American Classic Feb 20, 2010

I traveled down to the Gene Autry Museum yesterday with my fellow Artists/Art Students Filberto Lomeli, Doreen White, Cyndi Burt, Kate Smith, and Donna Moser. We went to see the Masters of the American West Art Exhibition. This exhibition had at least two to three hundred paintings by contemporary master artists, or as I call them, "Blue Chippers".

As per usual the caliber of representational paintings was superb. Incredible craftsmanship, vision, skill, and quality of product. It far surpasses much of the artwork I have seen produced in the last year in other locations around Southern California.

What was truly inspiring was the fact that so many paintings were sold. The prices ranged from $2300.00, to $1.2 MILLION. Howard Tepening's painting sold for close to 1.2 million! Mian Situ's painting had a red dot on it, priced and sold, for $780,000.00. So, there is plenty of money and art appreciators out there.

The most successful sellers were paintings with the content; some form of prey. Moose, Wolves, Cattle, Foxes, Bison, etc., something to feed the hunter's instinct. In my opinion, it is the job of the artist to balance his life out; to become a skillful hunter, so he can survive as an artist and continue to produce his artwork.

If an artist believes that money isn't everything, but it sure can move you into the right neighborhoods, then there is the possibility that what he produces will be meaningful and appreciated, and not thrown into the trash cans of art history as ammeter or mediocre.

Just outside in the parking lot in the stall next to our ride, was this beautiful American Classic; a 1962 Ford Thunderbird, cherry red. Seeing it was a great way for me to finish off this two hour visit; this feast of visual stimulation. It was another form of art, a classic expression of American ingenuity and design.

A dash of red.