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« SoCal Art Museum Notes | Main | Immigration and Britain »

November 06, 2006

Blogging Notes

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Long-time 2Blowhards readers know that I'm fond of illustration, even though I don't write about it much. Fortunately, there are some blogs and Web sites that focus on the subject. Unfortunately, I've done a rotten job of directing readers to those sites.

To atone for my sins of omission, here's what's happening on two sites I like:

David Apatoff's excellent Illustration Art blog recently discussed Stanley Melzoff's 1963 paintings of ancient Greece that appeared in Life magazine.

In two immediately preceding posts, he delved into abstract art. If I understand his position, it comes down to the oh-so-hard-to-define thing called "beauty." I agree. Some abstract paintings are indeed beautiful to my eyes too. And I suspect that David and I also agree that much current art is not beautiful. The same could be said regarding a fair amount of 1890-1965 illustration and most contemporary illustration. These are my opinions, and not necessarily David's; I need to write something more lengthy on this matter.

One thing that bothers me about recent art and illustration is the denial of beauty as an objective of art. A primary artistic goal seems to be creating "edginess," which strikes me as being a form of anti-beauty.

Also take a look at Paul Giambarba's 100 Years of Illustration and Design. Giambarba made of career of illustration and design, so he offers a true insider's perspective.

Currently on the site is a presentation of packaging designs he did for Polaroid in the 60s and 70s.

Scroll down a ways for presentations of illustrations by Al Parker and Jon Whitcomb. Giambarba admits he and other young illustrators (in the 40s and 50s) thought Whitcomb's work was a wee tad icky (my word, not his), but I get the impression he's reconsidering that.

* Some comments to my last post (here) are leading me to ponder announcing my travel plans here on 2Blowhards.

In one instance, I was gently called to task for bypassing a museum I easily could have visited. My plea was ignorance of the San Diego art museum scene. Had I been alerted in advance, my faux pas might have been avoided.

What do you think? For journalistic (make that eyeball-grabbing) reasons we already include a lot of personal information in blog posts. Is more of this really called for? Or would knowledgeable, local tips in Comments improve the potential content of this blog?



posted by Donald at November 6, 2006


I dunno---I don't think you are obligated to manage your travel plans for blog readers. I thought the comment about missing that one museum in San Diego was less than "gentle", it seemed rather pompous and judgemental to me. If you actually want to ask for tips about where to go in a certain city, its up to you. I don't think your obliged to visit certain museums just coz somebody here wants to be an ass if you don't!

Posted by: annette on November 7, 2006 1:21 PM

Don, I agree and would welcome your further reflections on this subject. I think beauty as a pursuit has been out of fashion for a long time-- in part because it is hard to say anything about the subject without sounding inane. But the current state of the arts shows the consequences of abandoning beauty as a polar star. So I think it is incumbent upon those of us who are not easily embarrassed to take up the concept again and see what application it might have in our modern world.

Posted by: David on November 8, 2006 12:51 AM

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