JONATHAN E. RADDATZ ART: “EMPHASIZING THE SYMBOLIC”

 

I had the way to approach Jonathan Raddatz Art. He’s an artist living in Quebec (Canada). Through web we had interesting ideas exchanges about art and its future (some suggestions will be the arguments for one of my next posts). Jonathan loves to paint as self-expression. His aims “are anchored in a desire to work out theological and philosophical concerns in peace and quiet, away from the mindless consumption and selfish concerns that consume us all on a daily basis”. I invite you to have a look at his artgallery in Verdun-Montreal (Quebec, Canada) and at his web GALERIE EX-NIHILO: you’ll be struck by a talented artist who tells us the power, the energy and the mystery of colors and materials. I’ve asked Jonathan Raddatz to write something about his artistic statement. He send me an articulated and profound reflection that I’m very glad to share here.    

Faith and Myth are the key operative terms that fuel my work”

 by Jonathan E. Raddatz

TOURIST BROCHURE

There is a facet of my art that can safely be qualified as ‘Expressionist Realism’ (landscapes, cityscapes from my corner or the world and so forth). This work is all about technical rigor and self-discipline. It is about taming the beast and conscientiously applying myself to duplicating what I see concretely before my eyes. When I work in this fashion, I will often carve out the lines in my motif, while stressing the surface with fire and grindstone; this is why I gravitate to wood as a surface medium for these pieces. I have a great affection for two places in particular, and these

are the primary subjects for what I like to call my moments of relative composure: My neighborhood, St-Henri, for its history, the riot of colours, because everything sags and because the light here reverberates in a very particular way; and Parry Sound, Ontario, where the Canadian Shield crashes into the Georgian Bay and where I spent many happy moments as a child. These are all places where the rhythm of the land…our land, strikes a deep spiritual chord with me. This work is largely free of intellectual baggage in the sense that the whole process exists to ‘take a holiday’ from my brain. When I paint ‘the little things’, it is usually to come up for air, to breathe life and clarity into my lungs and convey singular instants of beauty, often found in the mundane.

 TRAVELER ITINERARY

Today’s deconstructionists propose that all categories of art are arbitrary and sight is a pleasure. If this is true then art should break the rules of this most unfortunate modern convention of ‘super flat’ sensory indulgence by exploring, in pragmatic terms, the predatory nature of the senses and how these are linked to the ‘human condition’, which we might as well come right out and qualify as the ‘despotic condition’.

Now, while our pseudo-egalitarian civilization insists that all art is meaningful (the meaning being: here is someone articulating his/her existence), I argue that only art that successfully conveys its meaning – that is to say, the motive BEHIND asserting ones existence in this manner – is (in my less than humble view) – valid (or ‘true’) art, as art of this nature is, by definition, about marrying function to aesthetic in order to tap into a meaning that points beyond itself. That is why ‘true’ art is not to be confused with ‘decorative’ art. The first points beyond itself and is more akin to the workings of religion and philosophy, the other is purely functional: to please, soothe, or clutter the senses. This statement is not meant to devalue decorative art (at any rate, in art, there is always a carry-over) but rather to make a distinction between painting the subject versus painting what lies beyond the subject.

Thus, my ‘true’ artistic enterprise is not to be contained or otherwise pigeon-holed by relativist labels such as ‘abstract’ or ‘contemporary neo-symbolism’ or other such nonsensical terms that seek to rationalize that which does not seek to be experienced in a rational manner. Nor is this enterprise going to satisfy itself by becoming predictable in technique and style. I leave that to the post-Warhol stylists. The name of my game is SUBJECT MATTER.

 To quote Rothko directly: ‘there is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. We assert that subject is crucial and only that subject matter which is tragic and timeless is valid. That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.’ My abstract (or otherwise metaphorical) art is profoundly anti-rational. This is fitting since good art, like good propaganda, is precisely that because it circumvents reason completely. The only rational act I imbibe in my pieces is the act of giving them a title, which is done before the business of painting and after much contemplation in regards to the piece about to be painted.

