Month: June 2015

DeMott House With Inordinate Amount of Prussian Blue and Grand Experiment

DeMott

2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24″

A friend of mine liked my idea of painters trading their work, in order to keep the business of art less fretful. Who better than a painter to revere the colored rectangle of another? I appreciate his time and effort, and I don’t have to feel “taken” in a world gone so wrong that for many, buying Twix Bars® in bulk poses no existential irony, yet to think about trusting oneself a subjective high opinion, followed by a purchase of a stranger’s art, is so uncomfortable as to be practically obscene. Just take a walk throughout an American home and ask the residents to point out the original art purchased without pity. You might have to climb over a pile of forgotten garage sale country crafts in the basement before stumbling upon one true expression.

Please watch this video showing my thoughts exactly, followed by a brief reaction:

Banksy in New York (in October 2013)

So Banksy made 420 dollars. Is that a problem?
That’s enough spray paint and stencils for a week, several omelets, and a warm coat at the sharing store. I don’t see the irony. I see a very lucky artist. I also see why McDonald’s and Walmart mean so much to us in our gentle insides. We peasants at the altar of the cult of art praying out the wet dreams of businessmen in Italian suits. Bishop Banksy has been made. The Pope is any millionaire ready to invest. The common man does not want a black and white original Banksy except to behave like a millionaire. Isn’t it obvious? The canvases on sale in New York that day were worth more than the art that was printed on them. Banksy knows. I know. What lovers of art and artist need to do now is stop worshiping false idols, get up off their lazy crumps, make their own art, or find what their own private wonder loves, and pray to it. David Geffen is a dirty old man. Art should never have made this toad richer. Ralph and Ricki Lauren would buy a Banksy to show their textile slaves how to work harder for less money. We need to devalue their pieces now. We must de-gentrify the crap they are over-valuing, especially the historical stuff, which is our crap, humanities’ crap. In order to make it Native American like lovers carving initials into oak, we need to congratulate the old dude who made a killing on the street back in 2013. On Sotheby’s auction day, a hundred of our most famous must sell their work on the street for a song. Mock every tuxedo they see with a $25.00 original for sale. The bubble will burst only when we stop graduating out of industrial universities more “Hey Spikes!” to tell us what we should like. Christies is hawking porch furniture to gated communities in my art market dreams of the future. Men and women artists are drinking beer along the roadside, playing cards and thinking about dinner.

A couple hundred people bothering to look at a Banksy stall, but seeing an old man artist instead. Yet he still sold six pieces that day! In the Ron Throop world of rural wonder, those sales would account as my greatest success thus far as a painter. So I want to perform a little experiment. Please join me and pass it on to all and sundry. The Internet is touted as the great equalizer. Thanks to Net Neutrality I can project my business onto the eyes of a billion people, just like Proctor and Gamble, or to be more fair, I can be like any Chinese factory mass-producing the mantle-top hourglass that Target sells in Housewares. In theory this is very true. Practical art like scented bath products sell well on Etsy and other sites. However, in America, the visual, non-practical art is shunned like measles. More people trust visual art displayed in a department store that what they discern with their own eyes on a street or Internet.

Here is my hypothesis:

Yesterday I put up for auction on Ebay a painting that is subjectively liked enough to have been posted on Hyperallergic’s Tumblr site. So according to the taste of an established New York blogazine, an original Ron Throop painting has passed into the field of “art that is worth looking at”. I have put up work on Ebay before, linked it from my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., and have never received even one bid. This is not sour grapes. For if my hypothesis becomes proven theory, it will add positively to the growing research tome of market psychology. We all buy useless stuff. However, just a teensy tiny fraction of people with extra widget purchasing power will risk art not authenticated by an institution.

Here is the auction link. It’s not an offensive painting. It’s even a bit pretty with an ambiguous twist in the title. It would look good in a bathroom and friends would ask you about it, I am certain.

