THE REAL DEAL: ARTIST BROTHER ANDY CREATES MASTERPIECE OUT OF 'NOTHING'
Controversial multi-media Intriguism artist, Brother Andy, 59, is proud to announce the completion of a masterful one-hundred-percent conceptual art work, entitled "The Invisibles". The large-scale "high concept grouping of ideas" by the prolific Palm Springs resident is invisible to the naked eye of most people due to the work's lack of physical properties, yet is recognizable to many who are even marginally educated in the arts who know what to look for in order to acknowledge “progressive” and provocative creations and understand their value.
"This is grander than what I imagined in the beginning," declares the artist with a sigh. "To gather it all together, learn it, make it cohesive, make it applicable -- then give it all away -- is not only like having to send your beloved baby to an orphanage, it's like having an unruly audience during the conception."
He goes on to explain:"A large amount of artists, past and present, have tended to make objects in traditional materials that are representational metaphors of self-expression (even if fictionalized) -- mostly decorative items made for people to passively look at second-hand, after-the-fact, which reflect some sort of widely-accepted cultural narrative. Art, overall, tells the culture what it already knows in a symbolic language which is familiar to the people who encounter art on a regular basis, even if the language of the work is labeled as gibberish and is commonly accepted as such, audiences grow accustomed to seeing the 'creative' languages in variation. There is a film language, a dance language, and so forth..."
"Artists dictate a particular world-view through media formats for an audience predisposed to be receptive to a presentation of that media in a cycle which mirrors each of the diverse participants within the cycle of concept, creation, exhibition, experience, conclusion, worth, concept, and so on. There are reoccurring themes and methods and technologies involved in the process. Creative status quo (an oxymoron) soothes the ills of the day on a range of levels of the culture's socio-financial strata: from the bottom (the poor) up and the top (wealthy) down. The rich and the poor have time for making and buying art and the art substitutes for a short-hand of common knowledge and group think. Everyone else in the culture is otherwise busy with immediate living matters more urgent than contemplating 'thoughts' (I.e. 'Survival mode')."
"Once the artist has completed a work or body of work (i.e. deemed suitable for the presentation phase) and put before the public, the viewer must then see the work in a venue such as a gallery or museum or on the side of a bus for the work to be considered 'serious'. A value is subsequently placed upon the artist's work by any viewer encountering the work, even in passing ('I wouldn't put that above my couch'), by using unfounded criteria based upon the viewers' own biased belief systems, with conclusions similar to when scientific research is manufactured with results altered to suit pressuring cultural influences instead of reporting facts without given judgment. Art is no place for rationale because it is based on irrational notions. Art is widely referred to as 'subjective' -- as a personal point of view, an 'unexplainable feeling', while countering originality and homogenizing diversity simultaneously. Alleged authorities on art matters, such as gallery owners, collectors, buyers, and curators and a whole lot of others disperse managed media information to reinforce their own agendas, heighten their own importance, create demand to increase the art's dollar value (as well as the artist's social standing) -- to outline to the general population what is 'good and bad' concerning art as they see it. This is referred to by sociologists as 'Social Proof'."
"Ultimately, the culture only knows what it is taught along the cycle which results in an 'art language' storyline built like a house of cards. The art world interchanges opinionated editorializing with context, perspective and factual knowledge."
"My current work is entirely a first-person mental activity, liberated of space and time and matter, and therefore, becomes universal, accessible and incorruptible -- and only a visceral personal practice -- while still possibly elitist by excluding those who are unable to obtain information regarding the work specifically and/or about art history in general in order for the work to become pertinent. You needn't a handy authority for a viewer to know what it is they are seeing when they witness 'The Invisibles' and whether they like it or not. They instinctually know."
"The body of work just is like any other phenomenon of nature. The only requirement -- a general criteria of art -- is that the viewer have rudimentary cognition (they know they are conscious, assume a 'reality' and know of the work from a source) and, most importantly, I say that it is art," reports the Contemporary artist while staring off into the sky.
"There are no cryptic guideposts to distract the viewer from the core idea. Any thought or fantasy may be entertained, as good non-figurative Abstract art strives for but ultimately fails at by confinement as a literal object -- they are finite materials with narrow meaning attached. Yet, 'The Invisibles' work maintains a complex derivative post-modern narrative (Twentieth Century idealism that art can be anything and anyone can make it) representing the whole of all possible manifestations, beyond the physical, which is more majestic and more subtle than a mere painting or sculpture which rely on recognizable themes or methods to make their point. And isn‘t art supposed to be ‘sacred‘?"
