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  #51  
Old 07-20-2006, 12:40 AM
tobias tobias is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Duck I would have to say that there is not much chance of you creating a decent sculpture in your life time as you obviously dont have a clue what decent sculpture is . I would if I were you keep your ignorance to your self and go back to making daisys out of steel or what ever passes in your closed mind as sculpture.
Blake I hope you dont take a word of this fools to heart. I may not agree with art and war but I do think that if you want to make a statement do it some how Even without the statement your work has and allways will stand on its own as masterful
To every one else if this was too much I apologise
tobias
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  #52  
Old 07-20-2006, 12:55 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Duck,

Feel free to critique, but be constructive in the process.
Insults wont be tolerated.

Everyone-- Save the personal comments for private messages and out of the thread.

Last edited by obseq : 07-20-2006 at 01:17 AM.
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  #53  
Old 07-20-2006, 02:50 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck
#2 How could anyone walk by Blaks statue and not laugh and say loudly, "what a bunch of bullshit"?
When Blake posted his two figures on this thread, I stared at them for some time, opening up the thumbnails to inspect the sheer quality of the craftsmanship. Superb. Just superb. I haven't seen better modelling of heads and torsos anywhere, even in my beloved Carrara. (And, Duck, I've seen everything!). The artistic concept is really good too, with the figures emerging from the stone. Reminds me of Michelangelo, and his liking for figures emerging from the uncarved block - called non finito sculpting in Italy. (I believe Michelangelo actually invented this great 'modern' tradition, to which Blake contributes so effectively).
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  #54  
Old 07-20-2006, 05:51 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Fellow Artists
I thank you for your kind words and your assertive defence.

One of the things that is both wonderful and painful about displaying our artwork to the public is that we bear our soul for all to see and to criticise.

I feel that we as artists have a responsibility to engage society in our work and this commitment will result in persons attacking the work for whatever reasons.
In order to protect my sensitive side from such negative condemnation I like to view the type of criticism, such as Mr. Duck has declared, as I have viewed the physical disfigurement of this sculpture itself; it confirms the essence of the democratic process: A voice for all who care to speak.

Further, as an artist I try to determine if the criticism has merit and if indeed there is value within the opinion. In this case I would very appropriately dismiss Mr. Ducks points with a favorite saying, “Water off a duck's back”

Allow me return to the only valid concern within the critique.
We have come to expect artists who address these types of socio-political issues to maintain a relationship with an objective truth, even when artists use their art to advance ideas concerning their personal or ethical beliefs. It is considered a prerequisite that the artist be speaking of an issue that has had some direct impact or influence in their life and that they should render honest observations in hopes that the audience will become informed or aware of the intellectual issues portrayed in the work.

I feel confident that my research was complete, my position was informed and that there was some, although distant, impact of the issues on my life, where I have failed completely is in informing Mr. Duck of any of the intellectual issues portrayed.

Blake
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  #55  
Old 07-20-2006, 06:56 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

The only thing I can grasp from all this is one statement made by Cantab....."contributes so effectively". I think all else would be decoration. But what do I know. Scout

I'm a sculptor at heart, trying to teach my hands and mind to say what my heart feels. (Sappy I know)
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  #56  
Old 07-20-2006, 08:57 AM
Stevem Stevem is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Hey Duck.

I really don't know what prompted your response to Blakes work with such strong malevolence; however that being said, you did mention that your goal was to create decent sculptures in the next few years and to learn the business aspects of art. I had the opportunity to meet Blake this past year and I have to say you may have burnt one of your best "learning" bridges you could have ever crossed. Blake is probably the most professional, down to earth, helpful person/sculptor I have ever had the opportunity to meet. Whenever I have a question concerning a technique or the business side of sculpture I email him and without any pompousness he is always there to offer advice that makes a huge difference in the question at hand. Blake is a very acclaimed sculptor who's talent and business savy is way beyond anything I could offer him in return for his help but he still treats me and anyone else who asks as if we are all on the same level of competence.

I hope you can look back on this and learn a little of the business aspects of art. It's all right to have your own opinion of someones work. It's even all right to voice your opinion, but one should have a little tactfullness when they verbalize their opinion. Not just go for the jugular. I have found in life you can go alot farther by not antagonizing people about something you may not understand but by simply asking questions. There is alot of work out there that I really don't understand but I try to keep an open mind and try to take from that viewing experience what I can and learn from it. Even if I don't care for a work there is something in the artists production or even in the way they promote their work that I can learn from. Maybe you will see something that you want to emulate in another way or maybe you will even see a presentation style you may want to try or avoid. It's a small world and The Art world is even smaller. I suggest trying to make friends and not adversaries.

