Art Los Angeles Contemporary Review

February 8, 2018

Two weeks ago housed a terrific cornucopia of refined contemporary art. By refined, I connote the distillation of artistry through the filters of commercial fine art galleries. Commerce is often seen to be a necessary evil with its marriage to artistry. For worse, it can corrupt the aim of art, which is to imitate reality in order to transcend it to a higher plane than would otherwise be conceivable by the subjective appreciation. But for better, its economy allows us with more fecundity interact with the best art that is currently being produced.

 

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Where to begin? Probably in the most general sense, this estimable collection was consistent with my interaction with contemporary fine art over the last several years, in that the artists of our time are prognosticating a better world than the one we are inhabiting. We see this seriously with the reverberation of nostalgia, of a recrudescence of childlike innocence, a thirst for wonder only to be fulfilled through the Promethean strike at the canvas. Simply put, this life affirmation indicates positive developments for the future of the Western world.

 

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Our current malaise, its nauseous affixation to materializing a dead on arrival Christian morality which can only be summarized as radical egalitarianism, sees historical development as constantly malicious. That is until there is a “turn”, some magical, superstitious conversion of humanity toward a highness where birth place does not dictate one’s possible material accumulations. And we can actually see through the recent art history of postmodernism an anticipation of this negative zealotry toward an inhuman yet unnatural – veritably anti-cosmic – politics; its besmirching of inherited wisdom and traditional culture through crass shock and stultification. We are, more or less, not supposed to contemplate on negativity. On grotesqueness. Yet that is what has been celebratory by commerce, being paired with the zeitgeist.

 

The artists of today have the liberty to be detached, as appropriate, from the world of the profane. While digital interconnectedness can create a sense of detachment from being human, from making socializing artificial for instance, this is but one example of the use of the power of information – and knowledgeable – abundance. For those with a touch of the sacred, they can use this power toward a spiritual replenishment of what has unequivocally been emptied the moment it was realized God, as Nietzsche prophesized, had been killed by His children.

 

They can use this for better or for worse, so now, consistently, we see contemporary pieces bursting to life, and bursting with a voracious appetite to experiment with space and texture. This is seen with most prolifically with Guy Yanai, whose pieces exhibited were all sold by the final day of the show. His unique play on Matisse style quotidian beauty comes with a stubborn extruding horizontal painting stroke, making the canvas geometrically structured as much as it captures scenes of human society.

 

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Mr. Yanai is selected precisely because his work would not be interesting to the commercial fine art trade even twenty years ago; his heavy influence would be seen as derivative and banal. So the fact that his works sold out swiftly demonstrates the reactivity that takes place with an artist toward the people who take his wildfire and become consumed by it, gnarlishly overcoming the deadness of a nihilistic period in humanity. In this procession, art has power which is beyond any other material forces of politics or society. It comes cloaked from the heavens to sudden immanence and can actuate thoughts more positively the longer the art is diffused. Its inspiration leads to other artists to challenge themselves to bring about the beatific, and this chain reaction holds the promise of preserving the taste of goodness.

 

The art here, then, is not done for its very sake. It is labored forward with the highest aims in mind. This makes it a success.

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