Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rufus Wainwright as The Sleeping Knight

Artist Susan Carr recently messaged me and shared with me her above artwork, along with this information:

"I have recently completed a painting inspired by Burne-Jones' Briar Rose series, which was painted for and still hangs in Buscot House, near where I live. It was also inspired by the songs of Rufus Wainwright and I have based the knight on him. He is aware of this and has said he would like to exhibit it on his website. I am taking it to the Mall Galleries in London on Saturday, for the Society of Women Artists Open Exhibition, which I hope it will be selected for."

Rufus Wainwright has made reference to Victorian art before, posing as The Lady of Shalott for the cover of his album, Want Two.

(called to my attention a while back by Jen Parrish)

Susan Carr's artwork impresses me greatly. It's readily identifiable as a portrait, but the fact that the subject is recognized doesn't decrease from its aesthetic appeal.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Desperate Romantics on DVD

Many thanks to my friend Edie for the heads-up on this one. Although the in/famous BBC miniseries Desperate Romantics has been available in Region 2 for some time, the DVD now has a release date for North American Region 1 format.

Be sure to pick it up on July 20th.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Help Support a Worthy Arts Project

My friend, the talented film maker Lisa Stock, is working on an incredible production. She is blending the character of Titania with the Armless Maiden fairy tale, and making an amazing mythic film series. However, she needs help, support, and backing! Pledges start at just $5, and you will know that you've helped to make this beautiful project a reality.

Lisa is truly a modern mythmaker, and part of a larger community of talented artists. She supports the work of others (she has featured the amazing Linden Sidhe's antlers in her film Brother and Sister, and the Titania prequel she hopes to shoot next month will feature a wing necklace created by Jen Parrish), and deserves support for her own creative endeavors!

To donate, please go here.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why Beauty Matters

A few months ago, I was made aware of a documentary/educational program that aired on BBC called "Why Beauty Matters," an hour-long discussion of the philosophy of art and beauty with philosopher Roger Scruton. I was fascinated, captivated, and wanted quite badly to track down a way to view the show. Well, thankfully, the series is on YouTube, split into 6 ten minute segments.

And what an incredible program it is! Being enthusiastic about Beauty as a philosophy and life passion, I knew I would love this program. And although Scruton sometimes seems more rambling than absolute in his argument, I agree with everything he says in the program. Once I had heard of this program months ago, I started reading up on Scruton. I requested his book (aptly titled Beauty) from the library, and looked for articles by him online. I planned to write a rave review of his work in relation to the Pre-Raphaelites on my blog.

And then I found this article.

In it, Scruton discusses the second enemy of beauty besides ugliness....kitsch. And he says in the article:

"Look back at figurative art in the Western tradition and you will observe that, prior to the 18th century, there was primitive art, naive art, routine and decorative art, but no kitsch. Just when the phenomenon first appeared is disputable: maybe Greuze shows traces of it; maybe it had even been foreshadowed in Murillo. What is certain is that, by the time of Millet and the Pre-Raphaelites, kitsch was in the driving seat."

Wait...what?? My heart plummeted. This same philosopher whose work I so enthusiastically supported thinks of the Pre-Raphaelites as kitsch? So not only is my favorite art movement dismissed by modern art critics as too sentimental, but the philosopher who advocates a return to art for art's sake and beauty being the supreme value ALSO thinks the Pre-Raphaelites aren't worth a dime??

I was quite disappointed.

But the video. I may disagree with Scruton quite passionately in his judgment of my favorite art movement, but I wholeheartedly agree with his overall message, and the program captivated me, and even brought tears to my eyes in the end.

A few quotes I loved from the program:

"All art is absolutely useless,” wrote Oscar Wilde, who intended his remark as praise. For Wilde, beauty was a value higher than usefulness. People need useless things just as much, even more than, they need things with a use. Just think of it…what is the use of love, or friendship, of worship? None whatsoever. And the same goes for beauty.” “This returns me to Oscar Wilde’s remark that all art is absolutely useless. Put usefulness first, and you lose it. Put beauty first, and what you do will be useful forever. It turns out, nothing is more useful than the useless.”

And my favorite....

“Through the pursuit of beauty, we shape the world as a home, and in doing so, we both amplify our joys, and find consolation for our sorrows. Art and music shine a light of meaning on ordinary life, and through them we are able to confront the things that trouble us, and find consolation and peace in their presence. This capacity of beauty to redeem our suffering is one reason why beauty can be seen as a substitute for religion. Why give priority to religion? Why not say that religion is a beauty substitute? Or better still, why describe the two as rivals? The sacred and the beautiful stand side by side; two doors that open up into a single space, and in that space, we find our home.”

Friday, April 2, 2010

Awesome Rossetti Tat

Thanks to Jen Parrish for giving me the heads-up on this gorgeous Rossetti backpiece tattoo.