 Faith and Myth are the key operative terms that fuel my work. Any talk of faith must abandon all pretence of objectivity, which makes art a useful vehicle to explore these questions, as art, while pretending to be a lot of things, at least does not pretend to be objective. Anything objective processed by humans ceases to be such the moment we contemplate it, and this is most likely due to our inherently dualistic nature, which is understood to be fallible in every sense of the term. Hence, notions of human depravity, faith and salvation can only be discussed subjectively while remaining objective concepts in and of themselves. Their truth permeates human existence but is often ungraspable by the temporal senses and even less so by language, with all it’s cultural bias. And so, we are left with symbols, which defy logic and transcend reason by their ability to sustain paradox; this is why my art emphasizes the symbolic. Faith is a mythical language, expressing ideas that defy scientific materialism.

Although abstract, symbols are the Rosetta Stone of faith. Through this endeavour I am sharing an irrational reality felt most keenly during the creative process. This grand realm is made of a mythical causality of numinous yet fleshy themes that fully transcend moral and scientific relativism. I’m talking here about theodicy, defilement and variants on sacrifice. This mythical causality is what Rothko refers to when he speaks of timeless tragedy as the agent that binds humans to their cause and condition. And so I ask, what is the cosmic variable responsible for this timeless tragedy?

 I am ceaselessly amazed when I encounter the increasingly pervasive, dangerously optimistic view of the human condition that is currently fashionable in the west. The kind of hype (‘yes we can!’) that utterly ignores the unprecedented level of violence and depravity played out during the course of the previous century and showing no signs of waning in the opening decade of the current one.

 Warm, fuzzy pseudo-messianic utopias of this type (history offers countless examples), require that we ignore the machinations of human history as it actually plays out. This history does not exactly reinforce the utopic view that humans can all miraculously come together in some sort of global group hug and resolve our problems by our own efforts or accord, most particularly in a degraded environment of want, where resources are dwindling while populations explode. History tells us that under these conditions, humans go to war and rip each other to pieces over the meager spoils.

 Trying to ‘Disneyfy’ this reality into something more palatable is adolescent naiveté at its worst and if it continues unchecked in our times, it will be the end of this civilization. Art’ states Bergson, ‘brings us into our own presence’, while St-Theresa of Avila said: ‘I require only that you look.’

A few words regarding titling…Titling is very relevant to my abstract/metaphorical work, they direct the viewer to the subject. If the pieces where not titled as literary essays, you might not link symbols and subject. Literary references are often present to indicate where the viewer might direct further inquiries. If you want to enjoy the art on your own terms and remain unaffected by my concerns, preserve your ignorance by ignoring my titles. If ‘getting’ the artist’s point is important to you, my titles contain messages that are unlikely to misguide of confuse.

 Regarding Materials…The primal notion of spirit being contained in matter plays a significant role in my creative process. Many ingredients of a widely varying nature go into my paintings. My choices of material are often made for technical reasons (the need for texture and so forth), however, the process is anything but superficial. Found objects, metals, melted jewelry, currency, animal and human hair, dirt, compost, brick, stone, blood, sand, insects, bones, ash… All these things and more find their way into or onto my canvas. Sometimes items are ground to a powder or burned for ash, or otherwise preserved in some recognizable form. Sometimes they are meant to be seen and form part of the motif; other times, they remain unseen but are included as a pigment base. More often than not, my choice of ingredients is directly related to the subject or a symbol pertaining to the subject.

 J.E Raddatz

http://www.galerieexnihilo.com/

LIGHT (DE)SIGNS (JAP JAP DREAMPOP)

Roberto Alborghetti “Lacer/Actions” artworks meet JAP JAP (Jasper Boer) music in a new videoclip titled “Light (de)Signs”. The clip shows six recent images about torn posters that Roberto “catched” in Amsterdam (the city where Jap Jap lives in). They are a sort of variation on a theme, in which black color gives evidence to yellow and white dyes and shapes. All the images are absolutely realistic and not manipulated, as all the other 35.000 pics collected by Roberto Alborghetti in his research about ripped ads.

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

HEALING IS AN ART… AND ART IS AN HEALING

Italy, Meeting & Workshop: “Can an artwork play a “therapeutical” function?”

