Discovering the Unknown

Because my primary world has been art, I often wonder about all of the unknown artists and true original thinkers that I/we will never know about because they have never sought the limelight and have been ignored by those who determine how to feed the public appetite. It is very apparent that the New Society consists of spoon feeding all of us the headlines of choice, the people of choice, while bombarding us with their point of view in the hopes we will sympathize with and accept this means of informing and influencing.

I see this happening in all fields and more intensely than ever. The availability of information, on one hand, gives us the feeling that we are missing nothing. We can easily find a media source to line up with what we think is our view. Is it possible to be groomed to think a certain way? Has the sophistication and science of ‘information presentation’ reduced our individual ability to know what we really think and feel? This, if true, has obvious societal implications which if done well would be almost invisible to us. This machine of dissemination would have and does control who and what we are aware of.

The other side of this feeling of ‘all knowing’ is the power of complete invisibility; keeping from our view ideas and people who are true original thinkers. This applies to all fields including art. We contend with what we see and are aware of. We never consider what has been kept from our awareness. It is there but we don’t see it so we remain just where we fit in, typically serving someone else’s point of view unconsciously. Significance in the arts and in society appears to be a few steps removed from the main flow of information and sympathetic resonance that it seeks from the individual.

Discovering the unknown matters more to me than ever. I dream of assembling these unknowns into one place, allowing points of views that I agree and don’t agree with, yet anyway. True art speaks loud and clear. It disrupts the accepted. Freedom of expression is just that; the freedom to speak, write or make without fear of retribution and for us in the arts Robert Mapplethorpe is a prime example. I find the rhetoric on the right and left on social media quite scary as the information controllers sway our emotions, seduce us into easy participation and rob us of our independence. The arts and philosophy and literature hold the best of who we are individually and as a society. Committing to that gives me hope. Making art changes the world.

 

Above in Image:

Dennis Oppenheim, Performance Piece 2000 – Interesting work and I have put the link to the site to see more.Interesting artist in my view.

http://www.dennis-oppenheim.com/

 

Wisdom House Explores a New Medium with ‘Transfourming Sorrow’

LCT Monthly

Litchfield >> Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield has a history of presenting some of the most cutting-edge and challenging programs and exhibitions. It has always welcomed men and women who value soul searching and learning in a contemplative environment. The center has traditionally had a concern for contemporary issues and has been at the forefront of experimenting with new ideas and ways to present them. Now, with “Transfourming Sorrow,” conceived by multimedia artist Kardash Onnig, Spirituality Coordinator Sister Jo-Ann Iannotti and visual artist and curator Tony Carretta have mounted one of the Center’s most compelling presentations.

“Tony and I were having a discussion,” Iannotti recalls, “and we were talking about the interplay of contemplation and art. Then he made me aware of the artist Kardash Onnig and suggested that we exhibit his work. Here at Wisdom House we try to encompass all areas — spirituality, education, the arts, and the environment. We have presented artists for many reasons — to take our programs as well as to teach them. Julia Cameron was the first art experience we had. It enabled us to bring artists together for reflection on themselves and to be part of a community as they shared ideas from her book “The Artist’s Way.” That was in 1993. We realized what a wonderful experience we could offer and so we opened the gallery.”

Carretta started out as a sculptor and eventually founded the New Arts Gallery in Litchfield in 1996. Nestled on a country road, the structure typified a wonderful weathered barn, with two floors affording the perfect space to experiment with artists and their work. The rustic setting and the creativity Carretta lent to making the space unique made the gallery the go-to spot for interesting exhibitions. During its tenure, the gallery featured some of the most innovative and avant-garde artists. One such artist with whom Carretta established a rapport was Kardash Onnig. Onnig took his work out of the realm of the object itself and created statements.

“This exhibition is an offshoot of the creativity I have always pursued,” says Carretta. “Taking nontraditional spaces and doing things with art that create a kind of synergism that you can never get in an ordinary gallery situation. With Onnig’s exhibition we hope to illustrate some new magic and correlation between space, place, and the specific art.”

It is unusual for Wisdom House to turn its 10,000 square-foot, multilevel chapel into a gallery, but this is a golden opportunity to invite the public to an exhibition that has interactive moments and many thought-provoking elements. How does taking a space not meant for art, function in the moment?