"The Brother Andy art form of choice is neither new or different and it is instantly recognizable once established with a label. It may, in fact, now be able to be recognized as the oldest art form, perhaps preceding the development of known physical methods of translations of creativity such as Early Man's cave paintings. It may also be fair to say it has taken mankind's development until recently in which to have the mental capabilities and psychological/sociological tools to comprehend what has been there (but invisible) all the while -- much like Freud uncovering the principles of the unconscious mind or the discovery of x-rays within context to their specific time-frame of human history."
"All physical manifestations of man's creativity begin with Conceptualization, which is, as stated, invisible to the eye, even if the results of those thoughts are seemingly brought about through spontaneity. No other steps are necessary beyond the initial thought in the case of 'The Invisibles', other than 'to know', although most artists appear compelled to keep crafting objects which resemble the same thought, language and process repeatedly for a lifetime and most viewers appear insistent to want something tangible to possess, something they are familiar with before they have actually seen it, even though they do generally know what it is going to be before experiencing it in person. An example: A Japanese watercolorist typically paints watercolor images of subjects known in Japan -- koi fish, pagodas, dragons, geishas, Samurai, bonsai, ocean waves, ribbons. People want to know what a movie or a book is about before they invest their time. A sexual fantasy, a daydream, a desire, a memory, wondering, an inner voice are the tools of my trade. Da Vinci knew the power of the invisible. We (in Western culture), on the other hand, collectively try to teach children to crayon inside the lines of a manufactured image every day and feel it is important to do so."
In the case of Brother Andy's work, intent (as a learned behavior) is the result and the process stops at that point. The finale is full visualization without physical representation.
"The rest is just showing off," he says smugly. "Or as I have concluded: physical art objects are a sure sign of creative insecurity and self-doubt, reinforced by eons of ignorance and greed."
"The subject matter of 'The Invisibles' is itself, as in Found Objects. The creation process is in the discovery and recognition, understanding and appreciation, of what goes into bringing the work into fruition and the properties (or lack thereof) of the work -- what is included and what is excluded.
In actuality, 'The Invisibles' work requires enormous amounts of effort on the part of the artist/creator and viewer/participant. The work is pro-active and interactive beginning the instance a person is made aware of the work. Participation is harder than one might suspect. Like the mental exercise of trying to NOT think of an elephant -- only in opposite -- and this is not an amusing parlor game."
"The work is theoretically accessible to everyone because the work is partly performance (specifically on the part of the spectator, more so than the artist who created it or the selected venue or media formats in which it is described) as choices are left entirely to whomever wishes to participate at any given moment to sustain their vision of what they find. Or a viewer may choose to not participate with an unwillingness to acknowledge or appreciate the work (and by choosing so, have participated in spite of the choice -- as a predicted possible reaction intended by the artist), as a form of conscious decision-making based on visceral impulses and cultural influence mentioned prior."
AMBIVALANCE IS IMPOSSIBLE
"True, uncorrupted, ambivalence toward 'The Invisibles' may be possible but no one has admitted to that reaction to the work as of the time of this writing to the author/artist. Self-proclaimed 'doubters' appear motivated from insisting antiquated beliefs of what art 'is supposed to be' while the work and the artist both fulfill the common-knowledge requirements of being art (as is outlined herein). The concept of 'the freedom in which to think', thinking 'outside the box', 'feelings', frightens people -- which forces them to think, to react, to choose, which feels threatening to those who perceive the challenging 'The Invisibles' as an intentional personal, professional and public intimidation. The artist contends that, 'Art is feeling, feeling is an experience, and experience is real. Therefore, the obvious reality of 'The Invisibles' can not be denied, no matter what some people may feel, think or say. Death threats are inevitable.'"
"'The Invisibles' is partly Pop Art (as social commentary -- which is a specific cultural narrative within a historic context), with more than a nod to progressive methodologies such as Futurism. 'The Invisibles' is the next logical step in Abstract Conceptualism -- beyond Representational Art in all aspects, except in the contextual areas which connected it to meaning and intent. The work sustains through various modes of marketing and distribution without distortion on the artist's part so people can know of it -- a form of traditional storytelling in modern terms.
'The Invisibles' is partly Dada (with obvious deconstructionist components), since conventional materials are rejected -- with heavy Anti-Art influences as an homage to the digression of cultural worldview of the artist himself and, specifically, as a rant against the misinformed opinion of increasing commercialism within the Art World.