 

I already posted some articles and clips about art and healing themes. And people seemed to appreciate them (and my “Lacer/actions” images too, that art critics love to define a sort of psycho-artworks). So, I want to point out an event about these arguments. “The work of the artist and his mental health” is the title of a workshop will take place in Bologna (Italy) – at Accademia di Belle Arti, Via Belle Arti 54, Department of Communication and Art Education – on February 28, 2012. The event is promoted for the presentation of Roberto Cascone ‘s book ArTherapy. Cured by contemporary art”. The workshop is divided into three parts. In the first one Roberto Cascone will present his artistic career as a result of a mixture of everyday life and psychological problems, cause of difficulty in social relationships and at the same time incentive of creativity and professional ambitions.

The artist, who is also journalist and writer, will focuses on failures and errors, and he will show entirely or partially wrong works and operations. This chronicle of the “negative” aspects has a critical function for the artist status. It is a sort of preparation for the central part of the meeting dedicated to “ArTherapy. Cured by contemporary art” book. It was published at the end of 2007 (now out of print) and  realized since 2001 with the help of Nadia Lenarduzzi, psychologist, and Monika Redin, art director.

The question that underlines this research is concerning the function of art and a reflection on the identity and role of the contemporary artist: can an artwork play a “therapeutical” function in social and politic life?

The workshop will end in early afternoon, when participants will be invited to produce artistic ideas inspired from their psychological and existential problems. Their ideas will be a gift to some artists who have not  been yet successful (if the idea will be trasformated in work, the donor will be thanked with a courtesy formula).

 Workshop and presentation of the book are organized by prof. Maurizio Giuffredi for the teachings of the Psychology of Art and History and models of art therapy, in collaboration with Association ZeroGiKappa for the social art promotion, the International Association for Art and Psychology (Bologna), the Psicoart magazine.

 For more information:

rafirstagency@gmail.com

Related post:

CLIP: ART IS A FORM OF HEALING/PILLAY-ALBORGHETTI

L’ARTE PUO’ AVERE UNA FUNZIONE “TERAPEUTICA”?

Ho già postato clips e note sull’arte come forma di cura. E tanti amici bloggers, tra i visitatori (già a quota 23.000) del mio WordPress, hanno apprezzato e commentato, sollecitati anche dalle immagini del mio progetto “Lacer/azioni”. Segnalo dunque volentieri che presso l’Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, via Belle Arti 54, Dipartimento di Comunicazione e Didattica dell’Arte, martedì 28 febbraio 2012 (ore 11 in aula lunga LSI2) è in programma uno workshop e la presentazione del volume di Roberto Cascone, “ArTherapy. Curarsi con l’arte contemporanea”. Workshop e presentazione del volume fanno parte del ciclo di incontri organizzati dal prof. Maurizio Giuffredi per gli insegnamenti di Psicologia dell’arte e Storie e modelli dell’arte terapia, in collaborazione con l’Associazione per la promozione sociale dell’arte ZeroGiKappa, l’International Association for Art and Psychology – sede di Bologna, la rivista Psicoart.

Il workshop, intitolato “Il lavoro dell’artista e la sua igiene mentale”, è articolato in tre parti. Nella prima Roberto Cascone presenterà il proprio percorso artistico, portato di un intreccio tra vita quotidiana e problemi psicologici, causa di difficoltà nelle relazioni sociali, da un lato, dall’altro stimolo di creatività ed ambizioni professionali. L’artista, che è anche giornalista e scrittore, metterà l’accento su fallimenti ed errori, mostrerà opere ed operazioni del tutto o in parte sbagliate. Questa cronaca del “negativo” ha una funzione critica e paradigmatica della condizione dell‘artista, propedeutica per parlare, nella parte centrale dell’incontro, di “ArTherapy. Curarsi con l’arte contemporanea”, libro-manuale pubblicato alla fine del 2007 (oggi esaurito), realizzato con la collaborazione fin dal 2001 della psicologa Nadia Lenarduzzi e dell’art director Monika Redin.

