Mark Tansey paints the thinking

Oh I know, I know.  I just have to make a post about Mark Tansey.

* M. Tansey – The Judgement of Paris

read on ->

We are all invited to enjoy his subtle irony. Here’s a reenactment of the judgemnt of Paris. But in fact it’s a girl watching men climbing an obstacle. She must be having a great time looking at those clumsy men (oh, i hope you didn’t hurt yourself Steve), as Paris no longer has the privilege of choice. But you can also think it’s an audiance looking at a contemporary artist trying to impress them by doing the wierdest and the most useless things. In fact it looks just lika a person in a museum contemplating a modern painting, not with much enthusiasm though. Is the modern art too much an intellectual practise then?

The spirit of Rene Magritte is alive and well but Tansey is not so far away in some distant, dream-like reality. His work is like an americanisation of the conceptual paintings. His objects are bathed in awkwardenss, loneliness, in those through-a-filter colours. There must have been some Hopper involved?influence too.  And what a brilliant mix it is. Here, please have some more of him.

* M. Tansey – Oil Sketch for Utopic

Now it’s more clear to see, that a requirement for his art is to imagine what his models are thinking.  It’s all symbols, all references but what is more all the ‘action’ is conceptual. This poor utopist lies depressed in a warm glory of antique portraits. They are surely his masters. Is it Freud/Marks/Nietzsche ? Those three who where first to openly question commonsense and plain reality. Those who struggled to prove that our thoughts are but spoils in the great war of infulence, far beyond our control, somewhere in abstract realms of psychology and economy.  This man, painted here, might very well know all this and maybe this devastating theories taken the rest of the control he had over his life, plunged him into desperation and hopelessness.  His head is full of quotes like this:

“Out into distant futures, which no dream hath yet seen, into warmer
souths than ever sculptor conceived,- where gods in their dancing
are ashamed of all clothes” 

F. Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

So he knows that there is no way to achive this and proceeds to cry, surrenders to inertia. Thus failing to understand the bright side of Nietzsche’s philosophy, who urged us not to overthink life, yet act and live ‘here and know’ . What is beyond our control should not affect us in such a harmful way. A beautiful example of this perspective can be found in these words:

We do not speak to each other, because we know too much – we keep silent to each other, we smile our knowladge to each other.

F. Nietzsche – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

card10 #House of cards

2 comments on “Mark Tansey paints the thinking

  1. Laurie Keim says:

    Great post. The following quote was worth admission alone:
    “Those who struggled to prove that our thoughts are but spoils in the great war of infulence,” Wonderful.
    Cheers, Laurie Keim

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