Monday, August 27, 2012

Art, Life, and the Pendulum

The Pendulum, 39" x 60", oil on canvas, 2012. 

DJ Pauly D is famous. He made millions of dollars as a character on MTV's reality show Jersey Shore, and he makes millions as a DJ. And like most pop music, his songs have catchy beats and straight-forward lyrics: "I've partied all over the world, but not like this/ This is the night of my life, this is the night of my life..." Fun stuff, I guess.

But I don't consider DJ Pauly D to be an artist. He is a successful businessman and entertainer. His songs, like most pop songs, grab your attention immediately and are easy to understand, like the bling hanging around his neck. The music gets people to take tequila shots, bounce around, and forget about everything.

Likewise, a painting with bright colors, such as the work by Thomas Kinkade (rest in peace) is catchy on its surface and has a decorative charm. But life is not always so happy and innocent, and real art, to me, is not so simple or superficial. Real art should move people on a deeper level.  

Life is full of complexities, subtleties, ambiguities, and contradictions.  This seems to be who we are as people, as it is apparent in each of our individual personalities, and even as we try to make rational sense of the external world, it too is full of irrationalities. It is layers and levels; it is dark and disturbing, or it is bright and joyful; it is hot, or it is cold; it is high, or it is low. 

What keeps a viewer's eye on a painting is a depth of field, an inexpressible ambiguity, a suggestive subtlety, a surreal complexity. Good art should represent the depths of our souls.

The Pendulum, detail:

The Pendulum, detail:

The Pendulum, detail:

Thank you for reading about the paintings, sculptures, drawings, works in progress, reviews, Doodle of the Day, and other art by Los Angeles artist Lucas Aardvark Novak. To see older blog posts and other doodles, click HERE :)

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