La domanda che sta alla base di questa ricerca riguarda la funzione dell’arte e quindi una riflessione sull’identità e sul ruolo dell’artista contemporaneo: l’opera d’arte può avere una funzione “terapeutica”, sociale e politica? Nel corso della presentazione, inoltre, si parlerà di “Trecentosessantaseigiorni“, opera dell’artista Nello Teodori ispirata all’anno bisestile, quindi verrà mostrata una breve fiction degli attori Pier Paolo Paganelli e Marco Mezzetti, che, autonomamente, hanno interpretato alcuni esercizi del libro trasformandoli in gag comiche. Il workshop si concluderà nel primo pomeriggio, quando i partecipanti saranno invitati a produrre idee artistiche a partire da propri problemi psicologico-esistenziali, con l’obiettivo, tra gli altri, di donarle ad artisti che non hanno ancora avuto successo (nel caso vengano realizzate il donatore sarà ringraziato con la formula del courtesy). L’incontro è inserito in un ciclo di eventi  a tema tra i quali la conferenza di Rebecca Luciana Russo (giovedì 23 febbraio ore 10,30-12,00 in aula magna) intitolata “VideoInsight®. Curare con l’arte contemporanea”.

Per informazioni:

rafirstagency@gmail.com

Tel. 3487231023

Related post

CLIP: ART IS A FORM OF HEALING/PILLAY-ALBORGHETTI

“AMSTERDAM MAGAZINE” FACEBOOK SITE REPORTS ABOUT ….MY ART GALLERY ALONG AMSTERDAM STREETS

Two days ago I posted “My art gallery? It’s along Amsterdam streets”. Thanks to all visitors who send me comments and “I like”! The nice new is that “Amsterdam Magazine” –  the most important monthly review of the city: I recommend you to ask for it when you’re in Amsterdam- put up a link on its Facebook page to my WordPress blog so “our readers can have a look at your beautiful pictures.” (Lea Harbo, Journalist intern at Amsterdam Magazine & Schipol Magazine). “This is cool! – is written on the post – . Italian reporter and visual artist Roberto Alborghetti recently visited Amsterdam where he captured details of torn posters and urban signs. Check out the slides”.

I thank Lea and Bieneke Van der Does (Amsterdam Magazine’s Editor in Chief) for their kind collaboration and appreciation.  

Link to Facebook and Amsterdam Magazine site:

www.facebook.com/amsterdammagazine

www.amsterdam-magazine.com

DRIPS & DROPS – THE SLIPPERY LACER/ACTIONS

Roberto Alborghetti “Lacer/actions” artworks. Images of Torn (publi)City. Soundtrack: “Brand New” by The Juice To Make It Happen. A new version of one of the most viewed “Lacer/actions” clips. The images are absolutely realistic (not manipulated or enhanced) as the other 35.000 that Roberto Alborghetti has been catched so far during his research about ripped posters and urban signs. Red, blue, yellow, green and pink colors as drips-drops gliding on days surface… Caution: slippery when wet…
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MY ART GALLERY? IT’S ALONG AMSTERDAM STREETS

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I been recently in Holland. I travelled along the country, from Brabant region to Amsterdam. I love the dutch landscapes, they’re so relaxing… I saw obviously  torn posters and other urban signs that I like to catch and to document for my “Lacer/actions” art project. It happened in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Leiden. And also along Amsterdam streets and canals I captured lot of images, absolutely realistic, as all the others 35.000 pics I collected so far.

I think the beautiful dutch city reveals itself also through ripped poster and ads you may see in hidden corners. You have only to keep up your attention and perception… I gathered interesting and capturing imageries that are really part of colors, shapes and moods of the so called “Venice of Northern Europe”.

So, here some of my artworks comin’ from my personal open air art gallery that I discovered and managed along Amsterdam streets. With a special series of other 6 images I’ve also created a videoclip – “Light (de)signs” – with the fascinating sound of Jap Jap, an Amsterdam based composer, musician, producer and performer (link below).

Roberto Alborghetti  

  

“AMSTERDAM MAGAZINE” FACEBOOK PAGE REPORTS…

LIGHT (DE)SIGNS FROM AMSTERDAM STREETS (JAP JAP DREAMPOP)

         

ACCELERATED LEARNING: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®, Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen LaBrosse, CAPM® , Co-Author

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words, “Accelerated Learning”? Perhaps you imagine a person zipping through a book at a rapid pace, soaking up every fact and concept at lightning speed. Or perhaps you think of a child genius that graduated from college at the ripe age of 12.

