Paug, Peale and Artists like Edgeworth
Not a dog eat dog one, not even close. A time when humans aren’t the champion market personalities, beating down their own kind at every opportunity. The concept has not re-existed yet, and may never again. All species on the last life planet of the Orion Arm act together as one body, one universe, for the everlasting and instantaneous completion of itself.
Here the good news for the Paug is a light lunch of Peale in a winter iodine storm. Surviving Peale will regroup this afternoon near the Mint Ivory burial ground and dine on meekores in the hot shade of its dripping silver forest.
Last night I had my sister over for dinner and then front row seats at a college hockey game. Below is a picture of most of the packaging that was used to prepare one meal for three people. Obviously, some had prior use—I just couldn’t help but notice the enormous waste pile growing while tossing the empties away in the “recycling” bin.
The meal was decent. CAFO meatloaf with gravy, mac and cheese, cornbread, peas, green salad with radishes, and pear tartin with vanilla ice cream. Wine and beer! Wine and beer! Wine and beer!
I came up with a religion to save us and wrote about it in a previous False Consensus. I think it’s worth a return, followed by lazy Sunday contemplation, before the birds get back from starvation holiday.
Now for some artspeak, followed by one of the world’s greatest living artists:
Preface to International Stuckism at Watkins Glen (2017)
This year I turned 50, and began a new career called Stuckism. It suits me. I have waited long enough for camaraderie in the arts, and this, my second curatorial of international paintings, witnesses many humble painters coming together in visual display. Hurray! This is exactly what I desire on most days. Communion with my fellow man and woman. At this point in time, I am not interested in the past nor the future, if either denies me a charmed life in the present moment to express myself at normal speed. Normal “Ron” speed, set revving at a steady 7,500 rpm’s, like any healthy Mazerati.
What else is there for me to do but paint and revere painting? Go back to line cooking? Learn a trade? Van Gogh said painting was a trade. I agree. I see Lupo Sol as an expert tradesman. And I have heard through the grapevine that a few people showing in this exhibition can support themselves on painting alone. Can you guess who? I’ll tell you the answer in secret.
Yes! Paint a picture, find a market, sell it as a curiosity for a curiosity room. Get a promoter and you’re probably damned. Do it yourself, and you could starve and learn to steal, if stealing converted to bread and shelter. Still, that wouldn’t be so bad if the children were lovingly raised and soon flitting from the nest to begin their own quests for fulfillment. Responsibilities lessened significantly. Time for Buddha. Break with routine to seek freedom like the sage. First the sun and then the moon, again and again…
Which brings me to the #1 reason as to why I am a Stuckist painter.
Good god, we’re all going to die! That’s a downer mantra I’ve been repeating over and over since my younger days. That, and the word “why?”, spoken unceasingly since I was a teenage boy, like a searching pilgrim of old reciting the Lord’s prayer.
Painting has been my main practice of meditation for years. It helped me succeed in the practicalities of life—now I have passed unto the final phases without regret or drug addiction, which has got to be rare for any people burdened with a nagging conscience in this über political, hypocritical, and often psychotic environment called the Western world.
I paint because I am free. I survive because of my wife Rose, who is sole provider. I have given to my family in countless ways that are uncountable by the New York Stock Exchange. I am a Stuckist because I dream to herd sheep on a Wales hillside. Does John Bourne paint for that? I also paint to know 6 p.m. on an Indian summer night’s stroll past Sheridan Square in Greenwich Village. Does Terry Marks know that?
Stuckist painter reason #2: Communion.
I also paint to walk along the canals of Saint Petersburg on a cool Autumn day beside four of my favorite Russian painters (all exhibiting here). I want Alena Levina to paint me in her Moscow Studio, Charles Thomson of London proper to plop me down in his white patio chair and philosophize over afternoon tea. I’d take the lot of you over to the corner pub and demand a round of boilermakers and a pissy attitude.
Do you see? For me Stuckism is the coming together of poets who paint, and the sharing of our love, hope, and dreams with the rest of the world. It might be flowers for one, landscape plein air for another. JX Coudrille is a surrealist painter and a Stuckist. He can be both, but he can’t be both without love. Dali loved Dali, and maybe his armadillo too, but not much more than that. The Stuckist loves painting, and through painting, searches for a way to love the world.
I could be way wrong in my interpretation of Stuckism, beyond its precepts in the manifesto. Oh well. Someone else can take up the torch after Watkins Glen and curate his or her own exhibition. And so on, and so forth.
Overall, I believe that art must bring people together. There is too much aloneness in the arts, and although Stuckism is a quest for authenticity unto oneself, I find that this is just another way to preserve the paradigm of individual spirituality, which has been a kind of curse upon the world. Both Krishnamurti and U.S. First Lady Barbara Bush thought best to perfect themselves first, and then the world problem would cease altogether. Bah! This morning my President threatened all the world with nuclear annihilation.
Humanity does not need any more virtuosos set to achieve individual perfection at any cost. We need people! That means more artists must come out of their shells—not further their plans for interior decoration. We need to gather for communion at each and every opportunity—not hide away in home monasteries getting all so perfect in our own minds. The Internet helps a great deal. For instance, I could never have planned this exhibition if it were not for cyberspace. Still, even on the Internet, I seek this “coming together” in art, and discover homepage after homepage of avarice. This new career Stuckism must take me out of myself, someone I have known for too long already. Ron Throop is good enough. Now it’s time to paint and meet some people.
Stuckism is painting with ideas. Let’s bring people together and share those ideas!
In the immortal words of Brian Conzone, fireman and ex-line cook of ill repute, while remarking on my effort last year to share the work of Russian painters with the people of my town:
“I drink this bourbon and think what a freaking genius you are. Forge ahead Ronnie! I always knew you would break through and unite us all”
That is the highest compliment I have ever received as a painter. And I want more. Lots more.
¡Viva el Stuckism!
— Ron Throop
Now for the real treat:
Please have a listen to my podcast from 2020 about one of the world’s greatest living artists.
Here are three videos to get you more acquainted with Edgeworth. In the last one, he interviews me for a paper painting exhibition I had at his studio back in September. Edgeworth brings life energy to a topsy-turvy world. I believe the answer to why we chide our own time calling it mean names lies somewhere between the ecological horror contents of my recycling bin and the suicidal tendency of our species, which every minute every hour tacitly honors the waste-making market personality of killer business tyrants over the life-everlasting genius flow from makers such as Edgeworth Johnstone.
Please, please, make room for the life-giving ones!
Thank you Edgeworth.
Emma Pugmire on drums.