exposed naked, doing so in eager expectation of an ignition spark and insightful creative arousal. Truly inspired authentic human art can only come from that central creative intuitive core. It demands the fragile inner mental layers of one's self to literally open up before genuine inspiration can be fully realized; then in a joining of daring and gall the true inner aesthetic being is revealed.

This search for artistic truth only plays out over a lifetime. Personal maturing itself is needed to come to grips with the necessity of having to actually let go of and move well beyond everything you know or have learned from or have been taught by our fumbling societies. One can, slowly over time and if aware, begin to dismantle the protective shell surrounding the central core. I believe that an artist only comes into true creative being later in life, everything occurring before that period in their lives is simply the build up and preparation for eventual genuine artistic creation and release of the inner founded core creative spirit.

Unfortunately many of the modern artists today as well as those in the past lived and worked, virtually buoyed up by rafting on human designed intellectual springs and reservoirs brimming full and overflowing with nothing but counterfeit and artificial artistic conviction. These societal bastions of thought tend to revolve around delusive contemporary intellectually based moats concerned with little more than examining fashionable modern day thought streams or societal issues. Delving into our wants, needs, greed or simple carelessness, trying to demonstrate artistically how it is all interrelated and humanly cobbled and fouled up, entangled and in the end always grossly unjust. In truth this type of popular art is merely surface level and a form of academic didactic creationism that simply tries to point out and explain ourselves to ourselves.

We should be asking if this academically driven intellectually contrived and emotionally detached self-indulgent realm regarding daily planetary life is the actual embodiment of genuine artistic inspiration? Or merely the product of institutionalized creative conception dreamt up as a replacement for not having genuine talent. One has to consider this. Real genuine insightful vision is not about seeing the literal or obvious in or of situations, and in truth it does not really matter what subject is chosen to work with. More it is that ability of the artist to accept the contradictions found in daily planetary life and then go far beyond those obvious surface inspired motivations, trying to tap into that magic elixir of inborn talent existing within the core of creative authenticity.

True artistic vision literally soars, actually leading the artistic traveler out to the real thing, core based creative insight. Genuine art, that issuing forth of the immortal seminal seeds that are the nucleus of all creation has always been timeless in its conception, infinite in its thought, and eternal in its scope.


DECIDING ON A CREATIVE PATHWAY

As aesthetic individuals we must eventually decide how we are going to spend our creative resources. Will we simply wade into those warm inviting pools of societies trivial day to day limited motivating issues, examining and questioning but in the end eventually supporting and reinforcing civilization's tawdry intellectual laundry by simply being a part of it. Too often art is treated simply as another commodity to be mined or drilled out rather than as a much deeper calling coming from within one's psyche.

Many artists are swallowed whole by the commercial golden mile's advertising and working style with the result that their approach to artistic creation is modeled on a one dimensional literal in approach and scope conceptualized message; in the end never reaching beyond the cloistering limitations inherent in societal thinking. Others latch onto a movement and simply follow along. They use and rehash work from previous long dead artists, having no original ideas of their own. Or worse yet simply play endlessly with their materials, but in truth never create real genuine core founded and inspired work.

Groups of artists are chewed and then regurgitated by artistic academia. They fall off the end of the academic treadmill twisted and deformed, literally light years away from their own creative core roots but no doubt very well suited to the current artistic system. Academia is to genuine art just like night is to day, one perpetually following the other but neither can ever become the other.

Sadly the chic urban galleries, museum curators, and critics seem to have trouble recognizing the difference between what is genuine work and what is simply a mirrored reflection of an obvious street based commercial and academic business like art mentality. This business style of art enterprise is far removed from the creation of greatness itself. Artists are even known to target a market for monetary reasons and not for a deeper intense penetration of visual pathways. They are not chasing the real thing, but taking the easiest most literal traveled paths all for the sake of creative and production expediency.

Success in our world is measured in business penuche, monitory accruement and thus in the marketing of expensive artistic commodities rather then in having and collecting art that is genuine, instilled and thus flowing with inner core substance. With the end result that we have so-much-alike impotent art work being fobbed off on the world. Work that is obvious, emotionally cold, non generative nor restorative, nor even in truth genuinely creative. Amounting to nothing more than a reflection of the morning after hangovers and the mental limitations found in the debris laying strewn about from common every day societal existence

The actual modern work on museums walls, the art itself, is often quite inferior to the preceding hype and promotion, and is often minimized, being relegated into a world of visual mediocrity but always surrounded by exaggerated plumped up fanfare. The soul belonging to pure human aesthetics, that wellspring gurgling up from the central core of creativity has in effect been canned and bottled, turned into just another everyday business commodity where slick presentation and over blown hyperbole on the latest intellectual trends determines its status and position in the contemporary art world.

Originality and creative uniqueness is truly hard to come by. Daring to follow inner urges can be a daunting challenging process. You are alone with it, relying on inner core motivations that might not always be interpreted correctly no matter how much one tries.

We all know how much easier it is to follow what others have all ready laid down. However, the act of merely following can and does lead down false creative tracks. It could take years to realize and even longer to return to your own core founded roots. Keeping yourself clean, unaffected, and artistically pure in creative thought is one of the most difficult and challenging things that an artist can do in life.


