Ornament & Crime
In 1908 Adolf Loos, an Austrian architect, wrote the milestone essay Ornament and Crime. Loos argued that ornamentation in art and architecture was, by its nature, ephemeral — locked into current trends and styles and, therefore, quickly dated. Loos, himself a Classicist at heart, argued instead for simple, timeless designs with time honored aesthetic and structural qualities.
I too am a Classicist at heart! My intuition is, however, at war. My simplicity of spirit must mix with my complexity of emotions. The forms I make in my paintings and my drawings emote through their complexity, mimicking the complexity of my emotive intellect. I want them to impact myself, and the viewers of my art, through simplicity of means. Apparently I am unable to fully accept simplicity, even though my Classic heart requires it. Today's drawing is an example of this duplicity. It is simple in structure with complex forms. I will work this problem forever. I will find solutions. I will produce art that has the backbone of Classicism and the emotive power of ornate forms. I am not the first person to deal with this problem. Pablo Picasso is my prime example. All his art has time honored Classic balance. Even his great masterpiece, Guernica, used a composition that utilizes a simple, Classic central triangle with two side panels. Guernica's Classicism in structure allows Picasso's complex forms to writhe with emotions within a simple, organized, and stable composition.
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