Monday, August 31, 2015

Two Faces of Nature in Postmodern Art

Paintings by Dr Abe V Rotor

In this painting Romanticism is very much alive - subject, scenery, colors and the like.  It tells a story in the viewer mind, reminiscent of life experiences.  The bridge is symbolic of transition, connectedness, a rendezvous of characters, players of a drama.  Nothing seems to move - placid pond, moss-covered trees; autumn colors speak of "coming home." Postmodern art takes us some steps back to the "fine art" of art apparently lost behind new movements.    
This painting on the other hand, challenges the viewer to identify the subject in a kind of hide-and -seek game. He moves to a distance, returns - what is it really?  And he traces the intricate lines visually and with a finger over the overlapping colors, and there beneath the feathery foliage are hidden creatures.  It is abstract in the biological world where camouflage, mimicry and other forms of deceits are means of survival and dominance. These in various sophistication are not different from man's ways to cope up with the increasing demands and complexity of a postmodern world.  
Two views, two messages, two different feelings. In our postmodern world we long for the peaceful, rustic, unspoiled landscape, a retreat, withdrawing from the fire raging from the inside and outside.  It is  a craving tolerated at the expense of change and here man becomes an orphan having lost Mother Nature. Postmodern art offers man a chance to return to sanity, a renewal in the way he lives.  This is  is the essence of a new art's movement of Neo-renaissance.       

Are these real or just animaes? The country-bred associates them with reality, even if many of their kind are already gone; the streetwise may find it difficult to analyze; and the computer-TV kid definitely sides with the cartoons. What an art; three audiences, three worlds.  If postmodern art thrives on divisiveness of the same subject, then what is the purpose of art? Postmodern art has  indeed created contradicting versions, false impressions, inadvertent innocence and ignorance. Art educates, art enlightens, art unites - its movements flow like a river, from one source to one destiny, like humanity.      

What did the world look like before man came into the picture. Science and technology has opened an art movement and gave concrete basis to its theme and  character. Postmodernism of course, was born from scientific breakthroughs.  But art is more than formulas and equations. And the more we rely on the formal, essential, empirical, primordial, striving to seek for the missing link and the prima causa, the more we move away from the very essence of art - that which is a synergy of intellect, psyche, spirit and soul, that binds the rational being and the the fabric of humanity.       
Two forces of nature: cyclic and non-cyclic. Every thing in the universe is governed by these two models. So on Planet Earth, in the living and non-living world, in our lives, the march of seasons, in the life cycle of organisms - they follow the concentric model, characterized by repetition as if it is a plantilla. Nature is alive. She doesn't sleep. She can only rest like fallowing, aestivation, hibernation. She is as gentle as breeze and rough like a storm at sea. She is discreet like alpha radiation, silent as a dormant volcano, suddenly waking up. So with living things. They reproduce, form populations, reach a climax level and establish a niche. Populations interact, they compete. There is diversity. Balance of Nature is built this way and is always dynamic. How can postmodern art imbue these into the minds of younger generations?

The beginning of things is the most elusive of all adventures in any field. To what extent can postmodern art lead us to?  Will we ever succeed in understanding the beginning of life, the Black Hole, the end of space. Postmodern art has indeed removed much the barrier of thought and imagination. 

Evolution is now in the hands of man.  Fantasy has grown to reality; it is no stranger than fiction itself.  Man has changed life, playing God's role of creation. Man-made amino-acids make unbelievable combinations of proteins, the precursor of life. Genetic engineering relegates the infamous Frankenstein to the backseat. Why we can cross and combine genes irrespective of species, genera, phyla, across kingdoms of the living world!  Does postmodern art merely ride on his feat? Will it just drift with the current of "progress"? 

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