THE STRUGGLE TO KEEP YOURSELF CLEAN AND PURE

The question then becomes just how to keep yourself safe and authentic in thought and at the same time survive and live a life? You can try and work originally always reaching for that inner core or you can jump in, learn about market driven forces and how to control and manipulate them. Either way it is a constant and on going battle not only creatively but personally.

Western societies literally brow beat and terrorize us into becoming compulsive lifetime consumers. If you live in a city you can not pass through a day without pressure from visually distracting commercials, neon day glow advertising, large screaming billboards, and that endless hustle to keep purchasing. You can not simply order anything without being pushed to purchase more, hassled to sign extended warranties or asked for the numerous club or air miles cards. The banking and lending institutions are so willing to give you credit but once you reach out and accept it you are snagged by a virtually impossible to remove barbed corporate hook. Almost all of our food, the thing that keeps us alive, is controlled mercenarily by large corporate interests. Even our doctors through their training are groomed mostly for a commercially minded prescription drug scheme.

For some reason this kind of life style is simply accepted as being perfectly normal. Young artists are shown paths that are artificially burning brightly puffed up by nothing more than theoretical bluster and short sighted narrow minded imaginations. They quickly and ultimately burn themselves out from sheer lack of internal purpose and from insufficient inner creative fuel. The aesthetic oxygen they require to combust and burn at the core has been altered or snatched away, used for more huckster style purposes by the driving forces of sanctioned avaricious modes of thinking and human existence.

We have literally lost our Cosmic way in this human fabricated world. We have learnt to ignore our organic roots and scurry down the tarnished and seedy intellectually fabricated back alleys of a forced materialistically dominated regime of human existence. Our young artists should be introduced onto paths leading towards finding and discovering inner creative enlightenment which would allow for a genuine creative unfolding to occur in the future. The question to ponder is, just who organizes our lives in this impure crass commercially biased unfaithful way?


HOW EXILE MIGHT HELP IN BECOMING GENUINE

Genuine mental freedom and soul edification and creative enlightenment does exist. We can all tap into it by virtually placing ourselves into a kind of personal self imposed societal exile. Everyone decides what is important in life, what has real meaning rather than greedily consuming the entire social "cake" without a care or thought. We can be selective in our societal needs, carefully picking and choosing our interactions, doing so very mindfully and with purpose.

Our own society herds us towards unknowing blind conformity. You must take steps and initiate actions to defend against it by discriminating, removing and ignoring the daily clutter and societal mental rubble that scatters and blocks your creative path. In realizing that our present day society is in truth scurrying down dead end paths and by actually bailing out you will find yourself in a position of discovering the doorway leading to your central core; the place to begin the effort needed to proceed through the veil to artist magic.

To be sure it's is not an easy task and strong perseverance is definitely needed. Clutter takes many forms, the baggage of life, emotional, intellectual, and physical, it is everything that looms in your way as you work towards finding, holding, and then learning just how to use creative energy. This baggage isn't always easily recognizable. You have to identify your own.

Work to unhook and detach yourself from the societal brain washing pipelines. Don't worry you really will not miss anything significant, and if its really important for example like aliens finally landing just to say "Greetings, who are you?" It will quickly come to you through those human trickle down social contact norms.

Find purpose that you alone value, ones that will not block your path. I believe as an artist, or for that matter any creative being, if you do not take steps to adopt and enforce some kind of self imposed exile you will find yourself always and forever simply floating and bobbing about on superficial surface layers; caught there, entrapped and snared by insignificant human mental nets. You will simply end up being one of those unknowing followers, producing work that has not sprung from the core of the genuine artistic wellspring, but simply comes from the outer surface layers of shallow human intellectual crowing and from societal artifice.

The things in life that truly matter are things that are never involved in any way with common human currency or superficial societal thinking. Everything that comes from the core of existence and literally has the most value for human beings is there, with no price tag attached, free for us to experience its all consuming magnificence.

I am talking about those genuine core things in life, like the comforting warmth and restorative nature of the daily sun. The wondrous miracle of the multitude of stars we see especially on a clear frosty night. The enigmatic moon with its darkened pale half light illuminating our Earthly landscape. Looking at the endlessly changing clouds each day feeling the warmth and smelling fresh scents of a sudden summer rain. Walking through a garden full of wondrous flowers, hearing the flight of bees intent on producing their sweet nectar. All of us partaking in the miracle of our own births and then witnessing others and the wonder of just being alive. Then facing the inevitability of returning to the bliss of being joined once again with the endless Cosmos. The sheer scope and wonder of the Cosmos and realizing how insignificant in the grand scheme of things that we humans truly are. We sit in the galactic bleachers present at one of the greatest shows in the Cosmos living among the wonder and miracle of our very own planet, Earth.

The reality of all this talk about exile is that there are no guarantees and the fear of finding nothing at the core often stops many people from daring to search for it in the first place. However, if you are away from nagging societal pressures you have a better chance of uncovering your magical creative reservoir, that artistic inner wellspring.

In the end, it is the act of actually doing the work itself that has to nourish and sustain your life. We are not all going to be recognized masters. Many who are in this category, some with carefully crafted and created but not earned reputations, have not reached or even come close to the artistic creative core. On the other hand many artists who reach and tap into the magic of creation often live a life virtually alone, often unrecognized. The reality is that doing genuine art work and having a notable reputation do not always go hand in hand.

The bed rock truth is this, in reality your work and the hope that you might share and communicate visually, emotionally, and intellectually with other beings is all there really is.





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