art, Entertainment, Philosophy, Philosophy of Art

Rothko and Death Part I



Death in all its calm beauty...

Death in all its calm beauty...

Beware of the self-conscious excess of false abstraction. Beware of artists who claim to “lose themselves” in meaning less artistic action. Twirling random colors on a canvas seem to signify a lapse in the continuum of meaning, but they are in actuality the true potential of meaning. Every twist of the artists wrist and every flick of the brush speak to a mood of ecstasy and power that drives an artist to create something dynamic and alive in the paint. Look at the “abstraction” of a Pollack and ask yourself if you can truly accept its meaninglessness. What we see in the mounds of paint is nothing more or less then a self-portrait of intent and imagination; a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to a new sense of the self and the expression of the self. This self-portrait was composed by and for the conscious mind. Looking into a mirror yield a vision of the physical matter that makes up our momentary substance: we show this to the world so that they may explore us and then move on if and when they wish to. If the see something that they wish to explore further then they can choose to dig beyond the physical into the mind.

A self-portrait of intent and imagination (a portrait of the mind itself) is a mirror in its own right. What is seen reflected back is the dynamic expression of an identity in motion. The mind can exist outside the medium of the body in this artifice, and can therefore have more freedom to interact with the world without the distraction of the familiar physical self. In this way multiple minds can interact through the medium of art and “abstraction”: the mind can be rid of all the physical niceties associated with getting to know someone else and get right “to the point” so to speak. The body can be a part of these functions, and they also have roles to play all their won, but both together may at some times be a distraction from the real purpose of finding intellectual arousal and excitement in art. We must understand however that one physical attribute is needed for the mind to function: that is of course the brain which is thankfully conveniently located within the body in such a way that the matter itself does not elicit to much notice separate from it primary function.

Meaning is expressed through abstraction in order that minds can more easily find meaning in each other outside of the purely physical realm. That is not to say that the physical realm is less sacrosanct them the mind, but one must acknowledge that art is best understood through the utilization of those mental facilities that can on occasion divorce themselves from physical action: reason, contemplation, and imagination.



2 thoughts on “Rothko and Death Part I

  1. Elena says:

    Just stumbled on your blog, brilliant stuff! Hope to see some more posts soon.

    ‘What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things… it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.’ – Brancusi – an artist you may enjoy as well as Rothko. Both tap into the source and touch the lifeblood of things.

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