Good luck with your forthcoming adventures,
Steve Miller
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  #57  
Old 07-20-2006, 09:09 AM
tobias tobias is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Quote:
Originally Posted by obseq
Duck,

Feel free to critique, but be constructive in the process.
Insults wont be tolerated.

Everyone-- Save the personal comments for private messages and out of the thread.
Again I wish to apologise after reading the responce from Blake I feel like a bull in a china shop.
tobias
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  #58  
Old 07-20-2006, 01:26 PM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Tobias
I don’t think that it is you that need apologise.
Cantab
I thank you for your comments, there are many very beautiful and highly competent sculptures in and around Santa Petra I am honoured to have a place among them.

Stevem
Thanks for your support, you see the help I give out does come back to me.

To return to the idea being discussed in this thread, which I think is very important, I have prepared a small essay I would love to have all or any of your thoughts on the content.

Many consider that an artist has no further obligation than to create.
If the artwork deals only with personal feelings or expression or involves purely aesthetic concerns; it will be recognized as decoration alone.
Yet, artists are often viewed as the forerunner of change and have a long history of creating artistic commentary concerning social and political issues. For artists can offer a perspective on human nature as well as the nature of our society.

It has been suggested that if an artist feels deeply enough about a subject, whether aesthetic, political or moral, then the artist has a responsibility to render their feelings in their art.
However, further responsibility is conveyed upon the artist should the work seek to influence the public or audience. As in this case the artist has a responsibility to depict or convey the truth or facts with integrity and the artwork should be less orientated towards opinion. As critic, the artist herein acts as a form of visual journalist, and must have taken the time to understand the issues being presented.

We have come to expect artists who address these types of issues to maintain a relationship with an objective truth, even when they use their art to advance ideas concerning their personal ethical beliefs. It is considered a prerequisite that the has artist be speaking of an issue that has had some direct impact or experience in their life and that they should render honest observations in hopes that the audience will become informed or aware of the intellectual issues portrayed in the work. Ideally the artistic integrity would include the creation of the artwork for the cause that is represented rather than for financial gain.

For the work to be convincing, it must leave an emotional impression with the viewer and present intellectual and rational arguments about the specific event or issue. The advantage may be that the images within the artwork can communicate a more sensitive and intuitive message than can be achieved by words. As a visual language, art is universal and the images may still be able to obtain some of the analytical nature usually attributed to a written language.

An image often conveys an idea or a message with great efficiency, yet the artist can only indicate their intention within the force of the imagery, the interpretation is the property of the audience but a wide range of interpretations is desirable to a point.

To conclude, our responsibility when it comes to war is to speak as we can and within our ability to be impartial and truthfully render our expression to represent our feelings, experiences and beliefs, in order to benefit or assist our fellow human beings.
We have an important and forceful voice and we have the responsibility to use it.

Blake
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  #59  
Old 07-20-2006, 04:55 PM
Duck Duck is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

“Emerging Continents" one of the first memorable works I discovered browsing the net, I spent a good bit of time dealing with some personal thoughts and emotions the work provoked in me, never mind the physical aspects of the sculpture for now. At first I assumed Emerging Continents to be the expressions of an extraordinary local artist. When I read on this thread that it was created by a Canadian Ivy League type, I felt I had been dooped, suckered. How could he know anything about war and oppression, and the nerve of the money man and this Ivy Leaguer to show it off in public. Well, believe me, my first response wasn’t anything like I posted.

I play a bit of piano music created by some popular traditional composers, when an untrained ear listens and boast how wonderful and emotional I play, I quietly think, you’re full of shit, I’m a pretender. No way could I ever know the feelings of any of the Greats and interpret them honestly..it’s impossible, it’s bull shit to think otherwise, and this is the basic context I viewed the doop…. BullShit!!! You’re a pretender.

One of many things that appeals to me about visual art is the honesty, now, after reading the responses and especially Jason Gillespie’s, (he did such a nice job of saying what a dope I am, and at the same time encouraged me to look further, nice job Jason). So, I’ve reconsidered my total overall reaction to Blake’s Emerging Continents….isn’t my emotional reaction to Blake being the artist much like that of the vandal’s? Is this the reaction Blake hoped for from the type people Jason Gillespie described? And is it possible…. after the anger subsides, I (the vandal) realize that the artist is also saying to all outsiders, him included, we will never understand!!

Congratulations Blake!




