Sunday, December 09, 2007

Whois George Rodart?

It’s the game show answer to the question, "who writes FutureModern?" As an artist working in relative solitude I started writing FutureModern two years ago as a way of interacting with a larger audience.

On a hot day in the summer before last, I was walking through the cool dim room in the Met where the Christmas tree is now. It’s a gallery filled with artworks from centuries ago, artworks that I suspect not many people pay much attention to anymore. It happened to be a day when the news from Iraq was an order of magnitude worse than normal. It was an unbearable weight to consider, contemplating the viciousness of mankind as no better than the rest of the animal kingdom.

Yet, as I was walking through the cool dim room in the Met, the one where the Christmas tree is now, I experienced the opposite side to my despair, with an overwhelming sense of the potential goodness in mankind. These artworks from centuries past stand witness to the higher aspirations of mankind, it gave me a moment of peace. It was a profound moment, it is what art should be. It is why I paint and write about art.

For the past several years I’ve been working quietly in relative seclusion. In an effort to expand my audience, I decided I should change that.
This is my website   This is what I do.

George Rodart, "Vertigo"
2007, Oil on canvas, 28 x 36 in. / 71 x 91 cm.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Guennol Lioness, oh my.

Tiny Sculpture Brings $57 Million, that's the AP headline on Dec. 5, 2007. Funny how money grabs all the attention.

Take a look at this small miracle of hand fashioned stone.
Forget about the money. Just look at this swirling form, human and lion merged, poses intertwined, what was this magician thinking? This mythic woman-lioness is facing us down with a penetrating sideways stare, her arms flexed, rippling in a muscular display befitting the alpha female. Five thousand years ago, some ancient tribe faced down and defeated a lioness, sowing the seeds of a mythology which was fertile for the next four thousand years. Looking at the face of the lioness, it should be clear that this carving was the result of close observation and that five thousand years ago, close observation of a big cat meant either victory or death. This small edifice became a fitting way to celebrate the victory, one which has entered into the collective memory of mankind. This seems like a good definition for art. It’s just a small piece of carved and incised stone, but what a piece of stone. WOW!

Guennol Lioness
A Magnesite or Crystalline Limestone Figure of a Lioness.
Elam circa 3000-2800 B.C.
Height 3 1/4 in. 8.26 cm.
Location: Sotheby's New York, 12/5/2007-Lot 30
Pre-Sale Estimate. 14,000,000—18,000,000 USD
Lot Sold.    57,161,000 USD (inc. Buyers premium)

Guennol Lioness - circa 3000-2800 B.C

Guennol Lioness - circa 3000-2800 B.C
Photos: © Sotheby's

The price is a record for a sculpture, etc... Link to Sothebys lot details, (requires registration.)