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Moni3

Artist | Traditional Art
United States
* I'm self-taught,
* I work in oil paints, pen & ink, and pencils,
* I was active on Wikipedia for more than 6 years. You can see what I wrote, listed here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Mon…
* I'm working on an enormous video project discussing the trends in 20th century popular music by featuring music from each artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Check it out: www.youtube.com/channel/UCzPub…

I did an interview (here: traditionalists.deviantart.com… ) with a group here on dA that concentrates on traditional art--aptly called Traditionalists. Somehow this makes me a Traditionalist. Microwaves: how do they work?

I'm taking commissions. Here's some info about that: fav.me/d6sxduh
Please contact me if you're interested. (psmor at earthlink dot net)

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Casey Nocket and Graffiti in Protected Areas

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 23, 2014, 2:57 PM


On October 23, 2014 news broke of a young woman from New York named Casey Nocket who enjoyed the protected areas of ten different national parks in the western United States. She took photos of her trips, as many of us do, but she added acrylic paintings along trails in these parks, defending them as art.

The Internet reaction seemed swift and decisive against her, which it should be, and Nocket removed her Instagram account that day. The court of public opinion should do more than a court of law ever could in shaming her from considering this again, and indeed, anyone else who shamelessly self-promotes by defacing public protected lands.

If it doesn't, and it won't forever that's for sure, I want to discuss the artistic nuances of Nocket's poor decisions and the efforts of other vandals in national parks.

All humans, all of them, deal with two competing forces that they do not consciously acknowledge: the innate knowledge that they will die, and a desperate attempt to make a mark on the world to achieve a sense of immortality. This was introduced in a Pulitzer Prize-winning book published in 1973 called The Denial of Death, written by a cultural anthropologist named Ernest Becker. To summarize it crudely, we can oversimplify Freudian theory: everything we do we do because of sex. Instead, Becker posits that everything we do, we do because we know we will die and we can't do anything about it.

So what do humans do in the face of this impassible contradiction? They form and engage in religions that promise immortality in an afterlife. They have children to extend their family and genetic lines. They chase fame and money, hoping their names will exist forever in an almanac or maybe a building on a college campus. And they create art.

What do I do? I paint in oils, which, if taken care of, will last hundreds of years.

What did Nocket do? She chose Canyonlands, Zion, Joshua Tree, Rocky Mountain, and Yosemite National Parks as her canvases. She marked her acrylic paintings with her Instagram handle, shot them, loaded them to Instagram, along with selfies. She called it art, indicating her absolute terror of being forgotten by humanity.

When I worked on my video project for 500 Songs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I defined art as an expression of the human condition that provokes a response. The greater the response, whether it be favorable or not, indicates the power in the art. Rock and Roll is a genre of art that is well-known for being provocative and revolutionary. On a related tangent, when I recently wrote a guide about how to appreciate art, I included a category for how much a work of art challenges the viewer. 

Art can make us angry and frustrated by challenging our notions about what is beautiful, or, in my opinion regarding the abysmal Abstract Expressionist movement, question if it is art at all. That does not, however, legitimize any expression as valid without critical thought.  This is the end of the road that began with Abstract Expressionism, which seemed to open up our minds about what constitutes art to this place where quality and skill are irrelevant, and in this case, human expression is deemed virtuous simply because it exists.

Art does not exist beyond a society to inspire and pay the artist, whether that payment is in money or reactions. Art cannot exist without an audience to view it, appreciate it, or hate it. Art can exist beyond laws, but not beyond the society that makes the laws. Nocket proved this by posting her acrylic paintings on Instagram. She did it for the attention it would bring her. 

And here are society's limits: the ten national parks Nocket defaced are unique, astonishingly beautiful pastiches of geologic features that took millennia to form, determined by her society -- the same one that inspired her to engage on Instagram, indeed the same society that created Instagram -- as so worthy of protection that it outlaws this kind of graffiti. Not just graffiti. These parks are under constant assault for public use by ranchers, farmers, hunters, polluters, overzealous visitors such as Nocket, mining companies, urban areas near and far that never cease their need for more water, and a dizzying array of special interests that work tirelessly to make these extraordinary places mediocre.

Nocket is forcing a two-way avenue that does not exist. She can make art out of nature, but she cannot make nature out of art. Her first brushstroke irrevocably altered the landscape and those who come after her will never be able to view these areas the same way again. In what I can only assume was her motivation, she sought to promote her self-absorbed worldview with crude doodlings and she failed utterly in concept and execution. It's not just Nocket though. All the artists throughout the ages or in the future, even the ones who know what they're doing, cannot improve upon the beauty of these places. It is impossible. This is why these lands are protected.

One way or another, however, Nocket succeeded in making herself immortal. Not for the boundary-pushing artist she considers herself to be, but as a criminal and the absolute lowest standard for other aspiring artists to note. Don't be like Casey Nocket. What is the worst art you have ever seen? Put it in your mental databank so you can remember it when you create your own works. Whatever you do, don't use that terrible crap as your inspiration. 

And never deface a national park.

Comments


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:iconsydney-smith:
Sydney-Smith Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for the :+fav: on this piece!
Watercolor Portrait Commission by Sydney-Smith
I hope you like the rest of my gallery too. :)
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:iconmoni3:
Moni3 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014   Traditional Artist
I don't usually favorite watercolors (because I am a bad person), but seeing this was a commission... the folks in the painting must be tickled pink. You made it personal to them. The style gives it a children's book illustration look to it, but... just everything about this is surprisingly awesome to me. I've done commissions before, but I really admire how this was done.

Excellent work.
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:iconsydney-smith:
Sydney-Smith Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much! I really appreciate the comment, and luckily the commissioner was extremely happy with it! :D
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:iconletroc25:
letroc25 Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014
Thank You.
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:iconmoni3:
Moni3 Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2014   Traditional Artist
No problem. Wonderful drawing!
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:iconsatcalli:
satcalli Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Student Interface Designer
fab!!
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:iconmoni3:
Moni3 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thanks very much!
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:iconsatcalli:
satcalli Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2014  Student Interface Designer
for wat??
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:iconjenfruzz:
JenFruzz Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the fav! :highfive:
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:iconmoni3:
Moni3 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2014   Traditional Artist
No problem!
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