Jy blaai in die argief vir 2009 Oktober.

by Pronk

Die Misterie….

Oktober 30, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

4 sages

Life is a mystery. A mystery so awesome that we insulate ourselves from its intensity.To numb our fear of the unknown we desensitise ourselves to the miracle of living. We perpetuate the nonchalant lie that we know who we are and what life is.

Yet behind this preposterous bluff the Mystery remains unchanging, waiting for us to remember to wonder. It is waiting in a shaft of sunlight, in the thought of death, in the intoxication of new love, in the joy of childbirth or the shock of loss.

One minute we are going about our business as if life were nothing special and the next we are face to face with profound, unfathomable breathtaking Mystery. This is both the origin and consummation of the spiritual quest.

Tim Freke and Peter Gandy, “Jesus and the Goddess”


by Pronk

Konseptuele kuns

Oktober 27, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Ek weet daar is baie mense wat wonder oor die geldigheid van hedendaagse sg konseptuele kuns, al dan nie. Ek het op hierdie baie interessante artikel van Prof Dutton afgekom in my soektog om dit meer verstaandbaar te maak…

Op-Ed Contributor
Has Conceptual Art Jumped the Shark Tank?

ART’s link with money is not new, though it does continue to generate surprises. On Friday night, Christie’s in London plans to auction another of Damien Hirst’s medicine cabinets: literally a small, sliding-glass medicine cabinet containing a few dozen bottles or tubes of standard pharmaceuticals: nasal spray, penicillin tablets, vitamins and so forth. This work is not as grand as a Hirst shark, floating eerily in a giant vat of formaldehyde, one of which sold for more than $12 million a few years ago. Still, the estimate of up to $239,000 for the medicine cabinet is impressive — rather more impressive than the work itself.

No disputing tastes, of course, if yours lean toward the aesthetic contemplation of an orderly medicine cabinet. Buy it, and you acquire a work of art by the world’s richest and — by that criterion — most successful living artist. Still, neither this piece nor Mr. Hirst’s dissected calves and embalmed horses are quite “by” the artist in a conventional sense. Mr. Hirst’s name rightfully goes on them because they were his conceptions. However, he did not reproduce any of the medicine bottles or boxes in his cabinet (in the way that Warhol actually recreated Brillo boxes), nor did he catch a shark or do the taxidermy.

In this respect, the pricey medicine cabinet belongs to a tradition of conceptual art: works we admire not for skillful hands-on execution by the artist, but for the artist’s creative concept. Mr. Hirst has a talent for coming up with concepts that capture the attention of the art market, putting him in the company of other big names who have now and again moved away from making art with their own hands: Jeff Koons, for example, who has put vacuum cleaners into Plexiglas cases and commissioned an Italian porcelain manufacturer to make a cheesy gold and white sculpture of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp. Mr. Koons need not touch the art his contractors produce; the ideas are his, and that’s enough.

Sophisticated gallery owners or curators normally respond with withering condescension to worries about the lack of craftsmanship in contemporary art. Art has moved on, I’ve heard it argued, since Victorian times, when “she’d painted every hair” was ordinary aesthetic praise. What is important today is not technical skill, but skill in playing inventively with ideas.

Since the endearingly witty Marcel Duchamp invented conceptual art 90 years ago by offering his “ready-mades” — a urinal or a snow shovel, for instance — for gallery shows, the genre has degenerated. Duchamp, an authentic artistic genius, was in 1917 making sport of the art establishment and its stuffy values. By the time we get to 2009, Mr. Hirst and Mr. Koons are the establishment.

Does this mean that conceptual art is here to stay? That is not at all certain, and it is not just auction results that are relevant to the issue. To see why works of conceptual art have an inherent investment risk, we must look back at the whole history of art, including art’s most ancient prehistory.

It is widely assumed that the earliest human art works are the stupendously skillful cave paintings of Lascaux and Chauvet, the latter perhaps 32,000 years old, along with a few small realistic sculptures of women and of animals from the same period. But artistic and decorative behavior emerged in a far more distant past. Shell necklaces that look like something you would see at a tourist resort, as well as evidence of ochre body paint, have been found from more than 100,000 years ago. But the most intriguing prehistoric artifacts are much older even than that. I have in mind the so-called Acheulian hand axes.

