Well stated Tom.
Those in the presence of greatness and remain unaffected by it are dead.
As to why I do my work:
My art is Islamic, it has no European or American influence except for perhaps my approaches and methods of presentations, not creation, it isn't even inspired by traditional Islamic art. The work I am doing is a direct result of the monotheistic teachings of the Qur'an known as Tawheed, it is a visual representation, a transcription of the effects of studying the Attributes of Allah. In conjunction with this, my work is also based on the hadeeth literature concerning image making and the warning against it. As a matter of fact it is a specific hadeeth that made me quit all previous forms of art and when I did that, this abstract pattern came out on its own. Prior to this, I hated abstract art, due to my obsession with realism and drawing women.
Like I stated, prior to me becoming Muslim, there were these influences you seem to want me to have. They have been abandoned due to circumstances of religious injunctions which I accept and submit to. Since this is the case, I have let go of all art representative of human or animal form. As a consequence, of personal theory, I have also let go of naturalist approaches as well, while developing my theory on neo-Islamic art. As for art that doesn't represent forms of people or animals, or is not naturalist, such as abstract work, then most movements are abandoned due to their conflicting ideological stance, most of which seem to be either polytheistic/idolatrous in nature or simply atheistic (from the Islamic perspective), such as Kandinsky who, ironically, was calling to a spiritual revival but abandoned religion.
I acknowledge myself then, to be totally iconoclastic as an artist and aniconic in my work.
I'm not an artist. I am a teacher.
You said you were a teacher, not an artist. What are you a teacher of? Art?
If you are not an artist, if you do not create art, how can you expound on the necessities of an artist?
You hold nothing new. What you say has been said before. Fortunately, those before you have either become more well informed, less self-centered and hold that which has gone before them as of value.
I never claimed my approach or view was new or hasn't been said before. I understand why you felt the need to exclaim that though. You view self-assurance, self-realization and assertiveness as "self-centerdness" because you have not reached a level, nor have your students of actualizing whatever they seek to accomplish. I have heard this my whole life, and that is why all those who exclaim this point of view have nothing to show for themselves except mediocre work. They become like everyone else
Acceptance and tolerance are greater virtues than denial and rejection. It's not necessary to reject that of the past to make a difference to the future. Evolution takes place in small steps. Pushing aside that which we have become accustomed isn't the way to gain support.
What should I accept and tolerate and why? Also, I didn't deny anything, I merely rejected a collection of schools of thought and movements and works of art that are incompatible with my goals.
And this is where our goals differentiate, you are concerned about maintaining what you are accustomed to in order to gain support. I, on the other hand do not care what you or the majority are accustomed to nor do I really care for your or their support. I don't know how you imagined this statement would appeal to me.
So far, I haven't seen much of your art which would make me think differently. Perhaps you'll be able to share more and explain its purpose. In this way, I and others will learn from what you do and possibly see what your words mean.
This should have been your initial approach, instead of everything you wrote. I provided a synopsis of why I made my statement in the beginning of this response. You haven't even seen my work.
Be cautious, my friend. Being alone is dangerous, either in thought or action. Gaining support requires ideas based on facts and data, not perceptions. What you say at the moment might well be true but until you can support it with the necessary facts, you're just talking rubbish.
New thoughts, ideas and actions are the consequences of being alone, in art. If we were talking about religion, then I would agree with you totally, but we are talking about art.
Why are you concerned with gaining support? Support from who? And why do you keep saying it like it's what I need or want? What I say is true now and forever. The facts are my own work and the nature of Islamic art. What rubbish am I talking. I made one statement and you decided to step out of your element and comment on things you have no knowledge of.
I, in no way, suggested that you had no experiences or knowledge. It was your denial of their influence that I was referring to.
Yes, wherein you suggested I lack knowledge and experience as you said: "Understanding any art requires knowledge and a resistance to judge. It seems you might be lacking both."
So what were you suggesting when you decided to type and post, "It seems you might be lacking both"?
I don't have 'favourites' either. Appreciation of anything requires us to detract from personal judgement and focus on what the artist is doing and what we can learn.
....I appreciate that they exist and did what they did, do what they do, so that I can do the complete opposite. I am going against the grain, so to speak, especially given the current state of global affairs, artistically and ideologically.
You say that there is no benefit to you. Well, who cares? Certainly not the artist or me.