The fact is, the techniques of Accelerated Learning are not only for the rare few that are gifted with a special genius at birth. Accelerated Learning techniques are concepts that anyone can learn with some practice and dedication. The basic idea of Accelerated Learning is to gain the ability to make it faster, easier, and perhaps most importantly, more FUN, to learn and master new skills. There are four basic components to Accelerated Learning.

1. Awareness – Before you are aware that you don’t know something, you are unconsciously incompetent. When you gain awareness of this incompetence, you move up on the learning scale to conscious incompetence. Awareness is the first, and perhaps the most important step, to learning, because when awareness combines with purpose, the drive to learn is then established in your mind.

2. Knowledge – This is where people accumulate facts about a specific topic. Knowledge of a subject is exhibited by the ability to recall facts and to synthesize the information in the area well enough to answer test questions on the subject, and to communicate about the subject.

3. Skill – This is where people can use what they know to accomplish a specific task.

4. Mastery – This is where people can achieve consistent results with their skills. For example, think about the mastery you have achieved in driving a car. You most likely consistently produce successful results (getting to your destination) each time you drive. In his book, Outliers , Malcolm Gladwell describes the”10,000-Hour Rule” which states that the key to success and mastery in any field is to practice for approximately 10,000 hours.

While many people know that learning requires time and attention to the subject matter at hand, many people tend to forget that it is not just about how hard you study and how many terms you memorize. The key principle to Accelerated Learning is that it is a whole-mind, whole-body, and whole PERSON experience. Below are some important tips to remember to be a successful Accelerated Learner.

Feed Your Mind. It’s not always intuitive that what you put in your mouth will eventually affect your brain, but if you keep in mind the “whole-body” approach to learning, you will soon see how it is absurd to think that these two things wouldn’t be related.

The good guys in this whole body story are proteins and complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates supply the brain with a steady flow of glucose, the energy that your brain needs to function optimally. Proteins digest more slowly than carbohydrates, and improve the entry of important amino acids into the brain, which are used to synthesize neurotransmitters that are critical for clear thinking.

Refined sugar and caffeine, on the other hand, are the antagonists in the whole-body story. Your brain needs an even supply of glucose to function optimally. Both of these items make your blood sugar balance go haywire, which can affect your ability to concentrate, and can ultimately affect your mood.

Stay Curious! While you’re feeding your mind, don’t forget to feed your curiosity! One of the worst things we can do as Project Managers is to call ourselves experts. As soon as we grant ourselves “expert” status, we immediately lose the spark that keeps us learning and keeps us looking for new ways to succeed. Make an effort to look at the world with beginner’s eyes.

Move to Groove. Numerous studies are showing that even mild depression can accelerate mental decline, while excessive stress over time can lead to depression. When you exercise at least 30 minutes everyday you can keep the blues at bay. If you find yourself getting down, get up and move. The more you move, the more you’ll be in your groove.

Take a Purple Break. Just as your muscles need time to recuperate after a strenuous workout, your brain also needs rest periodically to function optimally. I learned a technique called “purple breaks” from a woman whose dad started an accelerated reading company almost 50 years ago. A purple break is a 10 to 20 minute break that you take lying down with an eye mask covering your eyes. When your eyes are in total darkness, the optic nerve has a chance to relax, which in turn relaxes the whole body. During a purple break your main job is to let go of all of the worries and stress of the day and relax.

Now when you see the words, “Accelerated Learning” what comes to mind? Hopefully the image of a healthy diet, exercise, periods of pure relaxation, all interwoven within moments of intense focus on the learning objectives of the skill that you are working to master.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder of Cheetah Learning, the author of the Cheetah Success Series, and a prolific blogger whose mission is to bring Project Management to the masses.

Cheetah Learning is a virtual company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To date, more than 30,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning techniques.

Recently honored by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI® Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.

Michelle’s articles have appeared in more than 100 publications and web sites around the world. Her monthly column, the Know How Network is carried by over 400 publications, and her monthly newsletter goes out to more than 50,000 people.

She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School’s Owner President Manager’s (OPM) program and also holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and the University of Dayton.

Check out Cheetah FAST MAGAZINE a great new quarterly magazine