Monday, September 14, 2009

Compare Videos

LaValle posted some great video’s here yesterday. In video one my ears perked up when I heard the passage “Pop art is about continuity through the 20th century, the snakey continuity of dealing with sign and symbol problems- the opposite of abstract paintings, pop art is a way of making references to the world not unambiguously but as they already exist in a pre-coated form…..a great continuum of already existing matter.” It is so nice to have a definition of what is the opposite of abstract art.
That puts some things into perspective. Lichtenstein breaks down language perceptions of pop art in the first video, he says “We use simple words, so it is understandable, you don’t have to think as much.” And, of course, if you want to hear him talk about his “expressionist cubism of cowboys and Indians” you’ll need to watch video one.

If you only have a ten minute attention span you may want to save it for video two, where he points out that pop wouldn’t exist without dada, but pop is not dada. Lichtenstein says “I don’t look at my work as anti-art or anything that is different.” He also says his work has no eroticism, that it is perfectly clean, that it has no humanity, even if the girls are crying, it's only a draftsman’s rendering; sanitized, symbolic of commercial art, sanitizing human feelings- don’t miss this video- because he tackles the big issue of subject matter. He says “… disguising the real purpose by having subject matter seems to be so important in my work, there is no reason you really need to have subject matter…people thought they needed subject matter…abstract art makes it obvious you can generate the subject beyond meaning…you could smear paint and start working, but I prefer to work from some source.”

He may tell interviewers not to believe anything he says, but if you really listen to him you can't help but feel he is revealing some ultimate truths.

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