Here’s a photoshop project I’ve been working on for awhile today. Like?
Tag Archives: art
The amount of beautiful, interesting, and informative things I see onTumblrare equally balanced with the amount of sheer nonsense of unoriginality.
One of the best movies to come out this year was Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary by infamous street artist, Banksy, which combined two pleasures of mine: film-making and modern art.
As a former art student and reluctant and bitter film maker, I feel I’m at least somewhat qualified to examine the art world in pop culture whether or not I can hold any feint delusions that I can even begin to understand it.
It seems that art, like film, has become a bit of a trash standard. From the pretentious to the outright brazen, artists want nothing more than all of their work to be subjective. What may be repellent to one viewer should certainly be a masterpiece to someone else. But why? What is art and where should it take us? What makes good art and what makes an artist successful?
Artists in any medium tend to argue that they have something to say; some kind of convoluted, perhaps misinformed or misguided, but certainly original and organic statement to make.
But at some point the bullshit must make a timely and sincere appearance.
From Marcel Duchamp to Mister Brainwash (if he actually exists), an artist can only ride the sincerity train so far. Ultimately, the artist’s most famous work tends to be some kind of inside joke that your chronically depressed art school teacher or friend will convince you is the work of a tortured genius.
We can ride the “art imitates life” carousel all day, but the inescapable fact remains that culture and art will go infinitely hand-in-hand. And that’s the way it should be. It keeps things interesting and keeps people excited. One of the most (if not, the most) successful forms of art and expression have come to be fashion and advertising. This has absolutely influenced most modern art from street artists altering signs and billboards to pop artists playing with the stereotypes of symbolic characters like Mickey Mouse and Ronald McDonald.
And let’s not forget comic books–perhaps the most commercially successful art form that is really only lately getting the true praise it deserves.
From a beautiful song or dance to a disgusting portrayal of two girls finding several unthinkable uses for a single cup, a distinct emotional response should occur. The mystery of human response to stimulating art is probably inexplicable, but psychologists have always pained themselves over some kind of universally objective line of “normalcy.”
Certainly most art is a matter of taste–but should thinking that “the Mona Lisa is too small” or that “Marmaduke was robbed for best picture of the year” land you in a different class of art observer whose opinions shouldn’t count?
Should simply “not getting it” put you in a different league than those who lack the mental capacity TO “get it?”
I think so, but how can we know for sure. Perhaps the reason people don’t “get” certain things is because they really don’t make any logical sense…like that “Cow Tools” Far Side comic that not even artist Gary Larson can fucking explain.
There must be a reason for why we think and feel the things we do about the artistic and/or intellectual work of others. Maybe deep down we just want someone to appreciate something we created, and like us enough to perhaps somewhere down the road have some good ol’ fashioned sex.
Oh, please comment.
Hey folks! If you didn’t already know, Super Dudes Power Squad now have T-shirts and buttons for sale over at Spread Shirt.com! Featuring illustrations and artwork by Super Dudes Alex and Joe! we have multiple pages full of selections to choose from. The best part is you can choose your own color shirt right on the page! We have shirts for men and women and even a shirt for large dogs (if they’re small dogs..um…feed them more..) Buy one for yourself, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your friend, the homeless guy who pees on the local bank, your grandma (and tell her to put a bra on for christs sakes! Cover it up flopasaurus!).
AND MANY MORE!! OMGWTFE=MC²!!!!
If you order a shirt, be sure to take a pic of yourself wearing one and we’ll put it up on the site! Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org !
The First Time I Ever tried to be a stripper I had to take 2 shots of Patron and I couldn’t let go of the Pole. It was my life support system. 8 years later I STILL have to have something to hold on to onstage.
With the power of a god, I would actually fight crime all over the world… destroy large cities and figure a way for people to appreciate living off the land in its purest form. I’d be like Akira but without the gross blobby-ness.
I’ve Always Considered Myself a living cartoon.
I Can’t Stand When Motherfuckers don’t think before they speak.
When I was a Kid, I played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons… Wait, I still play Dungeons and Dragons.
If my life were a crappy romantic comedy, it would have a lot of slapstick and fart jokes.
The worst advice I ever got was, “I’d rather you be a prostitute than a Lawyer,” from my dad. Boy did I show him!
God dammit, I wish I would have used my money for good instead of evil during my stripping career.. my porn $ went to extravagant trips all over the world.
I think one of the shittiest things I’ve ever done was something that started with the letter S.
One thing you should know about me is that I love drawing women… i can’t help it. Over and Over….
(Be sure to check out Satine’s blog: http://sexfoodandcomicbooks.com)
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Have you ever been around someone with small children before? All they can talk about is how smart and adorable their spawn is. “Oh! Little Johnny just shit his pants! Isn’t that the cutest thing ever??!!” or “Oh! Little Suzy is having a tantrum in the middle of a nice restaurant! What a cuddle bug!”
