Video explaining my new piece, Ecstatic Communion.

I did this in one shot, and just used my laptop microphone, so the sound quality is not as good as I’ve done in the past. But I cover the main points, and there are some good ones in there.

And now I want you to look at this shit:

Parody of crappy art by me, more popular than anything else I’ve ever done.

Occasionally I get somewhat dejected at the lackluster response to art when I share it. My current piece, for example, has about as many likes as the first thing I ever shared on this blog, and it’s #44 in a series. Admittedly, I’d hoped that the series would pick up some fans and following. Nope. Not at all. It might as well have been my first post.

I haven’t learned my lesson. It doesn’t help to absolutely prove to oneself that if I share deliberate crap it will be instantly much more popular than my best works. I suppose there’s an “I told you so” satisfaction in it, but it’s about as satisfying as betting on Trump winning, winning the bet, but then being saddled with him in charge. Sorry I mentioned him. I’ll try not to mention Hitler or Nazis. Oops. Just did. OK, well I won’t mention _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

So, yeah, there’s always the let down when you share a piece and everybody is like “meh”. When I finished the following piece I remember being let down by the lackluster-with-bloody-vengeance response:

Also I thought this one would be popular, but, nope:

Sometimes I think that no matter what I do, no matter how good it is, it won’t matter. The response will be the same or less than if I made a sock puppet, a unicorn, or a cruel parody of the most saccharine, superficial crap imaginable. But I suppress that thought, and have faith that sooner or later I’ll be like REO fucking Speedwagon, a band that cut record after record and nobody ever heard of them until they made their milquetoast pasture pastry on vinyl, the horribly named Hi Infidelity. I don’t aspire to make the visual equivalent of commercial, musical dreck, but these boys had formed their band in 1967 and didn’t have a hit until 1980. I’m guessing they sold out and adopted a more soft, pop formula, which, by the way, I couldn’t stand. Sorry Speedwagon fans. But the point is, these guys kept going long after other and better bands threw in the towel, and then they sold over 40,000,000 records. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t detest them so much that when their songs came on the radio I didn’t sprint to switch the station. It just means you gotta’ keep plugging away.

I get over the post-dud malaise pretty quick, though. It’s my standard mode. I complete a piece. I share it. I hear crickets. I start on another one. I just keep going. It kinda’ pushes me.

But now I’m coming down the home stretch perhaps. I’m doing art on borrowed time and attenuating funds, and may need to go back to teaching full-time in some months. I’ll try to hit a few out of the park before then, round out this series at about 50 images, but I almost look forward to giving up for a while. If I knew how little response I would get for the art I’ve created over the last three years, I don’t know if I’d have had the will to keep on making it. It would have been hopeless, whereas when you don’t know what will happen you can always entertain hope.

And all of that kinda’ pisses me off, which gives me impetus to make more work, with a little bit more outrage tucked in the seems.

Anyway, my last piece is pretty hot, and the video explains why.

#44, Ecstatic Communion

Never give up (because if REO Speedwagon could make it, anything’s possible).

Cheers,

Eric

 

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7 thoughts on “Video explaining my new piece, Ecstatic Communion.

  1. Eric.
    I think my favorite part are the shapes in red and blue at the top of the figure on the right. I also like the lizard. The figure on the left looks like Homer Simpson after a year on krokodil.

    You can work a job and paint as well. I know it’s nice to be able to devote all of your time to art but for a lot of us it’s not possible. I’ve been doing it for 25 years and have had time to do well over 1000 paintings I consider pretty good. The hard part is doing a job that you don’t care about because you’d rather be painting.

    I do think your right about the fact that no one would care any more if you did what you consider your master piece than one you think is just ok. Most people don’t understand what makes a great painting. Most of the average people don’t even care about art at all. If they do they usually like Monet or maybe Van Gogh. I guess that’s the extent of their art knowledge. But if your an artist you know that it is a lot harder to do a great original painting today than it was just 100 years ago. With millions of paintings being done every year how do people say that one painting is better than the others when they all seem pretty similar? I think that’s why it is important to just paint for yourself, stick to your vision and if no one ever sees what you see you need to be ok with it. And heck your approaching half a million blog hits. I have about 5 or 6 total likes(I’ve lost count)for my paintings I’ve put on instagram.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Matt:

      Instagram kinda’ died just after I got on it. First they changed their algorithms to favor the already super popular stuff, in which case if you are new to Instagram, you’re at an extreme disadvantage. Then they hit me with adds. I get an add every 6-7 posts by actual people, so I have to slog through a ton of advertising just to keep up with my feed, so I don’t even do that. Basically, for the average person to succeed on Instagram it’s all “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. You just like a bunch of other peoples shit so they’ll reciprocate and that’s it. But that makes the likes meaningless, because they are 90% tit-for-tat.

