High Art? High Art? What Is It, Anyway?
Art is one of my favorite things to look at. I like to hear it too, I try to create it but this was all the stupid world allowed me to have, the gift of writing. So you get this, a gnarled, desperate scream masquerading as a “personal website” as if that were not a contradiction in terms. Art reminds me that someone is still here even when they are dead. That is why you like art, in case you were wondering why it “says something to you” even if you can’t figure it out at the moment you engage with it. My wife and I are discussing Diego Velasquez (we finished very quickly because we are very brief people, there’s a lot to do in a day) and she has noticed that he was pretty damn good at drawing the human figure.
Yet one more reason why my wife does not know how beautiful she is. What she did just now was sum up a 200 year experiment in technique, subject matter and composition by answering me when I said “Wasn’t he great at painting us?” She said next, “Wow…just wow, he really was!”
The moment she said that, Diego Velasquez’ soul said “Thank you, I have been waiting for someone to notice.” Look at that. He even said it in English so I could tell you. Diego worked really hard on that.
Art= “I love you people so much that I am going to enshrine your personage in one of my works because you fascinate me so”.
When you don’t realize this, and you give it to a king or a museum curator, you have basically put a gun to the head of your artist. Why do you think all of your heroes die, take drugs, make a mess of themselves and die early? Because you turn them into heroes, you stupid fucks. That is NOT why Diego Velasquez painted. Diego Velasquez painted because he knew he only had a finite amount of time to tell you that he loved you so. He gave you a gift called a painting to say so. He may have drawn you doing your worst. But he did it anyway.
If someone had just thanked Diego, and didn’t turn him into dust by sticking him in an art history book, Diego would have lived much longer. But no. All he is now is a curio.
It’s simple misunderstandings like this that can cause entire civilizations to spin wildly out of control. Nietzsche wrote. He wrote a lot. He basically was trying to say how amazing he thought everything was. But no one heard him, not even Ree’s wife. He died insane and on drugs, and now is known more for being associated with Hitler than for writing “Thus Spake Zarathrustra”.
I have not read it. I haven’t got the balls to try. I am content to read his buildup to it, because I love progress. I am also content to read his decline into madness, because in order to retain what’s left of my humanity the least I could do is listen to him scream. I cannot read “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, it is art of the highest order, it’s a poem from a heart that KNEW that the world had lost it’s shit, and that’s why it sounds like cosmic background radiation to us instead of “I love you”. It’s all art, but do you follow? Nietzsche wrote so hard and so well. He was like a left handed child using a soft lead to make a poem for you.
If Nietzsche were alive today to meet his fans, he would say, “I was right. You are as stupid as I thought you were. I’m going to go get drunk and talk to a horse, because the horse understands my writing more than you do. I didn’t even write it for the horse!”
History said afterward that Nietzsche was “mad”. Yes, he was. He was mad at you. Diego Velasquez has forgiven my wife today. But he still hates all of you.