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Archive for November, 2010

24th Nov 2010

Giving Thanks for Un-Asked (& Unwanted) “Blessings”

Each year I share a special Thanksgiving message in an email and blog, which seems to go somewhat viral as people email it to their loved ones and post it on their blogs. As long as the signature and links at the very end of this newsletter are included, you are invited to forward this message or paste it to your blog at will.

This year I find myself giving thanks for so many “blessings” that I certainly never asked for and did not want when I got and suffered through them.

I give thanks for the dysfunctional and abusive home life I had as a child and teen that forced me to find ways to stay away from home until my 5:30 curfew on school day afternoons. Looking for safe havens from cold and inclement weather I discover NYC’s galleries and museums, all open and free to me, which became my safe havens. Due to my repeated visits and obvious interest in art I was befriended and mentored by Mr. Wally Findley and Mr. Wildenstein, who taught me how to see the Cézannes, Monets, Picassos, and other great modern painters whose works they showed and loved. I spent so much time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that I knew all the guards as I wandered the great halls, looking, looking and storing up a wealth of priceless visual memories.

Sag Harbor Bridge Sunset

By Judy Rey Wasserman
Genesis: Sunset-Sunrise series
See more & larger image Click: HERE

I give thanks for the chronic and acute Lyme’s Disease that I suffered from for almost ten years.Due to Lyme’s disease being misdiagnosed originally it became acute and chronic. I was on antibiotics for six straight years, including intravenously, which does not include the many times I was on antibiotics during the four years before I was correctly diagnosed. Nor does it include the times afterward when my body’s then compromised immune system failed to fight even infections from paper cuts.I give thanks because during this illness I had to turn to and tune into “that still small voice” and ask, “What do I do now?” continually, as I had so little energy and “up” time that making the best use of it was critical. From this I learned to listen to The Divine in little ways, as much as I can through each day, in what I do and say. I remain a work in progress, but the Lyme’s Disease, which I would never wish on anyone, totally changed my life, although I am fully recovered for over 16 years now.

Without Lyme’s Disease I would have had the strength, energy and time to pursue my career as a dramatic writer, mainly of comedy scripts. I have little doubt that I would have been successful. If I had been a successful script writer, I doubt I would have discovered painting with symbols as strokes, returned to painting to found and create Post Conceptual, especially UnGraven Image art. I would have been creatively satisfied but never artistically fulfilled. In fact, just when I began to experiment with symbols as strokes, I had a script optioned by a noted actress/director. I walked away from the doors that were then opening to my scripts to devote my time to painting and founding Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art.

I give thanks for the financial struggles I have endured as an emerging artist founding a new art theory, which were exacerbated greatly due to how the recession has impacted emerging artists and most living artists, too. I have learned to find abundance always, in any situation as long as I remain open to the moment.

Where I would have charged forth into the art world two years ago, I withdrew, recognizing that a new theory needs to be successful when it is shown. During this time in self imposed “exile” I have created new series, especially involving portraits and discovered how to use digital media in new ways. Social Media has allowed me to meet and become friends with other artists and people involved with art, which has been fun, informational and helped me to learn about the business side of art. I am again strengthened and much more prepared to found a new art theory and movement. [Note: watch for an exciting announcement in early 2011].

When I have problems, or stumbling blocks that are not brought on by my own actions, but are a kind of unwanted present in life, I have discovered that the true gift is unwrapped by successfully using the problem to learn and grow—and that reward becomes priceless.

So this year I choose to give thanks despite the facts that I still face many problems, including those that can preset themselves as stumbling blocks to goals.

I recognize and experience the world wide recession that continues to impact me and other artists, plus loved ones who have been laid off or struggle to make ends meet with fewer hours or running small businesses where customers and orders remain limited. I also have several of my dearest loved ones who are afflicted with the “gift” of health problems that they did not bring on through bad habits or neglect.