Is that why you responded trying to explain to me this, that and the other, and trying to subtly convince me to "accept and tolerate" and "appreciate" and pander to "gain support". I mean, come on, if you were really about what you said, why don't you accept and tolerate that we all do not operate as you or the general group does? Why don't you appreciate someone who is sure about what they are doing instead of trying to reduce them down to the general level? Why don't you accept, tolerate and appreciate that not everyone is looking for support from others?
It might concern you if you think you can make a difference without the benefit of those who have been before you.
I think this is exactly what many art movements did, the last of them being the awful Modern Art movement.
Those who reject the present or the past have no future. Only those who accept the past and work with the present can hold hope for the future.
I have a quote for you too:
"You know, I do a shitload of reading and studying and praying, and I've come to a few conclusions I want to share. People look at [artists] - what do they see? "I'm just like them." That's what they say. "I'm special. I'm different. I could be any one of them." Well guess what, you can't. You know why? Cause in reality, mediocrity is where most people live. Mediocrity is the elephant in the room. It's ubiquitous. Mediocrity in your schools. It's in your dreams. It's in your family. And those of us who know this - those of us who understand the disease of the dull - we do something about it. We do more because we have to. The deck was always stacked against us. You're either a big leaguer, or you're a slave clawing your way onto the "C" train."
- from Casino Jack, (I removed "politicians and celebrities on the TV and the newspapers, glossy magazines" and added "artists" to emphasize why I made chose this quote)
Those in the presence of greatness and remain unaffected by it are dead.
In regards greatness, are you referring to yourself?
Is that painting your idea of greatness?
What greatness is there today?
What is greatness to you, Tom?
I believe Allah is The Greatest, so if you remain unaffected by the Qur'an, then you are in fact, dead.
Or do your words only apply to your personal perspective?
@Abdushakur, you're just wanting to argue.
If I am not mistaken, all I did was post my own opinion to this thread. Then the other user went on a baseless tirade. I merely responded. That post referencing greatness was a passive-aggressive statement on what I responded with, so I asked those questions. If it wasn't, I am still going to ask those questions because that statement made no sense, especially with that painting attached to it. That painting doesn't look like greatness to me, so I want to know what he was implying.
You may be a senior member, but I have been in the field of art for 25 years and going, professionally (I am in my early 30's, that should go to show you how seriously I have been doing my work throughout my life). So, if someone wants to make generalized assumptions or statements, especially who is not an artist, as an artist, I will question and respond to them. That is the entire purpose of this forum.
If by not agreeing, you take this to mean an argument, then you really should not be on a public platform, especially not one about art.
That's a Monet. The fact that you didn't know what it is dulls your side of the argument. I'm a senior alright. 55 years in the art world producing and studying art. Without studying what came before you have nothing to build a foundation.
I never claimed that an argument was a bad thing. It's a good way to get opinions shared. Lord knows that I have expressed mine here more than a few times. You however, aren't listening to the other side. You just want to be contrary for the purpose of arguing. I will leave it there. You have lost my interest.
That's a Monet. The fact that you didn't know what it is dulls your side of the argument.
Because I didn't drop his name? I think my perception of his painting is enough to show what I think of it. Like I said, these works do not do anything for me, they don't inspire awe in me, but you would have known that if you read what I wrote.
Without studying what came before you have nothing to build a foundation.
You didn't read what I wrote, right? Also, then how would you explain the fact that I am working on art? I mean what kind of silly institutionalized thought process is this? For two senior citizens in art, you two really have some limited perspective with no vision.
You however, aren't listening to the other side. You just want to be contrary for the purpose of arguing.
Is that why I responded to everything that was stated? What are you talking about? You are assuming because I don't agree with his approach that I am merely trying to be contrary for the supposed purpose of arguing. This is a lie.
I will leave it there. You have lost my interest.
And this is proof that you are merely siding with the other user...hmm, I wonder why?
I don't drink wine. Also, this would probably lead to other artists getting upset.
Art is like politics and artists are the politicians, or, Art is like religion and the artist is the adherent believer.
So there will always be conflict. These conflicts were the propellants to art movements, reactionary responses to previous art movements. It would not be this fantasy gathering with classical music, cheese and wine, where everyone is discussing ideas freely and building together. That gathering may even break out into fist fights. Since art has the ability to arouse passion in artists and observers.
As a matter of fact, the wine may cause everyone to become rowdier quicker than in the absence of alcohol.
Take into account that artists come from all walks of life. Many come from refined upper classes, many come from the lower class, such as myself. The social dynamic would alone cause tension among artists, as it does to the rest of society since artists have not transcended above their human and social nature.