      You know about Krokodil? Yikes! Someone mentioned it at a school where I was working, and then I looked it up on Youtube. The videos are about the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen. I’m still scarred by it. There’s one video with a girl who lost an eye and part of her flesh on her head. She looks like a zombie. Utterly horrific and depressing. You seem to like the rough areas of the image. I’m pretty sure with this image people are going to like different things because it combines a lot of styles/techniques.

      Anyway, “Homer Simpson after two years of Krokodil”. Damn! I can see why you say that, though, and I don’t mind there being just a kiss of that, but it was certainly not my intent.

      I’m not even saying what it’s really about because I’m throwing stuff in there I wouldn’t say out loud.

      When it comes to working a job, living overseas my job options are pretty much teaching English, and this means lesson planning and doing a lot of other work in my free time to make my classes interesting and dynamic. It’s a job you take home. It’s not like working an office job and then clocking out. You have homework and lots of it, unless you are a shitty teacher. But I have a sense of responsibility to students, and also performance pressure, so you can be well sure I’m going to do a lot of preparation and try to make each lesson quality. I’ve taught English overseas for about a decade, and I have never succeeded at doing much art while that is my job. If I have to do it I’ll deal with it as best I can, but I don’t relish it.

      The blog hits are mostly for art criticism. There are about a dozen articles that are constantly being circulated. YouTube may be a better platform for art criticism because there’s so little out there. The one Hirst video I made got around 10,000 views last I checked. But I get nothing out of it.

      There’s making art only for yourself, and I agree with you personally that making art has to be its own reward, but I also see other people having art careers, and considering how cheaply I can live out here in SE Asia (I could easily live on 12,000 a year, but could manage on 5 to 6 thousand), I’d only have to be successful at all to be able to survive.

      If one doesn’t try to make it, one most assuredly will not. By the way, do you know of a better artist’s blog out there anywhere, by any artist, no matter how famous?

      I think I’m good enough that I should be able to make enough money to be dirt poor in America, which is enough to live a modest if happy life out here. I’ve been really lax on self-promo, because I hate it. But I think I can figure out a way to make some money if I really try. I get some donations and $63 a month in my Patreon account. Not much, but before I set up the Patreon account, I obviously got nothing there, and that $63 makes a big difference for me.

      I believe I will make it, and it’s just a matter of time, but only if I keep working and keep trying. I have things up my sleeve, and I’m pretty clever about my pranks and whatnot. My fake Basquiat has been getting a lot of hits lately, and for some reason where I shared it in the comments section of a Guardian article on Basquiat’s latest sale, they permanently bumped my comment up to the top, probably realizing my link was a prank, and I guess liking it.

      My Jeff Koons fake painting is still #1 in Google searches for “Jeff Koons painting”. This hasn’t paid off, but it’s quite an accomplishment. People appear to prefer my Koons painting over his painting ouvre, and he’s last I checked the richest artist in the world (Hirst might have taken over). So, can I out do the richest artist in the world and be able to make table scraps? Is it possible? It should be. I think I have enough ingenuity and tricks up my sleeve to make the effort, and if I’m going to fail, I want to fall on my face exhausted, knowing I gave it my best.

      Like

    2. Hi Matt:

      Instagram kinda’ died just after I got on it. First they changed their algorithms to favor the already super popular stuff, in which case if you are new to Instagram, you’re at an extreme disadvantage. Then they hit me with adds. I get an add every 6-7 posts by actual people, so I have to slog through a ton of advertising just to keep up with my feed, so I don’t even do that. Basically, for the average person to succeed on Instagram it’s all “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. You just like a bunch of other peoples shit so they’ll reciprocate and that’s it. But that makes the likes meaningless, because they are 90% tit-for-tat.

      You know about Krokodil? Yikes! Someone mentioned it at a school where I was working, and then I looked it up on Youtube. The videos are about the most depressing thing I’ve ever seen. I’m still scarred by it. There’s one video with a girl who lost an eye and part of her flesh on her head. She looks like a zombie. Utterly horrific and depressing. You seem to like the rough areas of the image. I’m pretty sure with this image people are going to like different things because it combines a lot of styles/techniques.

      Anyway, “Homer Simpson after two years of Krokodil”. Damn! I can see why you say that, though, and I don’t mind there being just a kiss of that, but it was certainly not my intent.

      When it comes to working a job, living overseas my job options are pretty much teaching English, and this means lesson planning and doing a lot of other work in my free time to make my classes interesting and dynamic. It’s a job you take home. It’s not like working an office job and then clocking out. You have homework and lots of it, unless you are a shitty teacher. But I have a sense of responsibility to students, and also performance pressure, so you can be well sure I’m going to do a lot of preparation and try to make each lesson quality. I’ve taught English overseas for about a decade, and I have never succeeded at doing much art while that is my job. If I have to do it I’ll deal with it as best I can, but I don’t relish it.