“The main installation will occupy the first level of the chapel,” explains Carretta. “We will also use the small gallery which will act as an introduction to the big room. You are walking through this narrow space, a compressed state of feeling yourself and then suddenly you enter this wide-open area. The concept is that space or place has an implication, no matter what the situation.

“There will a drum representing a heart beat and a symphony of sounds to reflect each element. Pieces of objects will be hung above, symbolizing rising above your own internal sorrow. A place like the chapel implies both retrospection and introspection. There will be the interaction of the installation and the people around you who are experiencing the moment as well.”

Lebanese born artist Kardash Onnig has made a career out of utilizing his art as a means of illustrating the futility of human conflict while presenting the possibility of resolving differences through mutual responsibility and common self-interests. He looks upon “Transfourming Sorrow” as an invitation to not only grieve, but to transform our collective sorrow.

Onnig first produced “Transfourming Sorrow” two years ago at his 11-acre property in Stanfordville, New York. That event helped commemorate Onnig’s journey from his family’s survival of the Armenian genocide to his present life in America.

“I talk about grief,” says Onnig, “because it is a big issue for many of us. How do we come out of our grief? We are all full of our own history and we seem never to want to look at the other side. How can we translate our ability to examine ourselves to understanding others?”

Onnig believes that our way of communicating is the problem because we have so many different languages and so many different interpretations of events that happen to us. He wants us to understand the universality of grief by presenting certain images.

“My own quest for universality and transcendence began in earnest in the 1960s. That’s when I came to realize that the two-dimensional, linear tools of communication such as national alphabets, books, television, and movies are counterproductive in terms of the evolution of the human species.

“This realization led me to dedicate my life to the development of a three-dimensional mode of expression that would help foster transference between two others. My abiding goals have been to help break down cultural barriers, to cross borders, to melt down that which makes our fellow human beings ‘others,’ to transform sorrow into the miracle of universal rebirth through human kinship.”

Onnig has taken the idea of universality and created a three-dimensional communication system. It is comprised of four forms that have their genesis in the principle quaternary, the ancient symbol of creation. The four in his title represents all fours — the four seasons, the four primary elements of air, earth, water and fire, and the four disciplines of art, science, philosophy and spirituality. Each one is a lifeline.

The comprehension is in the visual. To see Onnig’s work is to suddenly understand his goal to accept grief and to understand its universality. His creation takes us on a quest for the answer to dealing with our own grief and accepting that of others. We suffer the same emotions and disappointments and in that alone there is a universal commonality.

“Transfourming Sorrow,” organized and curated by Tony Carretta, opens at Wisdom House, with a reception for the artist on May 20 from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be an informal walk through the exhibition with the artist on June 3 at 3:30 p.m. The exhibition runs through July 29.

For more information call Wisdom House at 860-567-3163 or visit www.wisdomhouse.org.

By Joseph Montebello,April28,2017

Presenting Yourself

Workshop this Weekend at AOTL

Presenting Yourself, The Art of Presenting One’s Art

Saturday, April 29, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

 

Coming soon to Arts on the Lake

Presented by Tony Carretta

Artist, Gallery Owner, Dealer and author, Tony Carretta is giving this one day workshop. ‘Presenting Yourself’ will focus on critiquing each participants finished work on the basis of presentation and intent. While this workshop is a follow up to the recent ‘Invitation to a Hanging Workshop’, it is not necessary pre-requisite to this event.

How to present your work within the focus of your particular interest will be discussed in depth and actual resolutions will be explored with each participant. How to frame or present various mediums as well as how to present sculpture and 3-D work will be addressed. Each attendee should bring 1-4 pieces to the workshop to be discussed and examined as to its effectiveness and possible alternatives.

This workshop will enable each artist to participate in any public venue with more confidence and a focus on aligning your personality seamlessly with your finished works.

Register Link

Upcoming Workshop

Saturday, April 29, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Coming soon to Arts on the Lake

‘Presenting Yourself’ is a one day workshop presented by artist,author and gallery founder Tony Carretta. This workshop will focus on critiquing each participants finished work on the basis of presentation and intent. While this workshop is a follow up to the recent ‘Invitation to a Hanging Workshop’, it is not necessary pre-requisite to this event.