Lawrence Duckworth
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  #60  
Old 07-21-2006, 01:24 PM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Dear Duck
I applaud your ability to learn from an experience.
I personally was not as offended by your remarks as many others seemed to be and I am very much heartened and encouraged by their support.
I do not think that questioning the sincerity or integrity of a politically inspired work is unreasonable and to this extent I have posted the full story behind 1989 Emerging Continents on my site at http://www.sculptureblake.com/latest/index.asp
Should anyone wish to view a more detailed version of events leading up to the creation of the work.

This work has proven to be very emotive and thus I believe it to be successful. To this day I don’t understand why it attracts vandals, but it is certain that never having lived the oppression nor the revolution I will only ever know an impression of them and empathy for those concerned.

I wish I could return this thread to the original point and have tried several times now, I have posted a short essay in post number 58. Is there anyone who would like to comment?

Blake
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  #61  
Old 07-22-2006, 11:23 PM
Stevem Stevem is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Blake,

Sorry it took me so long to post to your question for us all. I needed time to think about this and organize my thoughts.

I agree mostly with what you are saying. As an artist we have to be in tune with what is going on around us. The everyday distractions of life is what shapes and molds our very being. So when this all builds up inside us we have to have some sort of carthartic release. Hence our creation of art. Now to go a step further. Some people consider this carthartic release therapy and the creation is no more to them than that. Then you have the people who create just to create. Others will feel obligated to research these issues which concern them and try to convey a message. In "my opinion" this is what makes "good art". I enjoy looking at a piece and getting lost in it, coming away with a feeling of relation or understanding. I think this is what makes a succesful piece of art. I know when I make a piece and someone says "wow! I know that feeling!" or "I have felt that way so many times!" To me, I know my piece was a success. There is no better feeling than when someone gets your work.

As an artist, I like to think I see the world with a more open mind. I like to look at different situations going on around us and try to capture what is at the depth of different plights. Hence, my newest work " The Emotion of Hands " I don't know that I feel obligated! I would say I feel more compelled to create these works. I do think to produce a piece of art succesfully one does have to do their research. Get the background on whatever you are trying to convey. I will agree with you that if you produce a piece trying to form public opinion you should "maintain a relationship with an objective truth". However; depending on what relationship you have with these issues their can be different trues. There is only right and wrong , true, but in forming public opinion there is always two sides to every story, so in swaying public opinions about certain facts the artist is opening theirselves up for public critisism.

I think most people are more visually influenced than in any other way so I will agree with your assessment of art as a visual language. Art has a way of crossing barriers. I still remember my experience in Italy. I remember how I was able to make many friends who I couldn't communicate with verbally because of the language barrier, but we could understand what drove each other from the art we produced. So I also agree with you on the idea of art as a way of breaking down barriers and sharing beliefs.

Now in conclussion to our responsibility when it comes to war. I don't think an artist should feel responsible to render something that represents their idea of war. I do think there is nothing wrong with creating a piece of art that portrays their feelings. Especially if that is their own carthartic release. I also don't hold anything against someone wanting to express their beliefs in hopes of assiting others. I applaude it. But thats not to say "you're an artist you HAVE to create a piece of art showing us your feelings on war".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
Tobias
I don’t think that it is you that need apologise.
Cantab
I thank you for your comments, there are many very beautiful and highly competent sculptures in and around Santa Petra I am honoured to have a place among them.

Stevem
Thanks for your support, you see the help I give out does come back to me.

To return to the idea being discussed in this thread, which I think is very important, I have prepared a small essay I would love to have all or any of your thoughts on the content.

Many consider that an artist has no further obligation than to create.
If the artwork deals only with personal feelings or expression or involves purely aesthetic concerns; it will be recognized as decoration alone.
Yet, artists are often viewed as the forerunner of change and have a long history of creating artistic commentary concerning social and political issues. For artists can offer a perspective on human nature as well as the nature of our society.

It has been suggested that if an artist feels deeply enough about a subject, whether aesthetic, political or moral, then the artist has a responsibility to render their feelings in their art.
However, further responsibility is conveyed upon the artist should the work seek to influence the public or audience. As in this case the artist has a responsibility to depict or convey the truth or facts with integrity and the artwork should be less orientated towards opinion. As critic, the artist herein acts as a form of visual journalist, and must have taken the time to understand the issues being presented.

We have come to expect artists who address these types of issues to maintain a relationship with an objective truth, even when they use their art to advance ideas concerning their personal ethical beliefs. It is considered a prerequisite that the has artist be speaking of an issue that has had some direct impact or experience in their life and that they should render honest observations in hopes that the audience will become informed or aware of the intellectual issues portrayed in the work. Ideally the artistic integrity would include the creation of the artwork for the cause that is represented rather than for financial gain.