Just pass it on. Play the game. I have not bought art online either, and there is some wonderful work I see every day. I don’t know why I won’t trust my own eyes, and I would like to get to the bottom of this curiosity. Today, for good karma, I will seek the purchase of work from another.

Richard Bledsoe, please suggest a painting that you can let go of for $200.00. I would like to place it on lay-away for an upcoming gift to my wife on Christmas. However, one caveat if you have not been insulted by my low offer: There will be no tit-for-tat. You are not allowed to bid on the aforementioned Ebay piece up for auction. You can contact me via Facebook message. Thank you.

There now. Let’s experiment!

Natural Resources Regroup After Humanity Stops Buggering One Another

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2015. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14″

I have been bike riding to the local library with my daughter several days this week. She to the costume design and drawing books. Me to the painters. I don’t think my research is healthy. I pick a painter that I feel my limitations could compare to, yet after skimming through a few pages, I am usually unseated from the lounge chair in awe and wonder. The 20th century moderns are all following a pattern. Most of their younger work is highly skilled in constipated rendering. Then, maybe a several year phase in abstract, mixed in with a looser expressionism. And finally, freedom and joy, perhaps even so confident as to present a colored cartoon at the salon. Some influential photographer is there to help the painter make history. Often with  another famous artist(s) beside him, both photographed in three-piece suits, smoking cigarettes.

What the majority of these celebrity painters share in common, post-van Gogh, is recognition in youth and geography. The former fueled their next painting. Encouragement (plus food and raiment) kept the painter painting, and not seeking an alternative career in furniture sales. The latter was (is) all about being in the right place at the right time, usually a big city that “makes” the artist. Which is all too human, similar to the abstract growth of institutions like religion and federal buildings. None of the established modern greats have painted in the middle of nowhere anonymously. Some lucky outsiders get recognition in very old age, or more likely after death, to the joys of posterity. But the overall pattern is this: young painter in big city winning critical praise with inspired work, getting paid in actual money or status, and enjoying self pride and encouragement unto the next studio work. It’s what I call the Bob Dylan of success as an artist paradigm. Without early Greenwich Village accolades, Bob would have packed his dufflebag and got on a Greyhound back to Hibbing. Maybe, if brave, he would have stayed in New York to work a job in the service industry, and while young, continue to search for that “big break”. Eventually, after repeated failure, he would settle in with a girl, find more secure employment, get married, go suburb, raise children, etc. However, he won New York status while very young, was fueled exponentially thereafter, and like all lifelong successful 20th century artists, was promoted. Of course Dylan worked very hard each day to create beautiful stuff shared with an earth of eager human admirers. But without initial success and popular geography, no promoter (Columbia Records) would risk the investment.

Now pride dictates to me the painter that I shun the parties and the “glittering prizes” that the Stuckists are wont to do. That is just financial failure speaking in its best cognitive dissonance accent. I will never become the tiniest fraction of success of brand Bob Dylan, who, now in his wiser old age, probably would also yearn for the wisdom of obscurity. But as a young man, Dylan was an eager, very talented, lowly prostitute working the New York streets and clubs, and not much more. The band wagon picked him up, and he couldn’t stop. Compare the Bob Dylan story to all famous 20th century painters in their more humble, varying degrees of celebrity. I would argue that the similarities are too real to ignore.

So, finally, in desperation, Throop calls out to potential star-makers of the Internet. Partake in the first auction to undermine the archaic 20th century law of financial stability for artists. Buy inspired art that cannot carry the blue-ribbon of critical praise and big city geography. Not the painting above, but a better one, here. I suggest you bid low.