Well, I’m here to let everyone with children know this one simple fact: Your children suck.
Why do I hate your kids so much, you ask? Well, I’ve prepared a full presentation complete with slides. Here we go:
1. Your Child is Not a Prodigy Simply Because It Can Draw Squiggly Lines
People with kids constantly display artwork that looks like shit, claiming their child to be the next non-bipolar Van Gogh. You know what that picture looks like to me? Like a potato with arms and legs.
“Good job, Billy; we better alert RISD admissions because you’re so fucking creative!” Now, I understand the argument that you have to encourage children or they’ll never be successful/special/decent human beings, blah blah blah. But I don’t care about what the hell your kids draw. I’m not the one who should encourage them.
From now on, if I see one more piece of artwork drawn by a kid that looks like an ass, I’m going to tell the kid exactly what it looks like. “I can’t tell what this is, you little bastard. You suck at art and life in general. Your best chances flew out the window after the third trimester.” For further examples of why your child’s artwork sucks, please see Maddox.xmission.com.
2. Everything I Want to Enjoy in Silence is Usually Ruined By a Child
Restaurants, airplane trips, bus rides, train rides, movie theaters, Yes, I said movie theaters. Just this past week I took a Super Dudes Power Road Trip to Chicago and decided to see the Sear’s Tower (or actually, the Willis Tower, if you’re that much of a douche bag).
Before you go up to the 103rd floor, you get to enjoy a brief and outdated film about how the tower was built, and random useless facts you don’t care about. Now, even if the movie was sort of lame, I still wanted to see it because I paid my money.
However, some bitch had decided to bring a baby, who:
One; will never remember doing this anyway, and two; is going to be cranky because it doesn’t understand why its ears are popping. The entire time during the movie, the baby decided to screech in a non-human banshee-style. Instead of taking the baby out of the room and not disturb everyone else like someone with common sense and some couth would do, she decides to just ignore it.
What the fuck?! I did not just spend thirteen dollars to hear your broken condom scream its head off for twenty fucking minutes. Everyone in the theater was doing the angry turnaround and still this bitch doesn’t get it. Why should I have to suffer because you decided to pop out a demon child?
Children are YOUR burden, not mine! If I wanted my dinner, plane ride, movie, etc. ruined by a screeching imbecile, I would have invited Rosie O’Donnell with me instead.
3. Children are Wild and Often Uncontrolled by Their Parents in Public
This could almost go with the tantrum spiel, but for the most part, when kids are doing this they’re not crying or upset. Have you ever been to a store or public place where there’s a kid running wild, bumping in to people, and being a general asshole while its parents look on as if to say, “What can you do?”
I’ll tell you what you can do! Smack the little fucker until it behaves! Also, as soon as the kid hurts itself, you know the parents are going to blame everyone but themselves! “I’m suing this department store for thinking I’m smart enough to discipline and watch my own children!” I ask you, who is the more retarded individual? The child, or the parent? I think it’s a two-way tie.
4. People Think That Once They Have Children, All of Society Loses Their Freedom of Speech
When you bring your kid out in public, you need to take into account the way other people live their lives and speak. Just because I’m in the vicinity of a “precocious” six-year old does not mean I’m going to limit the amount of time I say “fuck.” I should not have to change my lifestyle because you think children should be sheltered from the real world, specifically in public.
It’s my right as an American (get out the flag and start torturing terrorists!) to say whatever I damn well please. So fuck you, you fucking fuck and your fucking little bastards…damn it!
Well there you have it. That should be enough reasons for anyone to see that kids are horrible little monsters. Unfortunately, there is no real solution, besides mass serialization, that will solve the child epidemic. Stupid people will always breed stupid kids. It’s a shame, really. In the meantime, I’ll keep taking birth control pills and hope for the best!
So, instead of writing some shit no one cares about, I’m submitting a video for this amazing site that so enthusiastically asked me to contribute! Without further ado, here is a video of me cleaning the toilet in my house…
I have a few roommates and not many of them are as neat as I am. It makes me a little crazy sometimes…Oh, and I ended up painting the bathroom that day and now it looks like this:
See, wasn’t that more interesting than reading some bullshit no one cares about? Because, for sure, an up-and-coming-porn star cleaning toilets and graffiti-ing Octopuses in her bathroom is something people care about.
To discover the possibility that the work one has devoted one’s entire life to is unnecessary or even detrimental to the existence of human society may come as a dreadful shock, but it is an issue that every action filmmaker must face at some point in his or her life. Having been fascinated with action sequences in film and aspiring to replicate them throughout the entire latter portion of my teenage years, the idea that pursuing this craft is bad and perfecting it even worse in the grand scheme of the universe causes me to agonize at long stretches over the significance of the work that I aim to achieve.
