November 30, 2020

Nature Boy (KIRAC)

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KIRAC has published KIRAC Ep.20 'The Latent Potency of Rob Defares', the most explicit statement about their overall project to date. I think that they want to save the art world from itself, one collector at a time. I think that KIRAC and I share a similar desire, that art collectors are self actualized when they collect art for precisely the same reason and in the same spirit that artists make art. Making things -their collection- with vision, inspiration, imagination, risk, expression, commitment.

Right now, the elite art collector community worldwide is dominated by the idea that art is a fungible form of money. Money is a measurement of power.

Background here.

Nature Boy:

There was a boy
A very strange and enchanted boy
They say he wandered far
Very far
Over Land and Sea...

...And then one day
A magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Of Fools and Kings
This, he said to me

The greatest thing
You'll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return.

Why the segue to Nat King Cole? Love isn't the antithesis of power but it is its' best motive. Without love, life sours cynically towards suicide. Self destruction makes sense when nothing makes sense. The abandonment of the simple and innocent compass of common sense and tender feeling renders the whole world into cacophony of mere instruments, unto even all living entities, even people. When an art collection is reduced to an instrument designed only to sign power, art's true source of value is betrayed: the logarithmic value of the priceless. When art is mere decor, the immense asset of the artist/author's vision is diminished, disengaged. An art collection is a cache of vision, each element within it akin to colors squeezed onto a palette. A great collection is like a painting hewn from inspired visions. Less than this, the collection just is one of many fungible assets, expendable, neglectful of the true power of the priceless, pathetic before the desolate panorama of a pointless materialistic existence.

***

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As one of the KIRAC Collaborators, artist Tarik Sadouma ponders in Episode 20:

"How will we educate Philip?

We'll teach him that he can't be passive in life.
He must become part of what he buys.
What he spends his time on.
The fear of getting your hands dirty.
The fear of being seen with all your flaws.

But he's also stuck in the role of the spectator."

Tarik conjures for me the figure of the great Alfred Jarry. Like the famous pataphysician, Tarik's most powerful expression is himself. With his family roots in the MidEast fused with that particular Dutch characteristic of unvarnished honesty, Tarik appears to me, like a strange compound bow fused out of an oriental fractal filagree and brutal bluntness. He's fascinating, really.

It's interesting, also, to consider KIRAC's calculation that portraiture is the avenue out of the morass that was the 20th Century. I find the economy of this assessment to be quite impressive. Yes, look into the eyes. Take the risk that looms when you gaze into the soul, both of the subject and of the beholder. All portraits are self portraits, after all.

However, as portraits are being rendered, there has to be a formal answer to this grand puzzle as well. This goes to drawing, an unavoidable predicate to painting, as well as portraiture. As I watch the KIRAC catalog, I search out the painted portraits, looking for any sign that they have wrestled with this aspect.

Postscript: Of course, you could say that the grand project of an art world reformation could simply be a MacGuffin, a plot device employed to deploy the actors of KIRAC in an adventure involving colorfully rendered charming characters...

Posted by Dennis at November 30, 2020 10:09 PM

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