The Cloud Gallery - Tony Schaefer

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The Cloud Gallery - Artist Tony Schaefer - Articles

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The Future Epoch of Art - Meaning Over Materialism.

I am not an art historian. I have not studied the depths of each art movement for its meaning, it's failures and triumphs. But I do see the collapse of art as commodity and of the artist as an icon. Without meaning…real meaning, nothing can survive. Most of what I am seeing is more like regurgitated image-making, with a frame. If you want something “blue” to go with your curtains is one thing, but to elevate dross as fine art, at the expense of content is not tenable. It’s fine to be able to look back and see well defined moments of creative exploration but to plagiarise, copy and mass produce, as some sort of intellectual statement about art itself, doesn’t serve arts True purpose. As an artist with a somewhat defined “vision” of my art's purpose, it surprises me how much utterly meaningless art I see. It’s like television. Advertisement for itself and propaganda for the greatness of the artist.

As of 2017, the art market is in a bubble, and everyone is looking for the next “good” investment. Yet for truly inspiring artwork, in whatever form, there is no money that can accord its value. And I can see that when meaning and inspiration go out the window, money MUST fill the vacuum. But surely that time is over. Money as the new god is so 2016. Art as a commodity will always be with us to some extent because if the New Art is pushing us to look within ourselves for creative inspiration how that gets translated by the artist will not always be popular or understandable. Yet when an artist, as a simple tool, expresses the Truth of their own inner guidance then everyone benefits. Because Truth IS True and nothing else is True.

So as an instrument for revealing our shared reality and the “Secret Doctrine” that isn’t really secret for anyone who wants to know, the artist should be compensated but not exalted. And the artwork should be seen. Used to replace all the plastic, cynical, fake reproductions of fake reproductions. Am I advocating burning all the crappy art? Not really, but do you want it cluttering up the place? Our public art spaces should be leading the way in what content gets to the viewing public. Not for sensationalism or for any other “ism”, we have the 6 o’clock news for that, but because the artist, guided by an internal spirit has allowed themselves to be nothing more than a brush that expresses a Greater Reality. It’s NOT religious and it’s not doctrinal. At least not in my experience.

What do we want art to DO for us?

At this point, you may argue that I have my head up my ass or that it will never happen or even that this “Greater Reality” that I speak of is too sublime, too ethereal to be portrayed in art. After all, great composers and artists of all types have been hinting at this for hundreds of years. And my response would be that because of their reaching and striving, what has been laid down now makes it easier for artist’s, in this time, to tap into and follow them. Both opening the doors to “hidden” Truths that simply await our need for them and as Kandinsky envisioned the great triangle pulls everyone forward. And that triangle gets smaller and easier to move as we decide, as a consciousness, what we want art to DO for us. If you want to get rid of some frustration go to a football game, if you want to be distracted from your problems watch the telly, if you want to find your purpose and some meaning to who you are and why you are here, then off to the art gallery!

Yet if the nature of consciousness is Singular (and I assure you it is) then the inevitable will always be True and experience of who you really are is guaranteed. If we want art, in all its forms, to express this quality then it must be demanded as we know, what we demand drives the market. Those producing artworks would need to meet this “higher” requirement in order to show in public art spaces and galleries. The money will take care of itself because money has no real meaning other than a device for exchange and if we don’t expect the artist to be a fucking rock star or some sort of idol then it becomes more about the work and getting it seen then about making money. Yet money will be made because anything that has True Value people will want to support.

The Solution Can Not be Outside the Confines of the Problem.

You may consider me a dreamer and I wouldn’t disagree. Yet if the viewer made the demand then curators and gallery directors would pass that on to the artists, thus a change in content. It would also re-invigorate the gallery establishment as a place that serves a purpose. People would attend galleries expecting to find something that, at the very least, questioned the nature of reality and perception. At it’s highest, would inspire an understanding of our relationship with all of Creation and with each other. So that once again, everyone gains and in that we all move forward together.

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