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Born To War

(The New Heart of Darkness)One of the most visually striking moments that I remember from 2017 was the attack on the alt-right” inciter and American white supremacist Richard Spencer. This was during Donald Trump’s US presidential inauguration, and symbolically it meant that society had now come to the stage where two extremes of our culture were in open conflict. Historically and in popular culture we had always associated these sort of assaults with Jack booted Brown shirts or Neo-Nazi Skinheads. The Antifa movement using violence as a means of denying the proponents of Hate Speech a podium had a certain appeal to me. Didn’t our grandfathers and great grandfathers engage in a World War to kill Nazis? I justified. Aren’t Nazis beyond the Pale, sort of in the same box we would place Paedophiles, Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. Or, whoever happens to be the “Monstre du jour.”

Had Trump’s election win pulled the Nazis out of this “Basket of Deplorables” to quote Hillary Clinton?Like es…



I have often pondered what actually drives a person to express an original interpretation of his or her individual technical, academic or artistic skill. Some years ago I attended an exhibition where the walls were populated by dinky slapdash, abstract expressionist, Neo-Dada, and pop art. I had seen other artists who were contemporaries of mine produce similar images which in my opinion were often much more technically developed. In studying those paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales I came to the realisation that these artworks were important because they were among the first in the development of their respective styles.

Originality, requires risk, it occurred to me and part of that risk is an element of naivety. When it comes to creativity risk takers set the tone, and the followers seek to better the original technically. But the original will always maintain its provenance. And the others? To quote Marshall Mathers, known professionally as Eminem, “All the other Slim Shadys are just imitating.”

Which, beggars the question, “how can anything be original?” Is “Originality a false notion?” A fallacy that attempts to support a claim with a premise that itself presupposes the claim. Picasso once stated that “Good artists borrow, great artists steal!” The jury may be out as to whether Picasso really made this statement, but none the less Pablo owes a lot to African and ancient Iberian sculptures as well as Neolithic cave paintings.

I think the real measure of originality is how it changes the discourse of Art after its production, after Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,” with all the stolen baggage that its realisation entailed, was itself plundered by a generation of artists who called themselves Cubists.

I can’t promise that my take on this beast which we call Art will be any more or less original than that of any other artists. But it will be my own and I will not confine myself to elitist monologs based on bullshit. If something requires an overly esoteric explanation before you like it, it only means that you are responding to someone else’s experience not your own. Or, so I believe in my not so humble opinion, in any case please enjoy my blog.

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