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Crowley's art


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LOL... ok.. that makes sense and also, having read your explanation plus breaking up kwaw's opinion into pieces for easy digestion, I sort get the idea now.

Migraine coming.. an awful lot of fancy words just to say that his work sucked/s but he got away with it. So people didn't say it was "NASTY!!" simply because of the rule of the day at that time was to oppose what was conventional ("boring"?) for the sake of opposing.

If they had their aesthetic senses intact and functioning under normal circumstances, they would have went "Good lord!! YOU call that art??!! My dog draws better than that!!"

And all this managed to take place because Hitler hadn't brought on his whip yet. Was that what you were trying to say?

Ash
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Here it is, from John Symonds "The Beast 666" (London, Pindar Press, 1997) -

(late 1930) "A certain Nierendorf who owned or ran the Porza art gallery in Berlin called on Crowley at his Berlin studio, looked at his paintings, told him (according to Crowley) that there were only three other living painters to be classed with him, and that he could get Reichmarks 25,000 per picture. He offered (for a fee) to open the doors of the Porza to Crowley's paintings.

(...)

"The exhibition opened (11 October, 1931)... Seventy-three of his paintings and drawings were shown; some of them were of old friends or new acquaintances: Leah Hirsig, Norman Mudd, J.W. Sullivan, and Aldous Huxley, who had recently arrived in the German capital with Sullivan."

(from pp. 460-463)

Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredashes
Migraine coming.. an awful lot of fancy words just to say that his work sucked/s but he got away with it. So people didn't say it was "NASTY!!" simply because of the rule of the day at that time was to oppose what was conventional ("boring"?) for the sake of opposing.

If they had their aesthetic senses intact and functioning under normal circumstances, they would have went "Good lord!! YOU call that art??!! My dog draws better than that!!"

And all this managed to take place because Hitler hadn't brought on his whip yet. Was that what you were trying to say?

Ash
LOL - yeah, a lot of fancy words, but it's a good way of looking at the situation.

Most art critics, amateur and professional, are far beyond "liking" most of the art they critique; they just have to put it into some kind of category, and think about it in terms of that category. Crowley put himself in a new category, "subconscious impressionism" - this is similar to the later surrealism. However, I think he is just a "naïve" - self-trained, and drawing like a child. But, he got quite skillful in some of his sketches.

For the art that art critics really like on a personal level, you will have to go to their bedrooms to see it

Ross
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredashes
Migraine coming.. an awful lot of fancy words just to say that his work sucked/s but he got away with it. So people didn't say it was "NASTY!!" simply because of the rule of the day at that time was to oppose what was conventional ("boring"?) for the sake of opposing.

If they had their aesthetic senses intact and functioning under normal circumstances, they would have went "Good lord!! YOU call that art??!! My dog draws better than that!!"
That of course is the perennial argument of the conservative against the modern or avante garde.

Even before Hitler came to power a sharply polarised debate was in place between conservatives and modernists, and possibly Crowley would have found approval amongst a certain section merely on the basis that his art epitomised everything their own enemies hated, rather than purely on the basis of his artistic merits; but also because in its own naive way it did reflect what they stood for and bore comparison with other artists at the time whose work was valued.

In such an hostile environment as Germany was already becoming for many, critical approval may have been as motivated by ideology as content. That is not to say they did not truly find anything of artistic value in his work, but that approval or disapproval cannot be divorced from the political and social strains and debates of the place and period. It may have resonated for some for example on the basis that its ugliness reflected for them the increasing ugliness of the oppressive society they found developing around themselves.

The conservative-modernistic, skill v. 'a child could have done that' debate is an ongoing one of course, that we see exemplified through the extremity of the German experience. The same old arguments are going on now as ever, versions of it in this very thread. That his allies may have thought the same of him in other circumstances is not the point, for it is the very same brush that the conservatives tarred them with; for Crowley, prophet of the aeon of the crowned and conquering child, a compliment to rejoice in rather than waste time being defensive about.

Personally I like it a lot, actually more than I thought I did as this thread has led me to take a closer look at it than I have before, and I think it does bear comparison with some of the work of the German Expressionists, albeit naturally more naïve by comparison through lack of training, and a theory of art that bears some resemblance as Ross notes to the surrealists.

Kwaw
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He did have a small window to have exhibited his art at the beginning of the 30's, that's true. In fact, that makes perfect sense when you think about it.

To me his portraits are like grotesque caricatures.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
"The exhibition opened (11 October, 1931)... Seventy-three of his paintings and drawings were shown; some of them were of old friends or new acquaintances: Leah Hirsig, Norman Mudd, J.W. Sullivan, and Aldous Huxley, who had recently arrived in the German capital with Sullivan."

(from pp. 460-463)

Ross
Which one of them had big lips / mouth or the funny wave do? That portrait stood out more than the others if we're discussing purposefully ugly and I think A showed his resentment through his artwork. Truth to tell, that one sorta freaked me out a little

All in all though, I still think there's honesty in his work and technique aside, transfering feelings to art is something artschool can't teach.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lampkin
He did have a small window to have exhibited his art at the beginning of the 30's, that's true. In fact, that makes perfect sense when you think about it.
Crowley was in Berlin between 1930 and January 1933, where he lived for a while with Gerald Hamilton (whom Christopher Isherwood based his character Mr Norris on), both of whom according to Hamilton enjoyed a small stipend from British Intelligence to spy on each other. Many of his paintings and drawings from the 1931 Berlin exhibition were left in storage with members of the OTO in Germany; these (including for example his portrait of Aldous Huxley) were seized (and presumably destroyed) by the Nazis c.1937.

Kwaw
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That's an interesting piece of history, thanks for sharing that kwaw.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest
Although I dont mind the 3 monks carring the dead goat in the snowstorm to somewhere.
I like that one too:

http://www.myspace.com/kwaw93
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A crowley exhibition


Some crowley paintings:

http://community.livejournal.com/oto...ity/65166.html

The sixteenth painting down, the moon, is interesting in relation to the thoth tarot he created with Harris, with the beetle and two anubis figures.

here a video: poor quality images:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVAVfLDDr0U

Kenneth Anger's film of the Crowley exhibition : the man we want to hang ~

part 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg2p6...eature=related

part 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQGmC...eature=related
Top   #30

 

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