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David Porter » Entries tagged with "art"

Unfinished Masterpieces Can Be As Compelling As the Originals

Works of art are often left incomplete through war or artists’ death. Some are finished by other people; but most are made interesting by being abandoned.   On the April 2011 publication of David Foster Wallace’s novel, The Pale King, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst wondered in Britain’s Sunday Times at the attraction of unfinished works. ‘You don’t buy a jacket with one arm, so why seek out what amounts to a creative stump or narrative doodle?’ Wallace’s book came from 200 pages left stacked on his desk when he committed suicide in 2008, intertwined with fragments from his bin. For many readers, it’s a suicide note revealing the man’s state of mind. Douglas-Fairhurst also cited Henry James’ short story The Middle Years about a novelist on his deathbed dreaming of the stories he might … Read entire article »

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Surrealism’s Enduring Contribution to 20th Century Arts

Surrealist artists, painters, poets, filmmakers and writers are no longer regarded as fringe lunatics; their work & legacy of ideas have become mainstream. According to, Surrealism is ‘a style of art and literature developed in the 20th century, stressing the subconscious or non-rational significance of imagery arrived at by the exploitation of chance effects, unexpected juxtapositions’. It is also, in a sense, a search for life’s meaning. It began, possibly, with Alfred Jarry publishing his play Ubu Roi (1896) in Paris. Its mix of absurd humour and obscenity caused mayhem. Surrealism was prominent in Europe between the world wars, growing from earlier ‘Dada’, which produced anti-art that deliberately defied reason. quotes poet and critic André Breton (1896-1966), the ‘Pope of Surrealism’, who published The Surrealist Manifesto in 1924: ‘Surrealism is … Read entire article »

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Street Art Either Vandalizes or Livens Up the Locality

  Guerilla art, graffiti, flash-mobbing, tagging, defacing buildings are judgment terms describing both the phenomena and just how high temperatures can get. Street art encompasses live, temporary performance theatre at one extreme, and semi-permanent drawings, cartoons, captions, slogans on walls, canal banks, buses and trains, at the other. It may be argued that posters on lampposts and hoardings are equally part of the total urban street environment, the street furniture that makes up what people accept as public streets. Video installations and laser projections on landmark buildings, such as the Berlin Festival of Lights 2008/2009, can also be part of what is termed contemporary street art. In the main, however, people understand it is the unapproved appearance of something that may be funny, shocking, sarcastic, clever, compelling, ugly or disfiguring, according to viewpoint … Read entire article »

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