JOHAHN WOLFGANG von OPETHE
There was a time when artists were the ones who wrote poetry or those who just thought poetically. The sculptors and painters were common labor that executed their lofty ideas.
The age of the craftsman lasted a long time.
Common definitions of artists
A person who creates art.
A person who makes and creates art as an occupation.
A person who is skilled at some activity.
A person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.
Or a stronger definition: An artist is someone able to do a work better than others.
After wars and in troubled times artists lead the way out of the dark times. Their individual talents, ideas and spirit inspire us to see new beginnings. Following WW I came Picasso and other crazed painters along with jazz music. After WW II we had bebop and abstract art. The craftsmen with new personalities and fresh ways to express themselves became the artists of their time.
Recently Andrew Derceiwitz wrote in the Atlantic monthly
The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur
“Hard-working artisan, solitary genius, credentialed professional—the image of the artist has changed radically over the centuries. What if the latest model to emerge means the end of art as we have known it?
The word artist conjures up the image of a solitary genius. “He’s an artist,” we’ll say in tones of reverence about an actor or musician or director. “A true artist,” we’ll solemnly proclaim our favorite singer or photographer, meaning someone who appears to dwell upon a higher plane. Vision, inspiration, mysterious gifts as from above: such are some of the associations that continue to adorn the word.
Yet the notion of the artist as a solitary genius—so potent a cultural force, still, of the way we think of creativity in general—is decades out of date. So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago. The new paradigm may finally destroy the very notion of “art” as such—that sacred spiritual substance—which the older one created.
As art was institutionalized, so, inevitably, was the artist. The genius became the professional.”
TODAY ART IS A COMMODITY.
Art, too often, describes high priced events and craft. Those who produce a product that is successfully marketed are labeled artist. We now have the entrepreneur as artist
I THINK ARTISTS ARE SPECIAL
I often use the word artist. I am around a lot of people whom I think are true artists. They don’t compromise their art. I see or hear their work and I know who did it. They add something that is unique. This is important to me and when this uniqueness is missing I am not sure that the results are art. However, to some degree everyone is unique and everything one does reflects the individual. The dedication to not compromise one’s uniqueness is a primary factor in how I define art. When I talk about artists coming to the Dirty Dog I consider them to be uncompromising.
ARTISTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN MOTOWN
There is a stubborn streak in Detroiters. Being your own man is built in and offers an alternative to just stamping things out.
Today, as it always has been, being an artist comes with some sacrifice. You may have to miss out on some big bucks to allow for the time to create your personal art. Musicians along with all in the arts often lead double lives. They use their skills and craft to bring up the level of mainstream music. Motown churned out hit after hit in a small house in Detroit’s east side. After writing and performing the musicians would find a jazz club and practice their art. Fortunately we still have these places. At the Dirty Dog we have a place for artists to come and be true artists. There is a proprietor who encourages free expression and an audience that understands the difference between good enough and trying for something more. The Dirty Dog is a sanctuary for those who have something to say and those of us who need a little art in our lives.
PLENTY OF TRUE ARTISTS SHOWED UP AT THE DIRTY DOG LAST WEEK
On Monday David McMurray played at the Dog for a photo shoot. He asked Rayse Biggs, Chris Coddish, Ibrahim Jones and Jeff Canady to join him. These are all successful jazz men who brought out their best magic for this hometown gig. It was a great night for listening to jazz. These five fiercely individual artists captured the “go for it” spirit of the club. Thanks to everyone.
HERE IS WHAT THE CROWD FELT
LIKE RALPHE ARMSTRONG
On Wednesday Ralphe Armstrong ( the one and only) brought Alex Colista, a bright young guitar player, two McKinneys, Gayelynn McKinney and her cousin Carlos McKinney to compete to see who could make the most stuff up. We all won.
COMING TO THE DIRTY DOG: MORE ARTISTRY
WED & THURS : SHAHIDA NURULLAH
FRI & SAT : DOMONIC FARINACCI