The work stands as Outsider Art. By eliminating observable metaphoric narrative, an objectivist viewpoint is born in a viewer of the work in the same manner as non-sense in any media format can become a recognizable pattern of quasi-communication to an observer, yet a distinct, indiscernible language in of itself, until nonsense becomes the valid representation of the irrational -- as are many examples of art throughout the Dada Art Movement, including randomness and chance. Asking Why 'The Invisibles' is like asking 'Why graffiti'? I see 'The Invisibles' as logical extension of radical Street Art without the ugly property damage."
"Unlike these aforementioned references, 'The Invisibles' work takes no time to make (it is presented as is) or room in which to store it, which is perfect in these tough economic times. The pieces exist through the knowledge of the insistence of existence on my part -- the creator -- much like the concept of God, but differing because I don't ask anyone to have faith this is true. This is fact-based, not fiction. But, like God, it is there whenever mentioned or conceptualized, though, unlike religion, my 'truth' is truly the only one that really matters since I am the creator of this line of thought. Anyone else's opinion is meaningless rhetoric."
"My work is wholly visceral but based on (inspired by) myths surrounding art ('The Art World') and the prejudicial expectations of culture in general. Must something be something to be something or is nothing something as well? If nothing isn't something, then why is there a name for it? What is the criteria for judging 'nothing'? 'Nothing' in relationship to what -- something? History has proven content and context are not interchangeable such as personal rights, freedoms, religion, politics, time and space. All of life is relative. There are zillions of non-tangibles that people make a living at -- but there is always something there. Why can't an artist have a similar profession? No one asks a lawyer or priest to manifest their creativity into a tangible. You are left only with a context of by-products of intent as proof, such as legal documents or a church, not the original source of something of intended meaning. Even The Bible tries to claim that but that won't hold up in court (even though courts use Bibles as a scale of undeniable 'truth'). 'The Invisibles' not only requires a highly intelligent, highly educated audience to perceive it, judge it, come to conclusions, but it also requires someone versed in art history to understand the brevity of what the works embody."
"True nothingness may be impossible to attain (the observer tends to taint what is observed) and is not to be confused with common empty space (which there is none in the universe). Being 'non-existent' and being invisible are not the same thing. There's a difference."
"I work alone -- no crew or aids. One day I realized, while staring out at nothing," insists the artist. "...that every human being who is alive or who has ever lived has, at one point, probably stared out at nothing. I thought, 'That's what I should make -- the thing they are doing at that moment.' Then I realized that the idea encapsulates the entirety of human creativity by looping back to the beginning before there were art objects -- the circle is now complete, despite the Art World's cycle. I instantly knew this idea was bigger than wrapping an island in orange cloth."
"'The Invisibles' are works of genius," exclaims professional fine artist Peggy Vermeer. "The work speaks for itself. Once you've seen it for yourself, you realize you haven't seen anything like it, even though it seems familiar, and it makes you see things in a whole different way. You could walk past it every day and not see it. Great art points these things out."
"Art is supposed to make you think and feel," explains Savage, well-known Palm Springs gallery owner and fine artist. "People always react to 'the different' in a negative way. They say things like, 'My kid could do that...' But they didn't and couldn't. Brother Andy has achieved something monumental, even from the standpoint of polarizing reactions."
Critics may compare the well-crafted series to the legendary story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" but comparisons are rigorously laughed off by the artist.
"That was a quaint fable -- with a nasty 'anti-nudist' message. This is a real-life important art breakthrough with possibilities to change people's lives, people who value and appreciate ideas, even if the ideas are unpopular -- even downright stupid ones. But," he said smiling. "Anyone who comprehends what the person in the Emperor story saw when he saw the king naked, someone who recognized what he WASN'T looking at, and pointed it out to others who only then also DIDN'T see what was SUPPOSED to be there, will immediate see what I'm doing with my pieces. When someone says, 'I don't see anything,' I say, 'Now you get it.' Just as when Marcel Duchamp exhibited his 'Fountain' and people said, 'That's just a toilet,' they were both getting the point and missing the point at the same time."
The lofty Brother Andy work is inexpensive to produce ("I can crank out five pieces in an hour on a good day...") but the lifetime it took to get to the point of execution is worthy of the hefty price-tag of $100,000 per installation.
"I had to learn welding for this and then I had to learn to un-learn it," says the easily excitable artist. "That's not cheap."
Every collector, who needs paperwork in which to do business, receives a notarized letter of authenticity for their investment in the Brother Andy art pieces, which the artist personally writes after the art's installation.
What's next? "My agent thinks we're going to be BIG in Denmark. The whole country is already almost invisible. These are people who really do understand nothing."