How to present your work within the focus of your particular interest will be discussed in depth and actual resolutions will be explored with each participant. How to frame or present various mediums as well as how to present sculpture and 3-D work will be addressed. Each attendee should bring 1-4 pieces to the workshop to be discussed and examined as to its effectiveness and possible alternatives.

This workshop will enable each artist to participate in any public venue with more confidence and a focus on aligning your personality seamlessly with your finished works.

 More information

 

 

 

The Evolution of a True Artist

PASSION drives us to

CRAFTSMANSHIP drives us to

EXPRESSION drives us to

AUTHENTICITY drives us to

SHARE with the OTHER.

 

 

Image: Andy Goldsworthy,oak leaves and hole…there are so many good works it is hard to select. I love Andy Goldsworthy. Highly Recommend Rivers and Tides
 

Finding Yourself

Being an artist seems simple enough. On the surface Being a person seems like it should be simple enough as well. I have found that what applies to art applies to everything else in most cases. In a sense life is the ultimate art. I think the exceptional artists have realized this and come to living as an artist as a seamless endeavor with all other parts of their life. They come to a place that, ‘it’s just what I do’.

‘What do you do?’ Seems to define us. ‘I do watercolors’… response-‘ No, I mean for a living.’… ‘I know, I do watercolors [or glass or metal or oil]. I make watercolors and I sell watercolors’…response- ‘Really? You mean you can make a living doing that?’ This is a stereo-typical conversation when it comes to the arts and I have always wondered why there is this wide gap between the reality and the perception. Something I have both experienced and seen is that if you want to make art your profession you will make art your profession just like any other career.

You will do the things required to make that life happen at all costs. Herein is the rub. Most love the fantasy more than the reality. Most won’t put themselves in the kind of places that make you feel naked and vulnerable but also contain the most potential opportunities. It is an ironic thing to me that in the arts we can view it as a hobby or a gratifying something. Imagine practicing medicine as a hobby or the law or any other thing that requires and fosters a dedication and passion. Art is as important as these and history has proven that. Passion evolves into sharing. Being a part of something bigger. As we develop into accomplished creators we need to know how to share what we do both socially as well as materially, in other words how to present ourselves.

There is a great line that says,’ who lights a candle then puts it under a bushel? But rather let your light so shine among the world that they may see your ‘good works’… Good works…Love that description…You have to believe that what you express through art are those very ‘good works’ and to show it to the world matters. So presenting yourself and your work well reinforces your intent and your point of focus. Who runs a race and then stops right before the finish line never to quite get there? I find those who stop at ‘isn’t creativity wonderful and that’s enough’, to be running away from something despite their fight to make this statement true. It makes them feel better.

But imagine if the artists who have created the great works of world art decided to do that. Think of all we would be robbed of culturally, personally and historically. Think about how different the world would look if artists held onto the belief that creating was enough without sharing. Being an artist is just as important as being a doctor or a lawyer or an architect or any other practice of excellence. There is a responsibility to share on some level. This is part of finding yourself. Knowing what it is you want to say and share and explore. Confidence in your art and yourself, feeling you have something to contribute to the creative field that surrounds us is knowing yourself. No apologies. No holding back. Here I am whether you like me or not.

I have always been a little cautious of the words ‘finding yourself’. It implies you have lost something. Maybe it’s more ‘emerging or allowing’ like a butterfly out of a cocoon. It’s there just let it go. No holding back anymore. I am enough. I have worthy things to say. My work matters and how I present it and myself does too. I matter as much as Warhol, VanGogh, Picasso, Rembrant. Really, you potentially do…Just imagine what might be if we really believed this about ourselves and what we might contribute, almost instinctively,  to the best of who we are as artists and people.

note: I have decided to make better use of the blog image by doing what I do well which is to identify extraordinary works of art from my point of view. These will come from all around the world and are artists that I admire and think speak powerfully. The image above is Italian sculptor Bruno Walpoth. The work is made from wood and amazing craftsmanship and aura. Do love what he does.

Upcoming Event: Transfourming Sorrow at Wisdom House

GoFundMe Campaign