      The blog hits are mostly for art criticism. There are about a dozen articles that are constantly being circulated. YouTube may be a better platform for art criticism because there’s so little out there. The one Hirst video I made got around 10,000 views last I checked. But I get nothing out of it.

      There’s making art only for yourself, and I agree with you personally that making art has to be its own reward, but I also see other people having art careers, and considering how cheaply I can live out here in SE Asia (I could easily live on 12,000 a year, but could manage on 5 to 6 thousand), I’d only have to be successful at all to be able to survive.

      If one doesn’t try to make it, one most assuredly will not. By the way, do you know of a better artist’s blog out there anywhere, by any artist, no matter how famous?

      I think I’m good enough that I should be able to make enough money to be dirt poor in America, which is enough to live a modest if happy life out here. I’ve been really lax on self-promo, because I hate it. But I think I can figure out a way to make some money if I really try. I get some donations and $63 a month in my Patreon account. Not much, but before I set up the Patreon account, I obviously got nothing there, and that $63 makes a big difference for me.

      I believe I will make it, and it’s just a matter of time, but only if I keep working and keep trying. I have things up my sleeve, and I’m pretty clever about my pranks and whatnot. My fake Basquiat has been getting a lot of hits lately, and for some reason where I shared it in the comments section of a Guardian article on Basquiat’s latest sale, they permanently bumped my comment up to the top, probably realizing my link was a prank, and I guess liking it.

      My Jeff Koons fake painting is still #1 in Google searches for “Jeff Koons painting”. This hasn’t paid off, but it’s quite an accomplishment. People appear to prefer my Koons painting over his painting ouvre, and he’s last I checked the richest artist in the world (Hirst might have taken over). So, can I out do the richest artist in the world and be able to make table scraps? Is it possible? It should be. I think I have enough ingenuity and tricks up my sleeve to make the effort, and if I’m going to fail, I want to fall on my face exhausted, knowing I gave it my best. It’s not enough for me to make art in my spare time after work, and to get no recognition and no money, meanwhile other artists can and do support themselves.

      Like

  2. Eric,
    Ya Krokodil looks terrible, I don’t think that’s going to catch on too big.

    Without a doubt your art blog is by far the best I’ve read. It’s not even close. At this point it’s the only one I read every time you post something. I learn more from you about art and other stuff than I did from most of my professors. I took art at the university of Minnesota in the early 90s. It wasn’t like your experience in so cal. I was never made to feel like my work would never be important because I was a white male. I don’t think that concept had made its way to the Midwest yet. I did have a couple good professors but none that got me to really look deep inside myself to express myself. They taught the basics, and didn’t wade into the deep end too much. I always look forward to your posts to learn something that’s not just skimming the surface.

    I really hope you can make it work. In my opinion your art is every bit as good as your criticism. Some of them are exceptionally great and some are just ok. That’s how it is with art though. If your really trying to keep changing and getting out of your comfort zone you will have some disasters. I used to do about one good one for every ten bad ones. That was a hard period for me that lasted a couple years. I even stopped painting for a year. Then I went back after a long break and was able to see I was on the right track but was just too frustrated at the time to realize it. Now I do about one bad one every 4 paintings. Maybe I’m too comfortable now?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, some experiments go awry. And also I think of a baseball analogy, which is that sometimes you have to load the bases before trying to slug one out of the park. Or, for boxing, every punch can’t be a hay-maker. But, I tend not to finish the ones that are going too badly, and if I share it, for me it’s got something good about it. There are a handful that I think are just OK, but, those are NOT the same ones others disregard, and some of other people’s favorite works by me are among my least favorite. That kind of pleases me because it makes me feel better about pieces I’m not so fond of. A lot is taste and for another analogy, frequency. Some works will resonate with some people and not with others.

      There’s one that you liked in particular which nobody else commented on and got few likes. Why? Well, it was more non-representational and more something someone would like who is really attuned to subtle permutations in painted surfaces, positive and negative space, and things like that. Some people are put off by my aliens as a category, full stop. Others don’t like when religious sorts of imagery creep in (though that’s usually via art history rather than religion). Hey, on that last bit, I was thinking today that Western art, much of which was religious for a very long time, was not mysterious because of religion, but rather art lent religion mystery. You can take away the religion and the art can still have the same sort of religious mystery about it, as so much of it was conjured artistically in the first place (ex., in Christianity the cathedrals, sculptures, music, and paintings).

      What’s your Instagram name?

      Like

  3. I thought you hit upon something when you wrote that post, “Dark Art for Smart People” , and lately, I’ve been thinking of that title, and so I think there is another niche out there for you, possibly, “Unconventional Art for Uncommon People” because you are not the run-of-the-mill artist and when you’re different it’s not always easy to be appreciated. I totally understand. That being said, this is one of my favorites up to date. I know you get into your B/W moods, but I sure love what you do with color.

    Liked by 1 person

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