The earliest stone tools are choppers and blades found in Olduvai Gorge in East Africa, from 2.5 million years ago. These unadorned tools remained unchanged for thousands of centuries, until around 1.4 million years ago when Homo ergaster, Homo erectus and other human ancestral groups started doing something new and remarkable. They began shaping single, thin stone blades, sometimes rounded ovals, but often in what to our eyes are arresting symmetrical pointed leaf or teardrop forms. Acheulian hand axes (after St.-Acheul in France, a site of 19th-century finds) have been unearthed in their thousands, scattered across Asia, Europe and Africa, wherever Homo erectus roamed.

The sheer numbers of hand axes indicate a rate of manufacture beyond needs for butchering animals. Even more curious, unlike other prehistoric stone tools, hand axes often exhibit no evidence of wear on their delicate blade edges, and some are in any case too big for practical use. They are occasionally hewn from colorful stone materials (even with decoratively embedded fossils). Their symmetry, materials and above all meticulous workmanship makes them quite simply beautiful to our eyes. What were these ancient yet somehow familiar artifacts for?

The best available explanation is that they are literally the earliest known works of art — practical tools transformed into captivating aesthetic objects, contemplated both for their elegant shape and virtuoso craftsmanship. Hand axes mark an evolutionary advance in human prehistory, tools attractively fashioned to function as what Darwinians call “fitness signals” — displays like the glorious peacock’s tail, which functions to show peahens the strength and vitality of the males who display it.

Hand axes, however, were not grown, but consciously, cleverly made. They were therefore able to indicate desirable personal qualities: intelligence, fine motor control, planning ability and conscientiousness. Such skills gained for those who displayed them status and a reproductive advantage over the less capable. Across many thousands of generations this translated into both an increase in intelligence and an evolved sense that the symmetry and craftsmanship of hand axes is “beautiful.”

Aesthetically pleasing hand axes constitute an unbroken Stone-Age tradition that stretches over a million years, ending 100,000 to 150,000 years ago, about the time that their makers’ African descendants, now called Homo sapiens, started to become articulate speakers of language. These humans were probably finding new ways to amuse and amaze one another with — who knows? — jokes, dramatic storytelling, dancing or hairstyling. Alas, geological layers do not record these other, more perishable aspects of prehistoric life. For us moderns, the arts have come to depict imaginary worlds and express intense emotions with music, painting, dance and fiction.

However, one trait of the ancestral personality persists in our aesthetic cravings: the pleasure we take in admiring skilled performances. From Lascaux to the Louvre to Carnegie Hall — where now and again the Homo erectus hairs stand up on the backs of our necks — human beings have a permanent, innate taste for virtuoso displays in the arts.

We ought, then, to stop kidding ourselves that painstakingly developed artistic technique is passé, a value left over from our grandparents’ culture. Evidence is all around us. Even when we have lost contact with the social or religious ideas behind the arts of bygone civilizations, we are still able, as with the great bronzes or temples of Greece or ancient China, to respond directly to craftsmanship. The direct response to skill is what makes it possible to find beauty in many tribal arts even though we often know nothing about the beliefs of the people who created them. There is no place on earth where superlative technique in music and dance is not regarded as beautiful.

The appreciation of contemporary conceptual art, on the other hand, depends not on immediately recognizable skill, but on how the work is situated in today’s intellectual zeitgeist. That’s why looking through the history of conceptual art after Duchamp reminds me of paging through old New Yorker cartoons. Jokes about Cadillac tailfins and early fax machines were once amusing, and the same can be said of conceptual works like Piero Manzoni’s 1962 declaration that Earth was his art work, Joseph Kosuth’s 1965 “One and Three Chairs” (a chair, a photo of the chair and a definition of “chair”) or Mr. Hirst’s medicine cabinets. Future generations, no longer engaged by our art “concepts” and unable to divine any special skill or emotional expression in the work, may lose interest in it as a medium for financial speculation and relegate it to the realm of historical curiosity.

In this respect, I can’t help regarding medicine cabinets, vacuum cleaners and dead sharks as reckless investments. Somewhere out there in collectorland is the unlucky guy who will be the last one holding the vacuum cleaner, and wondering why.

But that doesn’t mean we need to worry about the future of art. There are plenty of prodigious artists at work in every medium, ready to wow us with surprising skills. And yes, now and again I walk past a jewelry shop window and stop, transfixed by a sparkling, teardrop-shaped precious stone. Our distant ancestors loved that shape, and found beauty in the skill needed to make it — even before they could put their love into words.

Denis Dutton is a professor of the philosophy of art at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the author of “The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution.”

by Pronk

Spacedog!

