Over the weekend on the Sundance channel on TV was a movie about Ed "Big Daddy" Roth the 1950's car customizer who changed the automobile into an object d'arte. He took the basic mode of transportation and went beyond the usual car customizers who fixed up cars to be hot rods with light bodies and heavy engines and took it to a whole new level. He sculpted cars and was self conscious of his role in art. He combined gear head sensibility with a sculptures eye to create cars that were years ahead of their time, in the sense it took years for others to catch up with his ideas. Todays concept cars owe a lot to him, and he infiltrated pop culture with his cars. Anyone who remembers the pop culture tv shows, the Munsters, even the bat mobile these owe something to this guy. The movie was fascinating, although I was born near the end of the fifties and owe as much of my upbringing to the 60's this guy was part of my childhood. I remember walking by a car showroom that had some of his work there. He invented the silkscreen tee shirt of today and counter culture in his own way.
It is funny as the 50's were portrayed as the era of Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver but it was so much more and so much less. And the early 60's were that much different. But artistically speaking a lot of what we see today has their roots in these arid times. Something was bubbling beneath the surface. Art gets real interesting to me when the tectonic plates of history create enough energy for the eruption. If you watch these interviews of visual artists during this period they all speak of the sense of rising energy in the air. Something was happening, they were on a crest of a wave. I have no real reason to say this is true or not but as a general impression it appears to be real. It seems to me that art ebbs and flows until something kind of breaks out. Artists are not stopping or not making great stuff but it doesn't grab the popular consciousness until it erupts on the horizon.
I am not sure where we are right now, but I want to be part of that bubbling under suface activity until I break out.
Maybe I am right or maybe I am wrong, I am just trying to figure it out while going on my merry way.
ta ta for now