I have a strong sense that whatever modicum of culture America had pre and post World War II is rapidly sliding into the abyss. This blog is a way of publicly discussing my angst with the American relationship with art and creative expression, as well as the culture that drives those interactions. There has always been a tension between deep artistic practice and American liberalism because we were founded on a divorce from the European continent. That separation was predicated on this nation being a frontier state that allows the wealthy, elite to reimagine opportunity free of the constraints of morality. We were never a nation who had a cultural framework other than profit. It should not, therefore, surprise us that the art industry we have created off the backs of the radical invention of abstract expressionism, is a cynical machine intended to use the idea of culture as yet another means toward capital.
This does not mean that art should be lost to us or that we should allow the construct created by the powerful and the wealthy, to deny art’s power and knowledge. I believe that art still holds a lot of transformative power and is always heuristic. It has the potential to guide us by giving us a criticality that is otherwise missing in this filthy soup of media and memes we have often replaced it with.
My goal with this blog is to offer ideas, thoughts, and the occasional poke with a sharp stick in the hope of instigating awareness through conversation. If my writing does nothing more than get you to go look at and engage art more often in your life than I will feel it was worthwhile.
About Erik Odin Cathcart
Mr. Cathcart is a lifelong artist whose primary medium is painting. He is also a writer and professional marketing executive. He has taught art both informally and formally (on the college level) and has worked or interacted with every aspect of the art world from shipping to curation. He is finishing his first book, The Artful Life, that shares artistic strategies on how to live a more fulfilling life. His next project will be a book about Francis Bacon & Postmodernism. He currently serves as the Director, Marketing & Strategy for Earth Advantage, a Portland, Oregon nonprofit that advocates for green building by providing knowledge to building professionals.