Application of Minimalistic Whimsy to Wet Black Canvas, Setting Stroke Capacity at 5,000

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Acrylic on canvas board, 20 x 16″

This began as a student throw-away canvas board that my friend Dan the professor dropped off with others. My first attempt was to capture my wife’s gentle spirit in a portrait of her. Covered. Second attempt, a wild, dark three cup-of-coffee abstract. Covered again in black. Finally, the child Ronnie’s boat anchored at sea waking up to a gentle volcano. From the top of my esophagus, across the upper chest and arms, I sometimes feel the overwhelming urge to turn the apparatus inside-out and scrape back deeply to the skin—there is that much muddy mix to unload. Ah! But to paint again clean, fresh and free. To begin again. To be born again. That is the meaning of paint!

Meanwhile, another failure to behold.

The Fabric Artist

2015. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 18″

A commission! Paint any theme I like about an old friend for eight bottles of country wine. I know the berries that were picked. I feel the sweat and mosquitoes, the single torturous deer fly, the de-plinking of elderberries, burning blackberry bush thorn stabs in the fingers and thumbs… There is no doubt about it—I got the better deal.

The painting depicts a mutual friend, a famous fabric artist living in Texas. She used to be my neighbor in New York. Before that, she lived in Taos, New Mexico. And before that, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She’s back in the Lone Star state where she was born and raised. The prodigal daughter. She meditates on her demons, but like all of humanity over the age of 22, they never ever go away.

Her and the commissioner of this painting used to live together. I was very moved by their hand-to-mouth artistic lifestyle. One day I painted the following to celebrate their togetherness.

Ron Throop, "She Got On A Train in Taos" 2013. Acrylic on Panelboard, 64 X 48"

“She Got On a Train in Taos” 2013. Acrylic on panel board, 64 x 48″

They are not together anymore. This painting dry rots in my basement studio. It is a piece of their history before the love shack caved in. Who could blame either of them? They built paradise from the top down.

Henry Thoreau, the unloved bachelor of nature science, on jaded love:

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

I wish them both discovery of the permanence of love in Texas. It is the great mind regulator. Which reminds me of a quote from another Henry, a modern unloved bachelor of nihilism science:

It was the door called death which always swung open, and I saw that there was no death, nor were there any judges or executioners save in our imagining. How desperately I strove to make restitution! And I did make restitution. Full and complete. The rajah stripping himself naked. Only an ego left, but an ego puffed and swollen like a hideous toad. And then the utter insanity of it would overwhelm me. Nothing can be given or taken away; nothing has been added or subtracted; nothing increased or diminished. We stand on the same shore before the same mighty ocean. The ocean of love. There it is—in perpetuum. As much in a broken blossum, the sound of a waterfall, the swoop of a carrion bird, as in the thunderous artillery of the prophet. We move with eyes shut and ears stopped. We smash walls where doors are waiting to open at the touch; we grope for ladders, forgetting that we have wings; we pray as if God were deaf and blind, as if He were in space. No wonder the angels in our midst are unrecognizable…

Ñ. 2

“Alone Star” 2015. Acrylic on Masonite®, 13 x 20″ Sold!

Hyperallergic Is Good For Soul Show and Indifferent to Patronage, But I Love My Soul, So Thank You New York Blogazine

Hyperallergic has been posting me lately. If I had supernatural powers I would turn that New York enthusiasm into more paint and canvas. If there is a gallerist or curator out there who desires a hard-working, on time, humble-yet-talkative show painter, who has an endless yarn of tales to tell about his work, then please consider hosting an exhibition. I have posted a picture of success at opening night parties. You can use it to size my wig. Thank you.

Funnypeople

I am the laughing man with the tie.

Addendum

Here is why it is impossible for me to make money. The price list introduction for my last show:

Okay. I must disclose this.

I am a terrible failure at making money.

I can’t even barter well. In the past I have asked for olive oil, chain saw lessons, French wine—it is nigh impossible to wrestle money, or even goods, for art out of normal people of modest means. I even offered to trade a painting at my last show to anyone willing to say “Ron Throop, great painter” daily for one month to different people each time. I feel rotten pricing anything, but know that ArtRage cannot continue indefinitely to provide quality shows with food and flowers without bones thrown to administration once in a while.