With the entire collective genre of the action film shouldering the burden of countless accusations – the promotion and influencing of violence throughout the world and the desensitizing of the world’s youth to violent subject material notwithstanding – one would wonder if it would be better that action movies or movies containing violence in any shape or form were completely erased from the face of the planet.
But certainly, I tell myself, a genre that has generated such overwhelming appeal throughout the history of cinema must be good for something; a convincing argument in our defense seems constantly to be at the tip of my tongue, but it invariably dissolves as I struggle to put it to words. In my pursuit to find a justification for the existence of the action film, I have realized that trying to logically refute many of the common points of concern in regards to the genre is an exercise in futility; the negatives are there, and to ignore or falsely disprove them would be nothing more than to live in a disillusioned fantasy of self-deceit.
However, I believe that the first step towards redemption for the art of the action filmmaker is the acceptance of such commonly associated shortcomings and the understanding that they are not as universally negative as they seem. (cont.)
–Jon Truei (Honorary Super Dude!)
(TO READ THE ENTIRE FASCINATING ARTICLE BY JON TRUEI, CLICK HERE!!)
To discover the possibility that the work one has devoted one’s entire life to is unnecessary or even detrimental to the existence of human society may come as a dreadful shock, but it is an issue that every action filmmaker must face at some point in his or her life. Having been fascinated with action sequences in film and aspiring to replicate them throughout the entire latter portion of my teenage years, the idea that pursuing this craft is bad and perfecting it even worse in the grand scheme of the universe causes me to agonize at long stretches over the significance of the work that I aim to achieve. With the entire collective genre of the action film shouldering the burden of countless accusations – the promotion and influencing of violence throughout the world and the desensitizing of the world’s youth to violent subject material notwithstanding – one would wonder if it would be better that action movies or movies containing violence in any shape or form were completely erased from the face of the planet. But certainly, I tell myself, a genre that has generated such overwhelming appeal throughout the history of cinema must be good for something; a convincing argument in our defense seems constantly to be at the tip of my tongue, but it invariably dissolves as I struggle to put it to words. In my pursuit to find a justification for the existence of the action film, I have realized that trying to logically refute many of the common points of concern in regards to the genre is an exercise in futility; the negatives are there, and to ignore or falsely disprove them would be nothing more than to live in a disillusioned fantasy of self-deceit. However, I believe that the first step towards redemption for the art of the action filmmaker is the acceptance of such commonly associated shortcomings and the understanding that they are not as universally negative as they seem.
Reading Lawrence Weschler’s “Valkyries Over Iraq” was a complete nightmare for me in that it communicated effectively and in relatively few words all of the reasons why people like me should not be making movies. Throughout his essay, Weschler synthesizes interviews from various industry members involved in the production of the war films Apocalypse Now (1979) and Jarhead (2005) in order to voice his primary concern with war films as a whole: regardless of intention, even films with the most adamant anti-war messages end up presenting in their depiction of warfare and chaotic battles an almost pornographic allure from which members of the audience will invariably derive a sense of pleasure and violent inspiration. The existence of the epic battlefield setpiece is especially pivotal to this concern – cited by Weschler as the failure of such supposedly anti-war films as Apocalypse Now, with the enormous spectacle of its infamous “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter bombing referred to throughout the essay as an ironic, inspirational piece for overzealous, hot-blooded young soldiers – and the ultimate success of the unconventional Jarhead, which chooses to exclude such scenes entirely. In Weschler’s interview with Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola, Coppola is forced to admit that “to make a film that is truly antiwar, it would not be set anywhere near battlefields or theaters of war, but rather in human situations far from those” (258). The danger in this statement is that it can be extended by association to mean that making movies centered on violence without subconsciously filling onscreen violence with pornographic appeal is not possible if violence is shown in any form.
Faced with such a blindingly logical argument, even I myself, seemingly dismissed in value to the level below that of a pornographer by its words, cannot claim to be capable of completely refuting it. In trying to reconcile myself with the weight of such charges, I bring up in my mind the typical structure of many of the films that I so admire, as in concept form they do not seem to be unhealthy in the slightest. In actuality, a great number of the action films that I study so religiously follow benevolent characters with good intentions faced with situations forced upon them by malevolent circumstances beyond their control; violence resulting is merely incidental. Surely, I tell myself, the depiction of good triumphing over evil through necessary violence is not too terribly unhealthy for the average viewers eyes, but thinking more clearly into the matter, I must admit to myself that such a simple justification is a trap I cannot let myself fall into if I am to be honest with myself – regardless of the underlying themes of righteousness in such films, their highlights remain the violent spectacles that their stories seem to be in opposition to – in fact, believing in such a justification would even further solidify the arguments of Weschler who clearly discusses in his essay the problem of violent appeal in opposition to a film’s message. Taking a film like Michael Mann’s crime thriller Collateral (2004), a film following a hapless cab driver struggling to stop an assassin for hire who is forcing the driver to chauffeur him from hit to hit, into view as my case in point, anyone having seen the film would have a hard time trying to suggest that Michael Mann is trying to persuade people to drive around and commit murders, especially in light of his established reputation throughout his career for trying to represent violence as realistically as possible. However, when the film is brought up amongst its fans, the scenes undergoing the most enthusiastic discussion are almost inevitably the assassin’s calm dispatching of two muggers, or the infamously violent nightclub setpiece in which he must push through a massive crowd of dancers and armed bodyguards in order to reach a target. I, myself, must admit to skipping straight to such scenes whenever I pop the film into my DVD player, and the same could be said of many other movies I own in which cinematic action is present.
