Sunday, October 3, 2010

the conclusion of asher lev: the final conclusion

as i leave my discussions and thought about my name is asher lev, i would like to leave you with a blessing. it is the blessing that the Rebbe gives asher as he releases him to develop his talent and gift:
i wish you a long and healthy life. i give you my blessings for greatness in the world of art and greatness in the world of your people. (p. 271)
it is good to be blessed. i hope that you have had the experience of being blessed, whether by a father, a brother, a spiritual leader, a stranger. i hope you have been blessed as a father, mother, daughter, son. i hope you have been blessed as an artist. be blessed.

(we could all use a little more blessing)


Shelley said...

p. 215 Jacob Kahn to Asher Lev when he fist comes to Jacob's studio:

"I will teach you how to create tension. I will teach you to handle rage in colour and line. You draw with too much love. No man can love as much as you and survive as an artist. You will become sentimental. And sentimentalism is death to art. Do you understand what I am saying?"

Edward I don't understand what he is saying.
Maybe it will become more clear throughout the book, but I am really perplexed by the line,

"No man can love as much as you and survive as an artist." and

"Sentimentalism is death to art"

I understand that a sentimental greeting card image is less powerful than a controversial painting in terms of impact. But what is he saying we as artists should not be sentimental or loving about making art?

How did you feel about this line Edward? It seems to me like you don't like sentimentalism but you do love much.

techne said...

hey shelley,

i like that:"It seems to me like you don't like sentimentalism but you do love much." thank you.

i think jacob's comment will make more sense as you read the book, since jacob has a very clear position (philosophy? poetics?) that informs his work. the text you quote references rage as much as love. i think jacob is telling asher that he needs to embrace and include the entire emotional palette available to him. remember, jacob is a realist in that way. there is no romance about art and the artistic process for him.

"the work" is the most important thing. "the work" has its own logic, its own demands, its own necessities. the artist must pay attention to that, and work accordingly i.e. the artist makes art to serve art. sentimentalism leads the artist to make art to please people.