For the work to be convincing, it must leave an emotional impression with the viewer and present intellectual and rational arguments about the specific event or issue. The advantage may be that the images within the artwork can communicate a more sensitive and intuitive message than can be achieved by words. As a visual language, art is universal and the images may still be able to obtain some of the analytical nature usually attributed to a written language.

An image often conveys an idea or a message with great efficiency, yet the artist can only indicate their intention within the force of the imagery, the interpretation is the property of the audience but a wide range of interpretations is desirable to a point.

To conclude, our responsibility when it comes to war is to speak as we can and within our ability to be impartial and truthfully render our expression to represent our feelings, experiences and beliefs, in order to benefit or assist our fellow human beings.
We have an important and forceful voice and we have the responsibility to use it.

Blake
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  #62  
Old 07-25-2006, 09:49 AM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Wow, poured with only a few cracks? Sometimes maybe, we as artists look only to the negative places trying to fix and chase away all the positives that may get in the way. When I saw the pictures of Blakes work created in 1990 he took me away. He hammered, chiseled, and chassed, in what must have been an incredible journey of discovery. If you have worked with stone you know what I am talking about. The slow hum drums, the hours spent just above the form, meditative whacks, standing on stones flecked with the past. Blake’s work gives us a glimpse of what may be. So I say turn up the light instead of dimming it with personal insecurity.
All the best,
Mark

Last edited by mark pilato : 07-25-2006 at 10:03 AM.
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  #63  
Old 07-25-2006, 12:12 PM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

I can imagine Michaelangelo standing in the quarry looking around at the marble, seeing all the possibilities inside the marble. I see him pause at one particular piece, he places his hand on it, he wants it but he knows it was meant for another artist. He hesitates but, in his heart, he knows it belongs to some future artist called Blake.

The responsibilities of anyone who wants to make a statement is to just have the facts. But I think there is always someone with a differing view point, as well there should be. Checks and balances. Not too far either way. When you get older you (hopefully) avoid that pendulum coming back to knock you on your butt! Scout
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  #64  
Old 07-25-2006, 01:03 PM
JamesW JamesW is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

I like Stevem's take on it - rather than feeling obligated...feeling compelled.
Some quotes I like:

'To be an artist means never to avert one's eyes' - Akira Kurosawa

'Art is meant to disturb' - George Braque

'All art is political' - Jayce Salloum

James
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  #65  
Old 07-29-2006, 04:01 AM
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Blake Blake is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to art?

JamesW and Stevem
I would say that you have expressed the attitude of the majority of artists, who if inspired by an idea can and often will use that idea to create a work that says something about the subject or issue.
I feel obliged, as an artist to look for issues that I feel passionate about and use these as ideas and inspiration in order to create a work filled with emotion and enthusiasm. I personally feel compelled not only because I believe that it is my responsibility to use this voice but also because I find passion and energy in the issues of which I speak and that passion and energy will contribute to the work.

Blake
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  #66  
Old 08-03-2006, 07:26 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

As an Israeli Sculptor, deeply saddened by the present situation, I find myself constantly thinking about the war, constantly searching my imagination to find a sense of something worthy to make as a response!
Friends accuse me of being a Fascist, of supporting a fascist state and supporting a war that is being fought against civilians.
I know this is not the forum to qualify what is occuring, and I will not;
(I was recently in London, exhibiting with the RBS and was asked what was the present situation like- this was before the recent flare-up.
I said that finally the Palestinians have got something of their own and that I was extremely optimistic that we the Israelis can build a country that was as vibrant, democratic and forward looking as it can be and that Art was a dynamic force that would flower, sadly the wreckers from the north have made that impossible and we are forced to fight! This is not an opinion but a fact.)
So as to my work how can I ignore, I have to respond the problem is that my Academic background forces me into Aesthetic argument, and there is no beauty in War only destruction.
Sculpture that relates to that destruction is sculpture that needs to be made,
Sculpture that tells the story of this circle of Violence and hatred.
It will not be pretty or poetic, probably never be sold or seen out of the confines of my studio, but sculpture that I feel needs to be made!
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  #67  
Old 08-03-2006, 09:42 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Paulht, Good luck, I hope you find peace in your sculpture. There is a lot of hate in the world, a lot that is wrong, we could fill this data base and every data base and still not have room to store it all. With that said,what lives in your heart the sculpture that resides there is more powerful then all that is wrong, so bring it out and show us all the light. I hope you find what you are looking for and
all the best,
Mark
Sculpture I did for the families of 9/11 at Ground 0 New York City http://www.pilatostudios.com/pages/markAscent_056.html
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  #68  
Old 08-04-2006, 01:59 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Mark
Very nice piece, congratulations I would love to see some more photos of Asent. Is this the piece in your video? Did you do any writing about the work, in which case would you post it?
I think that it is wonderful to have a feeling about an issue that moves you and as an artist inspires you. I believe that this adds a great deal to my work. Would you agree?

