Robert Ellison Imaging
Join Date: Sep 2004
Two interesting points, InesD & Josh.
I am an artist who early embraced a tradition using such contemporary (and not so contemporary)as models Jackson pollock, Alberto Giacometti, Camus, Jenet, Francis Bacon, Bukowsky, Wm. Burroughs,rimbaud, baudilair van Gogh etc.as well as the films by artists portraying similar content (such as Bergman, et al).
The concept of art as a tormented struggle in a chaotic void with no end result other than more struggle and chaos is one that it has been difficult to overcome.
I am still more drawn to literature in which perversity, dark themes, bitterness and cynicism ( Paul Theroux Don Delillo for example) are present. This for the same reasons you give Josh,( realism and unsentimentally) vs "the feel good factor").
However, as the years have passed, I find myself drawn as well to romantic themes, especially in movies (Bridges of Madison County, Sleepless in seattle, Knotting Hill).
For myself it is less about sentimentality than it is about the discovery of love between people. In a world in which love is one of the often spoken of ideals but is greatly lacking in much we encounter (business, careers, the striving for success).
Ines, having lived for extended periods in latin countries I too share your observations. This closeness is seen in no greater way than in these cultures reverence for and inclusion of the elderly in a vital sharing of life in the family. So unlike the trend in the United States to shuffle the old folks off to the nursing home, where, more often than not they end up drugged out, drooling on their shoes for the remainder of their "golden years".
The ability to find joy in simple non commercialized life is one of the benefits of poverty, especially in third world, tropical countries where the stress of climate and the relative availability of food free from the tree, or the sea, and the lessened demands of utility bills and overstuffed homes leave more time to find joy in life itself, unencumbered by possessions.
This material sickness is very overwhelming in The united States, where vastly overweight people with houses and garages overstuffed with things, find their greatest joy in the malls, buying or lusting after even more things.
The disparity, as I'm sure you have encountered, is even more apparent when these same people, from wherever they come, are seen in foreign environments as tourists.
Unfortunately, the same conspiratorial elements I spoke of earlier, (this time in the form of advertising agencies, industry etc, and, in many cases, ourselves, through the use these elements make of our talent to make their products impossible to resist) have a vested interest in luring us away from simplicity, (in the Henry David Thoreau model).
To them our only purpose for existence is to purchase their generally unnecessary products.
Unfortunately, they seem to be succeeding. The world at large is lusting after what they offer, or being torn apart by the jehaidist (?sp) or crusader mentalities who are in conflict now.
My point here, is these are only more elements in my already long list of examples of why warm human contact is so difficult.