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My work belongs to the future because
I include the future in my work.
Art made not for empire but about empire, not for class but about class, and
art made as though there was a culture for which to make art. -- John Sheridan
John Sheridan is showing
his artwork here:
"THE END OF THE WORLD OF FOOLS "
Prints on canvas at George Kaye's
in North Oakland at 41st Street &Broadway,
July 18 - September 15 (this show is over)
Mahatma Gandhi, asked what he thought about Western culture, answered
that it would be a good idea. This really and very much applies to the 'culture' in which
we find ourselves, which, as the imperial American economic machine slides down toward
the future, our social mindset slides as quickly back toward 1900 (or perhaps
What is it to be a painter and visual artist in this place (California - or cyberspace
- both of which appear anesthetically synonymous)? The question raises great personal
and aesthetic issues, at least to any sensitive being. Why paint? Indeed, why
make art at all? Does anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area care what any artist
does? Does the money mad, violent, domineering society we have created even deserve art?
The opinions I have on these questions, but the most important, why make art,
I would answer further on the pages of this web site, allowing the artwork to
ask and answer. Here, I will only say that I am compelled to paint and create
because it is important, if there is to be any real society, to create as highly
evolved communication as possible which is not under the domination of others
and yet which is for them as well as for its maker.
Art is the logical conclusion of Western culture. Art gives an ultimate perspective
- not science, technology, religion, philosophy, government, commerce, not violence.
It can attain this perspective by virtue of its unpredictability, freedom and
ability to reinvent itself at any time. Art partially redeems a grotesquely materialistic
and fatal society by allowing individuals a way to honestly speak about the world.
I create because art is the only way to give myself the power to apply every mode
of thought - emotion, logic, intuition, dreams, mystical insight and even prejudice
- to every other mode of thought. The result is a dynamic, non-linear expression
unlike any other which places great value on the artist's perspective, and places
equally great responsibility on the artist to create a purely inspired, uncorrupted
and timeless experience for the viewer, especially the viewer of the future. Art
is not a commodity, it is an ultimate act of faith.
There is an infinity to say about the enterprise and goals of art. All symbolic
complexities lie within this activity. I let others please the upper classes with
well-crafted, ultimately soporific decoration which flatters dominant and neurotic
class prejudices, and let others please the unevolved and generally uninspired
cultural 'gatekeepers'of the art world. I am after something else, something much
more powerful, far-reaching and longer lived (because much more deeply embedded
in the subconscious history of images and of projecting them into the future).
I hope you browse the following pages and that the images, and the essays I've
written, are taken in the spirit they are given - which is the search for real
meaning - looking intently at yet in opposition to an often decadent, often forgettable,
violent, two-faced and materialist society. The society in which we live and must
face and change.