"Remember the Good, the Beautiful and the True."

Having just had the honor and distinction of being reviewed disparagingly by a Boston globe critic, a man who fawns on the demoralizing, crazed, and even uneducated work of Lucien Freud, I feel compelled to remind the still healthy public and would-be artists to remember truth and beauty. A comment by the protagonist Baum on recent film "The Big Short," comes inevitably to mind. Not having the actual quote before me I paraphrase: Everything is fraudulent today. Government is fraudulent, education is fraudulent, justice is fraudulent, food is fraudulent, medicine is fraudulent and he went on to call out today's culture. All he left out was art even though we know that, at least since Picasso, art is often fraudulent today as well. When, in a crooked time like ours, John the Baptist told his contemporaries to create straight paths he was asked by a soldier and a tax collector what that meant they must do. Don't abuse your authority he said. By use of force in the former and by not collecting more than he was authorized to collect in the latter. All I am advising here to this generation of painters is that you ignore critics who don't know your trade and remember why you became painters. Remember the inspiring love and elevation you felt as you stood before Michelangelo's "Dying Captive" or Vermeer's "Girl with a Red Hat" and try, with all humility, to be a vehicle for something of similarly enduring good: the defining character of the great art of any time. Ignore the blind leaders of the blind, who follow the market-driven and egotistically puffed up with more mind-numbing puffing of their own. Look rather to the wisdom and humility of a Degas when he says: "That is my idea of a great genius, a man who finds a hand so lovely, so wonderful, so difficult to render that he will shut himself in all his life content to do nothing but indicate fingernails." Remember the Good, the Beautiful and the True.

 

 Girl with a Red Hat, Johannes Vermeer, 1665    

Girl with a Red Hat, Johannes Vermeer, 1665 

 

 Atlas Slave, Michelangelo, 1525–30

Atlas Slave, Michelangelo, 1525–30

 Study of Hands, Edgar Degas, 1860

Study of Hands, Edgar Degas, 1860