Having declared myself beaten in the face of Weschler’s words, many disturbing questions present themselves. Do films containing violent material invariably cause people to take pleasure in and desire violence in their lives? Am I doing the world a disservice by continuing to pursue the work of my passion? Does the collective action filmmaking community lack a significant justification to exist? In wrestling with the burden of such implications of my work, I turn to the advice of my friends in the stunt filmmaking industry, many of whom have already begun devoting their professional careers to the production of action films.
Art appeals to human intuition far more than to reason
–Lucy Van Atta
Amidst the countless heap of ardent opinions thrown at me following my positioning of these questions, I found a particular kinship in the words of Paul Drechsler-Martell. As a professional stunt actor and aspiring action filmmaker, the significance (or lack thereof) of the action film is an integral part of Paul’s life, and, having ruminated himself at great length on the matter in his own personal experiences, he insists that the implications of Weschler’s words are not as fatal as they may seem:
- Questioning the necessity of action films is almost like asking ‘why do people pay money to see movies that make them cry?’ What we desire the most in films is to feel; we go through different emotions like happiness, pain, fear, laughter, arousal, sadness, etc. and I think it’s silly to think that films should be made only for the positive emotions or only for certain emotions in general.
An audience will naturally tend to seek out the highest emotional point in a film; in a war film, or in any action film in general, this is very likely to be the most violent scene in the story. To say that the appeal that one derives from such violent scenes is pornographic may be true in many ways, but in accepting it as truth, one must also be willing to admit that all other emotional peaks in other genres share an almost identical pornographic appeal as well. In the same way I find myself constantly replaying the most violent scenes in certain films, I am incredibly drawn to the happiest, the most tragic, the most horrifying, the funniest, or the most romantic scenes in others. Much in the same way that I view Collateral, as I watch Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990), I find myself forwarding to the heart-rending scene in which the misshapen Edward, embracing the woman he loves in his arms, recalls the death of the loving scientist who created him, but this does not suggest in any way that I desire death and sadness in my life, just as my predilection towards the most tense scenes of Collateral has not caused me to tear up local clubs with a gun in hand. We, as filmgoers, enjoy experiencing emotional extremes in films not because these extremes define who want to be or what we want to happen in our lives, but because something about emotional extremes feels more inexplicably human to us than anything else that could be shown on the screens that we so intently study.
Doubtless, there will be a certain number of outliers amongst the public audience who seek to use cinema as a reference point justifying their own irrational behaviors; violent people seeking violent entertainment will find violent movies with which they feel they can relate, just as people who are wishing to wallow excessively in their own depression, prejudices, ideologies, etc. will seek out corresponding fiction in which they can immerse themselves.
The fact that we designate something as art means that it is art for us, but says nothing about what it is in itself for other people.
In reading Terry Tempest Williams’ “A Shark in the Mind of One Contemplating Wilderness,” I discover that Weschler’s argument hits so hard only because he limits himself to the subject of the war film; just as the idea that pornographic appeal extends to all films, the possibility of wildly unconventional interpretations and their resulting influences upon people exists within every genre of film as well. By this rationale, negative influence can be gained from any film or artistic presentation; to be able to account for every last exception would be a battle lost from the beginning. There will always be another person who thinks it is ok to be racist, uncouth, and offensive to others after watching too much Comedy Central or another teenage girl who finds herself molding herself into the image of the superficial high school divas of Mean Girls (2004), but if we are to remove an entire genre of films from the shelves, then who is to say that next week, another genre won’t be subject to extinguishing? If we are to extinguish films entirely, who is to say that music or books will be safe once people begin to blame the emotional problems of the world upon them? To erase our fantasies and our experiences of the emotional extremes that we so love would be to destroy what makes us human. Now, after carefully analyzing this thought and its implications, I find that the answers I was looking for had been waiting for me in the pages of Weschler’s essay all along. Anthony Swofford himself admits that “art should expand rather than constrict people’s moral range,” and to these words, I cannot agree more.
–Jon Truei (Honorary Super Dude!)