I will say this in regards to the artists renowned from the past. Their greatness lies not in their work, but in their ability to create work that was not seen before. Their work is their fingerprint. You can identify the artist by their styles much less than the content of their work, those who's content defines them, usually have derivative styles from other artists. This is what I have respect for and this is what I benefit from these artists. If there is any inspiration from them, it is not to emulate their style of art, or content or subject matter. It is to speak through my art in such a way that my voice is as recognizable and distinct as theirs is from one another.
This is the affinity I share with these artists. That we each have our own style, our own voices and movements. Those who want to be, those who aspire to be, those who dream to be, will always keep looking in from the outside, in a perpetual debate with and among themselves. How can they understand if they have no voices of their own? Merely parroting what they have been sold to believe. Their minds and visions dulled, their creative processors institutionalized and "proprietized".
This is why there is nothing produced today on the level of those before in the arts. Today, everyone wants recognition and money, and the only way to acquire this, in this culturally bankrupt society, is by pandering. It is by appealing and appeasing your audience, those patrons or gallery owners. This is where most people fall into today. They regurgitate what they are sold to believe are the standards of art. The artist is stuck in a perpetual viscous cycle, like a circus performer for his masters.
Not many artists today offer what the artists from the past had to offer. New ideas, new theories, revivals, renaissances, nothing. It is merely pandering, appeasing a politically correct perspective. I have not met an artist who aspires to achieve the level of greatness of those that came before. They do not aspire to become legendary artists, this does not pay. Van Gogh only sold one painting in his life, cut his ear of for whatever reason may be disputed, was ignored and yet today, he is heralded as one of the greats artists to date.
No one aspires for greatness out of fear of poverty, or being socially ostracized. Artists today, many of who prompt themselves out in public have no systems of beliefs which become the basis and backbone of their artistic endeavors, as was written in David Bayles and Ted Orlands book, Art & Fear:
"Other people, in other times and places, had some robust institutions to shore them up: witness the Church, the clan, ritual, tradition. It's easy to imagine that artists doubted their calling less when working in the service of God than when working in the service of self.
Not so today. Today almost no one feels shored up. Today artwork does not emerge from a secure common ground: the bison on the wall is someone else's magic. Making art now means working in the face of uncertainty; it means living with doubt and contradiction, doing something no one much cares whether you do, and for which there may be neither audience nor reward."
This seems to me, as an artist, to be the case today. Where it is much safer to stay stuck in a past, riding the coattails of another artists success.
This topic seems to be a very controversial one, since most people are stuck in a specific mind set (mainly the "how to", technique based, realism trends, or the Modern Art and contemporary art trends). I believe that every artist can produce art that is unique and one of a kind, like the fingerprint on their hand, or like a flake of snow, with a design that is unlike another. The question is, how does one begin to create art in this manner?
Returning to the quote in Art & Fear, artists need to shore themselves up, find beliefs and establish their foundations in order to begin creating. This is in spite of popular opinion, in spite of seeking others to latch onto like idols in the world of art. Famous or not.
We must look back at working in the service of The Creator of all that exists, as the prime source of the creative energy, and reevaluate what we are striving for as artists, and what it is we are trying to say.
Until we begin to return back to the One Who created all that exists, our art will remain as plagiarism of what surrounds us, ultimately trying to speak using The Creators voice, but it never works from human hands, from the artists hands, which is part of His creation.
This is why I advocate a renaissance of Islamic Art in today. It is the only form of art that is known as a pathway to God, since all the art is based solely around the Islamic concept of monotheism. But a Muslim artist must be distinguished from an Islamic artist. A Muslim artist is merely a person who is Muslim and creates art with no restrictions, be it illustration, paintings of nature, people or animals, in whatever style. These works negate what Islamic art is. On the other hand, the Islamic artist, must be Muslim in order to create Islamic art.
The known traditional art of Islam is calligraphy, geometric mathematical design and floral motifs, but it is not limited to these standards. It is my belief then, that for the non-Muslim, to achieve a level of uniqueness in their art similar to that of the Islamic artist is to apply the principle foundations of Islamic injunctions and knowledge with elaborated theory, which I will write in another post, in order to create unique art. This is not Islamic art, but it is Islamically inspired art.
Islamic art is exclusively a Muslim artistic movement. Because it is only a Muslim that adheres to Islam. Islamic art cannot be created by non-Muslims, but non-Muslims can create art on the same level following certain guidelines and regulations. If you want to become an Islamic artist, it follows that you must become Muslim, in order to reap the full benefit of creating art and living life in this manner.
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