Ode to the Ordinary

Judging from the artists that accomplish success in our time, making Art in the 21st century can seem like a struggle to reach stardom and the status of the rich and famous. But what about the 99%, the salt of the earth, the struggling masses? There are so many wonders in the common and everyday to inspire us as artists it’s not surprising Pop is pacing the contemporary Art scene with its exultation of shared subject matter – even as the movement can be condemned for appropriating most of their imagery. But why celebrate sharing the extraordinary nature of a Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mouse, or Michael Jackson when you can immortalize the potato, the suburban lawn, the monotony of shaving? This post is an ode to those ordinary images we share extending back through time… the things we eat, the routines we follow, the people we know, the places and panoramas of nature – that unite us to artists in the past and present. Seeing the sacred in the commonplace and giving it a place of honor by making it Art is true inspiration and the challenge that faces those of us who long to glorify the mundane. It is also the test for those that want to create Art with a camera where most of the artistic process is accomplished by interpreting reality through the lens of a machine. This is why I paint fruit in a bowl or rows of trees on a hill. What better way to liberate Art and pay homage to the joy of living than through searching for the essence of the commonplace? Color and form is in everything we see. Viva the ordinary!

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