Rebels

Painting by guest artist Robert Wadell Cook

Art is a sincere expression of the secrets of our souls. Succinctly put, art is about freedom and sometimes surrender. I see art everywhere and in everything. There is not a corner or crevice that I don’t see some form of art. I see God’s artful beauty in the falling of a leaf from a very tall tree. I am privileged to see art in how a particular leaf cooperates with the wind in a graceful dance falling. Falling and just before landing on the grass as the leaf gestures her final curtsy, she bows to the tree that released her. On a good day, we are illumined by the stunningness of the work of God and his creation, the Artist. On a good day, the artist is free. The artist takes that freedom in the form of free will. We re-create what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. Art is intuitive in that it translates our senses through the spirit and the soul ultimately expressing in a shareable way our humanity with mankind.

All artists are not free. They are not free to express how they feel about the world around them in today’s climate. Many have been muted because they do not go along with the liberal herd psychosis that has dominated society’s culture and most particularly the art scene. Most artists actually prefer not to be inundated by politics, mass media and alternative agendas. However, not all workers are allowed to remain outside the fray. Because of their calling and passion for creating, these brave souls must wallow in the mud collaborating with people who should not even be allowed near their children or small pets. Some must bite their tongues day in and day out because expressing their opinions might mean they will lose their gigs. Still, there are those who, faced with the knowledge of certain ostracism by their fellow artisans, continue their fight to creatively produce in spite of the fact that they are sick and tired of being told what to think and say by mentally stifled liberals. Those artists are my heroes.

One form of expression that this writer/artist is fond of is the gift of writing for film. One such talent is Andrew Klavan. You might have heard of some of his work where his authorship spawned films like:  “True Crime” which starred and was filmed by conservative artist Clint Eastwood. Klavan also penned a movie which starred Micheal Douglass called “Don’t Say A Word”. His gritty crime dramas speak volumes of truth through multiple artforms. The human situation is not always rosy and bright as one clearly sees artfully accomplished through his work. The truth is that exploring the realities of life is sometimes vulgar and uncomfortable. It is not in the writing of the story but in his gut-wrenching honesty in telling the story. His volumes reflect real life, warts and all. Klavan has written dozens of best-selling books.  His narratives are wide-ranging in scope while never forgetting his purpose and love for the written word. Raised culturally as a Jew, Klavan also wrote a book about how his journey led him through agnosticism and then finally becoming a Christian. He also played a major role in writing the challenging screenplay for “Gosnell” along with Irish filmmakers, Phelim McAleer, and Ann McElhinney. The movie tells the true story of abortionist ghoul Kermit Gosnell who”routinely delivered babies alive and then cut their necks with scissors,” ~ producer Ann McElhinney. Well,  if that didn’t get him kicked completely out of Hollywood surely nothing would. I diligently read everything that I can find in order to listen to Klavan’s voice in his style and message.  He also has an enjoyable podcast show. He is instinctively strong because he is sincere in his convictions. I can’t help but pay homage to him because I always learn something different and new. Being a conservative, Klavan is usually swimming against the tide in the industry’s bicoastal affair with liberalism. Klavan says, “Movies are where they were just before the ‘60s hit when they were still making movies for the ’50s, but they didn’t realize that this rebellion was on the way. I think that’s happening now. They the (the left) are all speaking with one voice, but it’s the voice of another generation. They’re being rebels for the time of the ’60s, while we (the right) are the rebels now.”

 Yes, today being on the right and in the art business is a bit radical. Some artists talk about it differently than Klavan who has correctly stated the obvious. Unlike Klavan, many on the left are simply reinventing the wheel. Most films today are formulaic. I see it and I think that many people also are aware of the formula. It just depends on what kind of violence one wants in the storyline. Then there is the gratuitous sex scene, which is rarely seen between a married husband and his wife. Then the climax (of the storyline) when all is revealed soon to be followed by alas the classic denouement. But hey! That formula has worked since before Shakespeare. Basically, while the left is busy making scenes more perverse and brutal, they actually have not had an original thought in the last 70 years! In my humble opinion. What happens when one rebels against the coastal elites? Hmm! Crucifixion comes in many forms and they know them all. A conservative had better hide all the nails and bury the hammers, deep!

