'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

15 July 2011

Life Reflects Art Reflects Life

What came first? The Artist or the Model? Life or Art? What should come first? The created or the creator? Cause and Effect.
Click to enlarge.
Oscar Wilde wrote “The Decay Of Lying - An Observation”, an essay in the form of a Socratic dialogue, in which Vivian and Cyril discuss an article Vivian has been writing where he defends Aestheticism and “Art for Art’s sake”. It contains four doctrines:

Art never expresses anything but itself.
All bad art comes from returning to Life and Nature, and elevating them into ideals.
Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.
Lying, the telling of beautiful untrue things, is the proper aim of Art.
Art is the proper task of life. Friedrich Nietzsche
I don't want life to imitate art. I want life to be art. Ernst Fischer
Art is the tree of life. Science is the tree of death. William Blake
From http://felixdeon.blogspot.com/
It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance... and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process. Henry James

From my novel 'Dance With The Sun' a comment on the excesses of life and art.

.........He awoke dripping perspiration and his mind was still tormented by the visions of his sleep. Sunny stumbled from the room covered in dry semen and his hair was knotted around his bloodshot face. He had staggered into hell and Hans had been to heaven. Grabbing some dry bread from the table and a glass of wine from the bottle on the floor he slumped on the couch with the others who were preparing for a new canvas. His mind was in terror of the thoughts that he had become capable of. To where had he sunk? What was the vileness that his imagination was spewing out? His soul was lost in a desert and he was drowning in his own excrement. Sunny drank several glasses of wine before he lifted his aching, tormented head. He surveyed the room, while in drunkenness he tried out several ideas in his mind. To himself he debated the possibilities. Back and forth, the options slammed unsteadily within, while the others looked on without a word. He gulped down another glass and took hold of Andreas with a sweaty hand.

"Do you want to paint me? You’re an artist and just itching to go the whole way. I could do any disgusting thing you like. I'm sick to fucking death of sweet little me. Let's do something real for God's sake. You sluts could be in it too, and the Nazi puppy dog here."

Laughing and crying at the same time once again, he raised his glass to his audience.

"Who wants to fuck me for Arts sake?"

"Don't challenge me boy, or I'll do it."

"I'm deadly serious you old drunk bastard. I want to do it - NOW! For Christ’s sake someone shove it up me and we'll make history. I want you to hurt me, and I want everyone to watch you do it. You want art. You’re going to get it. Get them over here. Get everyone. I don't care who, just get them. NOW! "

"You’re on, I accept. If you want to be degraded, I'll immortalise you. Let’s destroy false beauty and god help us to be strong. Hans, clean away that space, Georgie get on the telephone and get the Glassmaker to arrange an audience for His Drunkenness here, and Frankie I need some acid. We five are about to create my masterpiece."

Sunny began to smile at himself and when tears returned to his eyes, hysterical laughter burst forth from his wet mouth. In a fever he ran to his room where he took the photograph of Anthony from beside the bed and threw it to the floor, as he screamed at it to "Leave me alone" He took another swig from a bottle and grabbed hold of his penis stretched it in front of himself and was about to urinate across the broken glass at his feet, but he stopped and fell to the floor. Hans lifted the boy by the shoulders, away from the shattered past that the victim had washed in tears.

That night began a series of paintings that should never have seen the light of day. For three weeks Sunny accepted every humiliation that the group could think of. Drugs of any description allowed him to suffer any torturous indignity heaped upon him night after night. The Glassmaker cancelled his gatherings to be a gross and willing participant in the orgy of degradation that Sunny took on. He provided a string of subjects who were only too willing to partake of the boy’s body. Boy prostitutes buggered him, fat men with hairy stomachs wrapped his nakedness around themselves while they masturbated, women applied implements into any and all orifices they could invade on the boy's failing figure. Andreas painted feverishly without much sleep. Images were being produced where the boy became unrecognisable beneath the dark haunting layers of screams, flesh, urine, blood, faeces, ropes, chains. His appearance deteriorated as he was tortured physically, sexually and most of all mentally by the demons he had released from his own mind. That which was done to him came through others, but it was from himself that the inspiration had been drawn.

The black and evil side of human nature was exposed. Images that could excite both unadmitted lust and humiliating guilt. The viewer could allow himself to see and wallow in the most horrid corner of his or her own soul and confront it with an awareness of just what we are capable of if we allow ourselves to indulge without restraint. When there is no conscience or self-discipline we are surely to foul the earth. The strength of the horror was a height that Andreas had sought, and it was Sunny who allowed him to achieve such goals or plunge to the depths of pain in a lost world. What he did contrasted more dramatically with the period of Love and Peace than does a fired gun with a flower just bloomed.

Although they began to feel some concern, the twins were cooperative background subjects and Hans blindly obeyed any command, always being there to clean up the mess and take Sunny to bed where every evening the boy cried into his chest. Self-hatred ate away at his soul but no one could dissuade him from continuing. Andreas offered to stop but was not about to pass up such an opportunity that the victim insisted must find it's own climax. To the painter, the artist, this was truly the climax of his fetishes, the free release of his suppressed desires, the ultimate unrestrained indulgence in the passionate filth that can lurk beneath the surface of any mind, confused, sane or indifferent. It is not impossible for any of us to imagine.

One night at the end of the third week Sunny collapsed. He awoke four hours later in convulsions and a fever that immediately required a doctor. Rushed to hospital he had his stomach pumped and because of his delirium he was placed in the psychiatric ward. For a week all visitors were barred and he underwent the most severe testing. When not being counselled he slept. There were no dreams when he was unconscious and he hardly recognised anything when he was awake. Constant bouts of sobbing and vomiting purged him of almost all that was life itself. After seven days, calm descended upon the sacrifice, and he awoke the next morning to the sight of Sophie's drawn face beside his bed............


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