The Exchange - Why the modern Artist needs to give up on being such a prissified pansy, a limp wrist-ed imitator of actors and other ne'er do wells, stop painting his face like a mime, pick up a chisel and a hammer, and start acting again like a Real Man.
Before I present my thesis proper on this issue let me briefly interject a bit of history into the discussion. Art, architecture, sculpture used to be dominated by real men. Men who could bend iron bars in their bare hands and invent incredible devices, like Leonardo, men who could labor torturous hours suspended in backbreaking rafters to paint a huge cathedral ceiling, like Michelangelo, men who could invent and design and build, like Phidias. Men who were centuries ahead of their time, true beacons of their age, often as much scientist and philosopher and poet and warrior and strategist and even priest as just a run of the mill artist and dabbler in crayons and water color.
Art was the domain of the brilliant and the ingenious, yes, that is certainly true, kingdom of the creative and the futurist and the Renaissance man and polymath, but it was also the realm of the thinker and the wizard and the tough man and the strong guy and the fearless and the dauntless and the expeditionary and the adventurer, not just the realm of the limp-wristed, emotive, cry-baby faggot and Andy Warhol type stick-man, scarecrow bodied modern artist.
When people used to say Artist the term both denoted and connoted respect, a certain authority, a man one could consult and declare because he was possessed of a fearless vision of the future and because everyone knew that if push came to shove this was a man you could turn towards to solve problems, - not moan, bitch and cry about them like a spoiled little prep school grammar doll. Women admired, respected, desired and loved them instead of inviting them to luncheon chats to get the artist's latest recommendations on hairstyles and make-up foundation.
In addition when an artist said he was an artist he didn't mean he was a mere sketch master or a painter, or a caricature carnival man, or a thememaker who spent twenty years churning our different colored versions of the same soup can in his mother's kitchen apron, he meant he could do damned near anything; design buildings, build buildings, compose music, read and write in foreign languages, do math and geometry, act, run his workshop as a thriving business venture, create machines and invent, paint, draw, observe, deduce, create, problem solve, he could do it all, as needed and necessary. He was painter, sketcher, designer, architect, scientist, inventor, researcher, genius, traveler, musician and poet, mathematician, tactician, consultant, engineer, even soldier if need be. He mixed his own paints, created his own tools, devised new techniques and approaches previously unimagined, was one of the great entrepreneurs of the engine of human progress.
In short an artist was a Man, all man, in contrast to so much that passes for manhood in our modern society. And when someone called a man an artist, a true artist, the word most often used in passing was "Maestro." That man was a Master. And that said it all.
We move forward to the so called "modern artist" and everything that denotes and connotes. I needn't go into detail, we all understand what this means and what the differences obviously are, and what that implies. And so I present the body of my thesis as to why Artists should once again strive to be Men instead of merely "Modern."
Thesis: Because it's the right thing to do, because it's about freakin time, and wouldn't you much rather be known as a Man and a Maestro than a Metrosexual?
Just think about it for about 3 seconds or so. Then you decide.
P.S.: Can we get an "Amen" from the Writer's Chorus? They could use a good dose of manhood while we're at it.