Therefore I have priced these works at the cost to my wife, who supports my acrylic painting habit, with an added 40% of bones with meat still left on for ArtRage. I charge $10/hour for my time. I have eliminated my usual 30% element “X” fee added to time and cost of materials. The element “X” fee, also known as “fool’s buck”, is that portion of total cost that compensates beyond what repeated narcissistic failure can appropriate to any idiot with a free hand. Please reach into your wallets and support ArtRage. The money I make will not help my future so much as to pay a debt to my past. I know there is value to any Throop you purchase today. At 48 years of age, I have a clean bill of health and a work ethic that would make John Calvin shame-faced so much to lock his own head in the pillory. I will continue to produce like a hummingbird on speed. I will not die until Rose (my wife) has an archive that will give her a big fat bargaining chip for her next husband to salivate over. If a painting you like is out of your range, please buy a book, or ask me to jig for nickels (ArtRage will still get its cut).

Thank you.

David Hockney is Talented and Rich

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“Rosie’s Bike is Like a Blue Heaven to Ride On” 2013. Acrylic on paper, 21 x 15″

From Last Communion

Went to a painter’s site last night and remembered why I should be glad to have been a history major in college. He is a living old man who has six decades of work to view. David Hockney. Never heard of the guy until my cousin, the more knowledgeable painter in the family, referred him to me. I am a man who keeps to himself, and rarely judges the work of others. However, their personal stories thrill me. We all start at the shot of the same gun. Some, like David Hockney, end up well known and loved, having strangers from everywhere on earth watch his mid-morning interview live on YouTube.
Others, channeling what appears to be my fate as well, get neither an interview nor a living, no matter how sober (or drunk!), dedicated, and possibly interesting they and their work happen to be. The art market of unartists has no idea how to appraise art until long after all coins have been flipped, landed, and marked on the ledger.
Don’t get me wrong. This Hockney is good, having made beautiful paintings that I admire as much as anything I have ever done. Color, wow. Form, complete. Skill? Enough to say almost too much. But what is he? What is his story? As a young man inventing style, was he a Wright brother, or more like a Henry Ford? That’s where history and biography make their way into the whole art story. It is the birth of creation, the labor pains, growing pains, old age pains that interest me. Never the output, which is arbitrary, subjective, boring really, without the struggle and fire of personality. Hockney painted a chair in the 1970’s. So did a multitude of college students at the time. Probably seventy million chairs painted that decade. Was his truly in the top ten? Who says so? History tells me that he got a break. That he was in the right place at the right time. That all artists of good fortune are like colorful pebbles picked from a heavenly (or Hades) stream by a God-child. They have been “made” at an early age, and by virtue of authentication from these “higher beings” are able to study, hone, magnify their art unto themselves, for self pride is the artist’s best life weapon.
So I document my story. And if I live to be 76 years old, your children and mine will be able to access on the Internet several decade’s worth of Ron Throop work. Poor buggers won’t be able to decide for themselves if the paint was worth the mixing. That is the fate of the unknown. The reality of history. Last year some guy bought a house full of art from the sister of a dead local yokel painter. He paid a couple thousand bucks, and the following months had the work appraised by a gaggle of college degrees. A fast three million. But the artist willed to his sister that they be tossed in a dumpster. Great irony. Super story. A better one than Hockney could ever be on roller skates.
Although no one ever asks me for it, I shall give advice now to fellow artists of the dung heap. Keep at it for posterity. Find strength in the grave silence of galleries and museums. Believe, even if in pretend, that they ignore you because there is only so much time to make money by feeding us some more bland crackers of what has already been digested by the industrial art market. David Hockney maintains two residences in the high end real estate of Los Angeles and its environs. A man who feels would abdicate at least one of these thrones to make room for the life-giving ones. But his sage advice? Keep on drawing.
Bootstraps, bootstraps, bootstraps! He’s a Henry Ford for sure.