Monday, 22 June 2009

The Last One?

Now I'm sick at home. Yes, I have the flu. But now I'm a little better, I think, At least, I'm not feverish now. I was drinking a cup of coffee just a few minutes ago, and I'm still listening to Miles Davis. I couldn't go to the class today, obviously.

This is (probably?) my last post in this blog, because of the teacher's request and the end of the semester.

I enjoyed writing in it - except for some topics that I didn't like at all. But all the rest was fine. I think it was an interesting initiative to propose the creation of the blog (congratulations to the one who suggested it!). I really liked it. It's just that I don't like to be obliged to write about an specific topic that I'm not interested in.

In addition, I think it really helped me to improve my English, at least my written English, that is very important for me. The practice of writing about something is a very beneficial exercise, it helps to think better, to write better, to share or capture ideas, to learn a language better. I like to write but I'm too lazy to do it on my own with some frecquency, so I think this blog was a good opportunity to practise my writing, but not so good to expose or develop my imagination (most topics were really limited, I think). But, anyway, I don't know what I could write about if they (the topics) were completely free.

I'd like to write in this very blog the next semester.

In spite of everything, I don't want it to die.
I hope I see you soon.

Monday, 15 June 2009

No Future

What would I like to be doing five years from now? Ok, ok, but... Five years from now! Isn't that too much time? In fact, it's enough time to become another guy, or maybe to be dead.
I think -actually- that I will be studying yet. Or maybe beginning a brilliant career as an art historian (just kidding). Well, after all, I think it wouldn't be bad to be a kind of humanist, or a researcher or something like that. Personally, I hope I'm having a good time without working so hard.

I was (also) asked to write about my ideal future. How can I imagine an ideal future, if in a few years from now we'll be in a wicker world? Ok, I hope it isn't becoming that bad, of course, but I can't imagine a beautiful and happy future. But, anyway, I'll try to write something. Of course, thinking it's not about reality.

. . .

My ideal future

In five years from now I'd like to be living in an old house, by my own, with enough money but without a job, so I'd have a lot of free time. The money must come for the rents of a couple of properties. So I'd be able to drink some fine liquors, and beer, and wine, of course. I'd meet some friends and we'd make some little gigs together, with good music and some drink. I'd paint in oils sometimes, and I'd read and listen to music as much as I can.
Isn't that an ideal future?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Favorite subject...

I've been asked to describe my current favourite subject in my 'career'. I don't know why, but it sounds a kind of deja vu for me. I think I wrote something about it before.

Anyway, I can say that my fav subject now is called "Vanguardia, escritura y ciudad" (I'm not sure that's the right order, but it would be something like "Avant-garde, writing and metropolis"). It is basically Theory of avant-garde art movements through the XXth century, and their relationship with several disciplines of thought and textual production, the progressive placement of the artistic activity into the big cities (as considered after the theory developed by Charles Baudelaire, the metropolis as the definitive wagnerian "total artwork" -Gesamtkunstwerk, in German).
Maybe the main matter in this subject is the complex relationship between Aesthetics (Arts), Technique, Politics and Society. The teacher is professor Carlos Ossa.

I like it because of the conceptual strenght that must be -necessarily- employed on it, in a complex discourse that must involve several subjects such as Sociology, Capitalism, advertising analysis, Theory of merchandising, Theory of images, etcetera.

And well, I learnt a lot this semester: some things about Impressionism, Expressionism, Surrealism, avant-garde in general, Cinema and of course, some interesting points related to Politics.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Greatest?

My English teacher asked me (actually, she asked us all in the class) to write about "who's the best on my field". Ok, but... My field? I suppose it has something to do with Arts, since I study Theory of Art (apart from that, I don't have a job nor anything like that). But, What kind of person in particular? An art historian, critic, or theorist? A philosopher? A man of letters? A musician? From the request for posting some images of his or her works, I deduced that the post must be about an artist in the most common sense of the term: a plastic artist, like a painter, a sculptor, a photographer, or a draftsman, and perhaps a moviemaker.

Well, in any case, it's hard to choose only one who may be called "the best" in his/her field, even in a subjective opinion. Personally, I have a lot of favourite artists, not necessarily between the best or most prominent artist of all times (in Western civilization, of course). Some of them are: Hans Bellmer, Max Ernst, Picabia, Joel Peter Witkin, Georg Grosz, Lucas Cranach, Hans Baldung Grien, Hans Holbein the Younger, Grünewald, Dürer, Giotto, Ingres, Watteau, Bernini, Arcimboldo, Vermeer, Hyeronimus Bosch, James Ensor, Magritte, Hopper, Turner, William Blake, Bramantino, Botticelli, Caravaggio, El Greco, Goya, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Manet, Cézanne, Picasso, Tolouse-Lautrec, Raoul Dufy, Derain, Chaplin, Eisenstein, Basquiat... Norman Rockwell? Why not? (as you can see, most of them are painters).

Now, the canonical artists considered between the greatest of all times, are usually the same as always. I mean, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Tiziano, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Goya, Rodin, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Picasso... and, among them, some radical transgressors of the Idea of Art, now acclaimed: Malevich, Duchamp, Pollock, Warhol... But: who can I choose as 'the best' without repeating the same names? Hard question. Because all of them are, according to the tradition and the conventions (but also according to solid parameters), great and essential, or at least, very important artists. Ok, I'll choose one significant to me.

And my choice was: El Greco.

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greco was a Greek born artist from the XVIth and XVIIth centuries (Baroque period), who lived most of his life in Spain, where he made his best known artworks. He was one of the most original painters who ever lived, and nowadays his style is still easily recognizable: tall, long figures (some experts believed that it was because of vision problems, and some others even thought that the artist consumed marijuana), delightful and expressive colors, mystical force... He painted some masterworks of all times, such as "El entierro del Conde de Orgaz" (The burial of the Count of Orgaz), "Visión de Toledo" (View of Toledo), and "La visión del Apocalipsis".

I like El Greco because of his unique style, because of his use of colors and lights and shadows, and his creative force, full of mysticism and magnificence. His paintings are very dark, in some way, they have a kind of hidden force that makes them mysterious and charming.

I think that he could be named "the best" because of many reasons. Maybe the main one is that he was an irrefutable and absolutely genial precursor of very later art styles, centuries after he died, and in an unique, unmistakable, original way. His formal and stylistic originality, I think, has almost unprecedented (just a few previous artists can be compared with it: Hyeronimus Bosch, Pieter Brughel the Elder, Michelangelo, Arcimboldo, between them). El Greco prefigured some modern and avant-garde art movements such as Expressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Modernism and Symbolism. His paintings are full of expression, religious sentiment, and force, almost violence. This is why El Greco can be considered, in my opinion, simply "the Best".