I hear and read the news of war and international threats and actions by Iran , North Korea , the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Hamas that could pull the USA and the free world into further military action. Who is not directly aware of the problems and havoc of global warming and earth changes that have caused violent storms (including a record breaking blizzard here), floods, volcanoes, and earthquakes that have killed and injured people, wrecked homes and places of work, worship and study?Facing the these almost overwhelming problems and more, I am determined to give thanks for the blessings that I am sure can from all the problems if I do my part to help correct the problems, help others and learn the lessons offered throughout the experience. Fall Tree Aleph
By Judy Rey Wasserman
Seasons of Trees series
See more & larger image click: HERE
Mourner’s Prayer
By Judy Rey Wasserman
See more & larger image click: HERE
I give thanks for my loved ones, including those who are no longer with us. It is a privilege to have loved and been loved by someone enough to need to mourn them. It is a blessing to have known someone who will be truly missed, because their contributions to our lives, communities and even the world are appreciated.I give thanks for every extra precious day I have with my loved ones, my friends and family and people who I do not even know, who enrich my life with their contributions of their talents and also volunteer work. While I miss the children who I have lost, I give thanks that this has helped make me especially appreciative of the little ones in stores, on the street and elsewhere who wave, smile and say “Hi” to me, a complete stranger.
So, I give thanks for missing the people I miss.
I also give thanks that I have the blessing of living in a country where I am free to give thanks for whatever I want and worship and create art according to my own conscience and understanding. This heritage of religious tolerance and freedom formally began with the Native Americans and the then European Pilgrims in what became Plymouth , Massachusetts. These blessings of personal religious freedom and tolerance for all, I promote through my art, which is always a vision that we can all share.Wherever you are, I hope and pray that you and your loved ones enjoy your Thanksgiving filled both with blessings you wanted and priceless gifts from facing problem situations with courage, practical faith and Divine grace. Ten Commandments (George Washington)
By Judy Rey Wasserman
Essence Portrait
See more & larger image click: HERE

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let us all pray and work for the blessing of peace, which always begins with tolerance for ourselves and then for others.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by judyrey under Filed under Art & Inspiration, Tolerance, Freedom & Peace Comments 2 Comments »

08th Nov 2010

The Fine Art of Global Protest – Ai Weiwei

Artists are the natural born inspirational leaders and also the critics of their tribe, which means society. The size of the tribe can vary, but due to the internet and words and images that are easily sent far and wide, plus translated, the tribe can include much of the world.

When a government tries to silence the work of any artist who protests or criticizes the government, society, culture, etc., the whole society is diminished as a dialogue that could lead to greater harmony, understanding and progress is stifled.

This week the Chinese government issued notice to the internationally renowned artist Ai Wei Wei that his studio in Shanghai is to be demolished. This is especially bitter since he was wooed by the government to build this new studio in Shanghai . Now the government claims it lacks the necessary permits. The authorities have also suggested that Mr. Ai could donate the building to the government. “Of course I don’t want it to be knocked down, but they already announced it was illegal so I don’t see how they can take the sentence back,” said Ai Weiwei.

Ai Weiwei is an outspoken critic of China ‘s government in relation to human rights. Since Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last month the press of the free world has reported an ongoing and widespread crackdown on dissidents, lawyers and professors in China .

On Friday, November 5, 2010 , the Guardian reported that Ai Weiwei was under house arrest until Sunday evening, which coincides with the end of a party he had planned in his studio as a kind of a protest and send off.

Apparently, the Chinese governments problems with Ai Weiwei stem from his activities protesting the government’s handling of the devastating Chinese earthquake, and his using his fame and international recognition, including his popular Twitter account (href=”twitter.com/aiww”) @aiwwto accomplish this.

Moreover, Ai Weiwei uses his art to comment on the conditions of society and inspire change.

Ai Weiwei’s current exhibit at the Tate, and his sunflower seeds move me, as I see each seed as a tiny, sculptural Conceptual Art stroke. There is so much meaning inherent in each of these tiny porcelain seeds, as sunflower seeds are both nourishing and also the convey the hope and promise of the glorious huge flowers they can become. Piled together as I saw them at Chelsea Piers, or filling a floor that can be walked on at the Tate, these porcelain seeds can be understood as many hopes and dreams that are unfulfilled and will never come to fruition. They are as dry and lifeless as the porcelain they are made of. Mr’s Ai’s comment on his society and perhaps that of the world, is filled with wry irony that can inspire humanity.

Clearly, I am a fan of Ai Weiwei’s work, which I have mentioned previously in at least one blog review. However, even if I hated his work, I would still protest the actions by the Chinese authorities to limit his art and freedom.

I am a citizen and artist of the USA , living in New York , and I have no first hand knowledge if Ai Weiwei is correct in his criticism and protests of his government. However, I do salute his bravery and conscientious behavior in standing for something he holds to be true, even though he knew his actions would not be popular in a country that limits or even curtails free speech (and thus art).

Although my work is not yet well known, I am the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory, which includes the branch known as UnGraven Image . As of last week another good artist is joining in, creating works according to the tenets of the theory as stated in its manifesto, which makes it the first theoretical art movement of the 21 st Century, as well as the first ever founded by a woman. Further, this is the first religious art theory or movement that encompasses theology and beliefs held by most of the world’s religions, while also being science based. It is a vision that we can all share.

This puts me in a position of artistic leadership. I cannot stand by and watch what is happening to Ai Weiwei without protest, although my form of leadership through my work is usually to inspire.