Blake
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  #69  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:31 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

PaulHT
I sympathise with you and am as well saddened by the present situation. Although I do not want to enter into a discussion about the politics involved, I would encourage you to try to express this/these issue/s in your work. You mentioned an aesthetic argument and the lack of beauty in war. I would be intrigued to see your interpretation of an aesthetic argument concerning this conflict within which you live.
Below I include several photos of sculpture in a series that I created to try to de-glorify war, (as all the war monuments that we see are dedicated to the glorious dead). I call these my “Fragments Collection”, this is a series of sculptures that are dedicated to the horrors of war and were intended to portray civilian causalities, these works have become devoted to the issue of Landmines specifically as it is here that I believe my work can actually do something about this problem. These sculptures represent my voice within this issue and my attempt not only to bring attention to this crisis, but ultimately to offer some hope in resolving the situation. I realize that I may not be able to change the world with these pieces of art but that will not stop me from trying, and I consider this as a form of activism within my work.
I hope that you can see some of the beauty in the work and the horror of the victim that the work portrays. I have employed a paradox concerning the creative cycle; I create the figure in clay in order to destroy it, and by destroying the clay I create the art.
I feel passionately about this politically oriented work and my responsibility to create, and exhibit this work to the world in hopes of advancing this cause and assisting with this problem.
I look forward to seeing your work Paul
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  #70  
Old 08-04-2006, 09:51 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Hi, Blake,
I always write with every sculpture I do, plus I take pictures and do video. It helps in every way. From looking at my work in deferent perspectives to documenting the process. I try to let people know how a bronze sculpture is made. I also find that if I write wile I am in the process of sculpting that it adds to the work and also helps me find what I am looking for. I am dislexic so it is very hard for me but I still do it because with every story I get a little closer to finding what I am trying to say - one day I hope to swim in words the way I swim in the clay. It's a great way to share life's esperance. I have done many stories about Ascent and the process of creating it, Every day I find new meaning in the form. The sculpture changed my life and I am a beter person for doing it. I am almost done with a video that I think tells its story best, I will share when that is done. the first part of vidieo is on my web page,
http://www.pilatostudios.com/pages/video.html-
All the best,

Last edited by mark pilato : 08-04-2006 at 05:06 PM.
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  #71  
Old 08-04-2006, 10:44 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

I agree, Blake, as artists it is good to express our deep feelings through our artworks. The more we practice this, the more we can do it better. And the more the artworks viewers would appreciate the feelings that we put into it.

Writers communicate through their writings. We communicate through our artworks.
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Last edited by Merlion : 08-04-2006 at 08:50 PM.
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  #72  
Old 08-08-2006, 12:43 AM
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

I have a hard time finding feelings other than anger over war, so instead, I focus on Peace.
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  #73  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:57 PM
robertpulley robertpulley is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Posts: 104
Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

I just revisited this thread after a week or two and found it is still alive. PAULHT's response was especially poignant to me because it connects with what I have been feeling. I have Lebanese friend who is a painter and architect. I met him in my city in Indiana where his wife was working at the hospital as a pediatrician. We had an immediate rapport though we didn't get together much. Last year they and their two daughters moved back home to Beirut. Lama still has e-mail at the hospital where she works and we have set up a small dialogue. Her fear, anger, frustration and anxiety are intense. She says she feels like an insect and wants only to feel like a human being.

I very much wish that I could make a work of art that would get at how I feel, but it just hasn't come about. I tend to think my work abstractly reflects my world view, but I wish I could say something optimistic or profoundly insightful in such a tragic situation. Or express anguish in a way that would not seem self indulgent. As someone said earlier though, my connection to war is only abstract anyway. Others experience it directly and maybe they are the ones who need to make the art that addresses the situation.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:59 PM
Duck Duck is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 384
Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

Maybe a little humor will lighten things up?

In these serious times, it is important for all of us of all faiths to recognize these Four Religious Truths.

1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.

2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.

3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian World.

4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters.


I hope for both of you, Paulht-that you do the sculpture, and RobertPulley-that your friends are safe.

May God Bless


duck
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  #75  
Old 08-25-2006, 09:56 AM
mark pilato mark pilato is offline
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Re: what is our responsibility when it comes to the war?

here's a picture of my piece at ground 0, the title is Ascent.
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