I want to believe that we are all free. But I’m coming to believe that is no longer so. People lose their livelihoods for using the wrong words or pronouns. Political correctness is killing comedy and most every comedian will concur to that. So many great comedians like Jerry Seinfeld say that they will never take a gig on a college campus again. I don’t blame them. On college campuses, artists not only have to deal with spineless whiney babies who obviously haven’t given up their pacifiers; but also tall toddlers who’ve become mob-like destroying their own playpens (campuses) during their tantrums. Conservative speakers are rioted against too. And progressives call this progress? I digress. 

Artists must be brave to achieve their best work. I paint. I simply cannot approach a canvass with fear. Fear is paralyzing to any artist of merit. Of course, when addressing one’s medium, quite naturally there is a certain amount of trepidation. But an artist must throw reckless fear out of the window like it was yesterday’s trash and keep those creative mental molecules actively intrepid. It is a process that gets easier with practice. The painting artist must make the major decisions before the brush ever touches the canvass. Often it’s not a brush at all. And for the best results those decisions to have to be made courageously if one wants to have a work of art with impact. Make no mistake.  Being a conservative in politics never impedes the delivery of moments of genius for the artist. That’s truly what they are. Moments. Artists don’t hit a home run every time at-bat. I’ll never tell how many pieces I’ve thrown out or burned! For fear of someone actually seeing that. But we do and must make courageous decisions. Conservatives who are artists are not constricted at all. We allow our freak flag to fly every once in a while.

We have to have guts. Or what would be the point? We work at keeping our integrity intact. Some would call it ‘keeping it real’. Any patsy artist can toe the line of liberal group speech. That’s so easy to do. In fact, at award shows all one has to do is say how much they love gays, hate Trump, or call Harvey Weinstein a god and you are guaranteed exuberant applause. (Just ask Meryl Streep.) The liberal left no longer has to think for themselves individually. They already know what to say to be popular among those who they consider fellow elites. Any one of us could easily do that. But it wouldn’t be honest. We would lose our integrity quickly. At that point, how could we trust what we produce? That’s called selling out. The artist will have lost their very soul. And when you do that you die just a little bit each time. Ultimately you will mourn the person you were meant to be. 

You have to be a badass today to be an artist and also be a conservative or Republican. This atmosphere is not for the faint of heart. While most conservative patrons of the arts couldn’t care less about the political leanings of the artist. They just appreciate the good work as it appears. Yet, liberals seem to hate with venom the very idea that someone has an original thought challenging their easily offended egos. People who make their own living by the fruits of their talents and labor should be entitled, in this country at least, to say what they mean without paralyzing repercussions. Since most artists are also entrepreneurs on the business side of their work (the dreadful side), we need to be afforded some degree of professionalism from our left-leaning peers rather than their ire. In other words, the left needs to start acting like grownups. Those of us on the right have had to develop a tougher skin out of necessity and survival. As Klavan has said, we are the rebels now! We have to be!

But I have hope! There are some in the art world who are not shy about being true to themselves. Their real selves. That’s what excites me about the future of art. There are brilliant artists who are authentic and not frail in their commission. I attempt every day to be that artist. But my work pales in comparison to that of one of my new favorite artists. His name is Robert Wadell Cook. His work is uncompromising, the real deal. He paints with a purposeful command of his medium. His colors are deliberate and bold while being kind to the eyes of even the most provocative viewer, evoking a sense of fortitude and trust. His paintings have a masculine beautiful presence desperately needed today everywhere.  I can tell that he is not attempting to be grandiose, but he is mindful in this painting that I present to you, of the intelligent design of the universe. His seductive use of color draws the viewer in. Parts of this piece are transparent making the viewer feel as though one is peering through to a magical calming place. A place where colors embrace you and you are fine. Cook’s painting elicits my joy and respect. It is exciting to watch as new pieces are born out of his passion for color, texture, and movement. He has the guts to be brilliant and makes it all look so easy, even though the amount of work that he puts into each piece tells me that it is not always easy. That is why this week instead of sharing my own work, I feel compelled to show you a taste of this man’s authentic talent. His work can be interpreted as rough, vigilant and yet pure. He comes out of  left field with a fierce confident abandon. Yes, he is a conservative, in an honest fierce way. He makes me remember why I love art so much. I hope you all get a chance to see his work. If you like art that excites your soul while delighting your eyes this is his life’s work. He is an unapologetic badass rebel, in my own humble opinion. Thank God for artists like him.  Written by Kathy Hatch

Top painting by Robert Wadell Cook
Acrylic Alcohol Ink and more
Instagram wadellcook
Prints may be special ordered

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