Edward Muegge “Buck” Schiwetz (1898 — 1984)
(c) 2019 JMN
I missed some posts. Who is this artist?
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Buck was the “official artist” of Texas in the 70’s. (Yes there is such a thing.) His dad wouldn’t let him get an art degree (horrors!) so he majored in architecture at Texas A&M. He was born in a little town near me. I’ll re-post a kind of CV of his that turned up in a folder. He was a friend of my family. Partnered an ad agency in Houston that became McCann-Erickson. Did illustration, commercial work for Humble Oil Company. I don’t know what his doodles are worth, have just had to put finger-in-the-wind prices on them. I’m putting all the stuff on the blog under “Parting Looks” at the bidding of my consultants.
I knew you had some connection to him, but didn’t know what it was. He has an enviable amount of technical skill. I’m not sure one could still learn those skills anywhere anymore, other than on their own, and with serious commitment.
I’m glad you think Buck skilled. He seems so to me. His sketches amaze me for their authority and small scale in many cases. Your remark is interesting so far as I perceive what it connotes about the art “academies” nowadays.
Technical drawing ability is considered not only absolutely irrelevant in fine art, but somehow part of the problem that needs to be eradicated by any and all means necessary.
Amazing. Is it in any way analogous to banning music theory from the training of musicians? I don’t necessarily mean pop stars, but rather, say, those who staff symphony orchestras around the world. Graduates of Juilliard and the like….
It’s the legacy of anti-art, which has become the dominant paradigm in the art world. I don’t think anti-music took off because, well, nobody wants to spend time listening to it. The only thing worse would be eating anti-cuisine. But in the case of anti-art you just talk about the ideas and you don’t need to spend any time with the actual work, and certainly not with looking at it.
Art has become props for disseminating linguistic ideas, rather than being a medium for visual communication in visual language.
If one wants to learn how to draw, I think you need to major in commercial art, or illustration or something. fine art is all conceptual now. Painting is only considered a a subset of conceptual art, and a backwards one.
What people miss is that visual art has been hijacked by a genre of art that gives nothing to look at.
Interesting. Is it naive to imagine that the pendulum will eventually swing back in the other direction, I wonder? Now that you mention it, I do occasionally bump into what I would take to be anti-music in my sporadic explorations for new listening on Spotify. It is punishing to the ear after a few minutes in most cases; or else I simply ignore it after a moment if something else absorbs my attention.
Now that you mention it, I think anti-art will eventually implode because it is so negative. The ideas of originality, creativity, and the imagination are anathema to contemporary art, along with skill, beauty, and authenticity. That’s a recipe for some dull art, which tries to revitalize itself by becoming political, or being a mirror to whatever is popular.
It’s all so cynical. Even if it were impossible to be genuinely original, creative, imaginative, and if spirituality and transcendence are ultimately pure deluded fantasy, well, by me, the fun is in trying. And I don’t believe for a second that our species is incapable of doing anything new. Quite the opposite.
That’s a good frame of mind. There are good reasons to chase “delusions.” It keeps us trying in one way or another. Perhaps the pernicious orthodoxy isn’t monolithic? Given our motliness as humans, there may be rogues here and there who may be obscurely and penuriously doing great work? Thanklessly, for sure, but maybe transcendent ultimately? A nurturing fantasy perhaps, but it doesn’t die easily. Who can say?
I must draft some bio matter on the 3 artists in my estate sale — Schiwetz, Jones and Nichols. I would like to quote from your comment about Buck’s technical skill with your permission. For attribution I would cite you and your site artofericwayne.com. If this is OK please reply. (Or if not.)
But of course.
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