After we had condensed a fat classic into a single line in high school–my introduction to literary criticism–I grumbled to myself, “If that was all the writer wanted to say, then why did I have to read 472 pages and several articles? Why didn’t he just say it directly? Why bother hiding his point behind obscure symbols, as if it were some complex word puzzle?”
However, as Susan Sontag suggests in her essay “Against Interpretation,” art is more than its meaning. It is an experience, a sensual, emotional, and spiritual interaction. The urge to interpret, she argues, is “the revenge of the intellect upon art,” the revenge of the mind against something it cannot easily contain.
Instead, she says, we need an “erotics of art.”
“Bliss Dance,” giant sculpture by Macrco Cochane that once graced Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay (photo by Ronosaurus Rex)
Continue reading “An Erotics of Art: Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation””
Thanks to everyone who came to and supported my photography show at Madrone Art Bar from June 18-September 2nd, 2018 and for those who entered my contest. Check out their amazing creativity and insight by looking at the tag #ronosaurusrex on Instagram.
Looking for beauty in unlikely places, Ron Richardson photographs colorful urban details so small, so unobtrusive, so unimportant that most walk by without noticing.
In these nooks and crannies of our civilization, the natural meets the artificial: plants grow in the cracks, litter mixes with fallen flowers, and metal rusts into glory.
Ron Richardson has been honing his unique abstract photography style for over two decades. With a body of work in the many thousands of photos he has taken to the streets to build a new collection specifically for Madrone.
Continue reading “Urban Abstracts: The Making of an Art Show of Ronald B. Richardson, aka Ronosaurus Rex, at Madrone Art Bar”
At the end of the 1941 John Huston film The Maltese Falcon, based on the Dashiell Hammett novel, Sergeant Tom Polhaus asks Sam Spade about the heavy, black statuette of a falcon that was the cause of all the mystery and murder.
“Heavy,” he says. “What is it?”
Our hard boiled detective, Sam Spade, replies, “The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of.”
Continue reading “The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of: The Real, the Unreal, and the Maltese Falcon”
In the beginning, art was religion.
“The earliest experience of art,” Susan Sontag writes in “Against Interpretation,” “must have been that it was incantatory, magical” (Sontag 1). With her round belly and mammoth breasts, The Venus of Willendorf, one of the earliest known human figurines from 30,000 BCE, was some kind of invocation, whether of fertility, childbearing, sex, the harvest, or the earth we cannot know, but she is undeniably an invocation.
Continue reading “The Venus of Interpretation: Susan Sontag is “Against Interpretation” and for the Sensual Love of Art”