Oktober 25, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

spacedog

Hierdie is ‘n scraperboard illustrasie. Scraperboard is ‘n baie interessante medium.  Die board is bedek met ‘n swart, wasagtige substansie, en jy krap letterlik die illustrasie daarin uit.  Met ander woorde, dis die teenoorgestelde van ‘n potloodskets waar jy dan ‘n donker lyn op ‘n ligte agtergrond neersit. Wat natuurlik beteken dat mens so ‘n klein kognetiewe sprongetjie moet maak as jy begin teken.

Ek gebruik gewoonlik ‘n etsnaald, maar mens kan allerhande effekte verkry deur bv jou naels en so aan te gebruik. Dis ook ‘n veelsydige medium wat mens toelaat om vreeslik fyn of vreeslik ekspressief te werk. Groot sports!

by Pronk

Dankbaar!

Oktober 21, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Ek het vandag die wonderlikste nuus gekry!

My seun, Felix is 6 jaar gelede gebore met ‘n hartklep wat nie sluit nie en gevolglik ‘n ruising veroorsaak. Ons het vadag bevestiging gekry van sy pediater dat die klep nou sy werk doen en dat sy hart 100% normaal funksioneer!

by Pronk

Kaart nommer 3

Oktober 12, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Ellies

Inheems of te not, ek is bevrees met my olifante is ek eers sirkus toe. (Ek sal hulle later rehabiliteer en in die wildernis loslaat. kyk hoe goed is hulle afgerig!)

by Pronk

Kaart nommer 7

Oktober 12, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Impalas

Impalas! Hier kon ek lekker speel met allerhande pienke. En ek is mal oor4 die swart beautyspots op hulle hakskeentjies…

by Pronk

Psigodeliese Vlakhase

Oktober 12, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Toe ek navorsing gedoen het oor ons haasspesies vir my projek het ek na honderde fotos van hulle gaan kyk. Ek was verras om te sien hoe kleurvol hulle eintlik is. Mens dink altyd die wereld om jou is vaal en beige, tot jy dieper begin kyk. Die outjies wat ek hier uitbeeld is die Natal Red Rock hare en die scrub hare. Die Cape hare is blougrys en meer atleties.

Hulle koppe is gewoonlik ‘n koelerige bloubruin, hulle lywe ‘n meer neutrale kahi en dan is hulle pootjies weer ‘n warmer bruin. Mens wil-wil amper pienk daaruit haal, soos wat ek wel gedoen het. Hiehie – artistic licence.

Hulle is vir Telkaart nommer 5, Natuurlik!

by Pronk

Birdy num nums…..

Oktober 11, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Het die hele dag frantically gewerk aan hierdie outjies. Ons inheemse voëltjies is darem maar kleurvol! Klein juweeltjies wat glinster in die son. Orraait, ek weet daar is ‘n volstruis ook by! Ek het eintlik baie meer werk vir myself gemaak as wat nodig is, maar op ‘n stadium het ek so lekker begin speel. My tarentaal het so bietjie van ‘n disco/op art gevoel met sy kolle, wat dink julle?

Hulle is vir ‘n stel telkaarte vir graad R tot 3, met ‘n inheemse tema.

by Pronk

Kaput mortum…

Oktober 6, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

Ek het sopas ‘n nuwe kleur ontdek. Die naam daarvan is Kaput Mortum. Kaput beteken kop…en Mortum beteken dood…dooie kopkleur.

 Dis ‘n tipe van violet. (Pers, my gunsteling)

Dit word gemaak van mummies. Ja, die egiptiese soort wat mens in graftombes kry! Hoe absoluut cool!!!!!!!

Dis ‘n kleur wat homself baie vreemd gedra…sodra jy dit by ‘n ander kleur sit, dan sterf dit net eenvoudig.

by Pronk

St. Thomas Aquinas quote:

Oktober 4, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

I said to God, “Let me love you.”
And He replied, “Which part?”
“All of you, all of you,” I said.
“Dear,” God spoke, “you are as a mouse wanting to impregnate a tiger who is not even in heat. It is a feat way beyond your courage and strength. You would run from me if I removed my mask.”
I said to God again, “Beloved I need to love you – every aspect, every pore.”
And this time God said, “There is a hideous blemish on my body, though it is such an infinitesimal part of my Being – could you kiss that if it were revealed?”
“I will try, Lord, I will try.”
And then God said, “That blemish is all the hatred and cruelty in this world.”

Recognize, Understand, Love and Accept, then truly begin to Understand the parts of others that are just as your parts.