Perhaps as artists we enjoy a perspective that most people do not experience in their lives and work. Although Ai Weiwei is Chinese and I am American, our collectors and fans are internationally based, as are art fairs, galleries and even museums like the Guggenheim. The country where we live is not necessarily where we sell our art or have professional connections. In fact, where we make our art really is initially in our minds, and ideas can come wherever we are. Today’s artists are kind of cultural ambassadors from their countries and also citizens of the international art world.

There are no perfect governments or societies now, and none have existed throughout history. Whenever a government seeks to limit or censor its artists and/or their art that society is diminished and doomed to fail according to history. The government’s historical significance is likewise decreased, as history merely records the military and territorial might of a government but celebrates cultural and scientific progress and achievement.

Mr Ai said the decision to prevent him from attending the party was indicative of the Chinese government’s inability to tolerate dissent or debate.

When artists and scientists fled the Nazi’s they took with them innovation and culture that enhanced other societies, including that of my country during the mid-twentieth century. At that time economies were more regional, and economic sanctions from other countries would have been meaningless. Ironically, some of those artists and scientists also criticized their new countries, where they prospered, which only helped strengthen those societies to this day.

Every government that attempted to stifle its artists’ questions and protests, to impose an official view that was not tolerant of its artists and their various works, which are always communications, fell.

In the Twenty-first Century, while the many international trade agreements, multi-national companies and outsourcing have helped create a global economy, a grass roots economy has been developing that includes anyone who has access to a mobile phone or computer with internet access.

The grass roots global economy has considerable economic clout, which is understood by marketers and major international companies that seek to use the members of social media, including bloggers, Twitter and Facebook members to help promote their products. It is widely recognized that Barack Obama’s understanding and use of this technology helped get him elected.

However, this new global network can also communicate negative information about a product that can be devastating. Tylenol learned from the Mommy Bloggers who are also on Twitter, the results of such a campaign can be swift and impossible to counteract with even the best public relations efforts.

Although the government of China has attempted to curtail and censor Google and the Internet for its citizens, it cannot affect the web’s use outside of China . It cannot prevent a boycott of merchandise made in China that spreads across the internet to grow among people of many nations. The global economy means that individuals can now “vote” in relation to governments of other countries simply by what they purchase.

The public, consumers, have been patient when we learned that products from China were substandard or downright dangerous, including toys that contained lead, food that was tainted, and products that were counterfeit or defective. That patience came from the dialogue and communication with China ‘s government and manufacturers about how to correct the situations. Communication indicates good will and brings solutions. The world is eager to communicate and be friends with China and its citizens.

A government that restricts or stifles the communications of its artists, scientists and other innovators internally, limits and even cuts off its own dialogue with the international community, which appreciates the contributions of these innovators.

Ai Weiwei is recognized as one of the great Chinese artists of our time by the international art community, as can be understood from his current solo show at the Tate.

His recent house arrest and proposed demolition of Mr. Ai’s studio, will do more damage to the way the people throughout the world see that Chinese government, and merchandise that is made there, than any communication from Ai Weiwei could ever do.

A country’s wealth is not only in its gold, silver, oil, gas, diamonds and other natural resources, or in its manufacturing and goods, the real wealth of any society lies in the legacy of ideas it leaves to the next generations. These ideas come from its innovators, which include its best artists. It is hoped that China will swiftly recognize the great treasure they have in the art and life of Ai Weiwei and treat him and his studio with the great respect and honor he deserves, which will generate in turn honor and respect for the Chinese government.

“Freedom is often a person’s ability and scope of happiness.” -Ai Weiwei

VOTE, by Judy Rey Wasserman

In God We Trust series, 2010

Strokes of Dollar Bill: Exodus 20 (Ten Commandments)

Follow @judyrey who follows all real people back.

Want to help? Spread this blog via your social media and email connections. Send it to thought leaders in your circle of friends, to journalists, and government officials who deal with international matters — plus you are free to embed it or quote from it in your own blogs.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by judyrey under Filed under Art & Inspiration, Tolerance, Freedom & Peace Comments 1 Comment »

01st Nov 2010

VOTE 2010

Dollar Bill Washington says: "VOTE" by Judy Rey Wasserman
VOTE 2010 by Judy Rey Wasserman

New original image print from the In God We Trust series by Judy Rey Wasserman. Strokes of the Dollar Bill and Essence Portrait of George Washington are all the original letters of Exodus 20 (The Ten Commandments).
* * *
Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]

Posted by Posted by judyrey under Filed under Art & Inspiration, Art Theory and Show Reviews, Tolerance, Freedom & Peace Comments No Comments »