Any long-winded tirades about recycling or nostalgia for mechanical machines would be absolute bullshit, and I’m renowned for bullshitting . I was broke and bored when it all came to me. The romantic high ideals that people have about art are moronic. Art is a disease and a curse if you do it for the right reasons.
I try my best not to fill the world with more contrived and saccharine shit.
The standard bio from 2004 is pretty humdrum:
Jeremy Mayer’s artwork is inspired by humanity, specifically our potential.
“I think we’re better than we think we are,” Mayer says. “[I like] Nietzsche’s idea of the Uberman, the Superman. It’s doable, but it’s just boring. It’s just not fun. It’s fun for people to make a bunch of money and have nice toys and big houses … It’s very childish, and it’s not the best we can do.”
Mayer, 32, grew up in rural northern Minnesota. The son of a railroad worker, he was the only artist in his family. But, says Mayer, “I was that kid”–that kid who could draw anything and did, from cars to cartoons. Mayer is a self-taught artist. From a young age, he would perform rigorous art exercises, a habit he employs to this day.
“I’m very serious when it comes to art, using the very best materials, taking as much time as it takes no matter what it costs,” Mayer says. “It’s the one thing in my life that I do the best, and everything else in my life falls into place. It’s my evolution.”
The connection between typewriters and making money seems to be impossible to sever; Mayer is blatant about that in an interview from 2002. I can respect that a lot more than the idea that art is a form of “exercise” that leads to “evolution.” Feh. That is a sort of phony and saccharine spiritualism that the world could use much less of.
“I was and still am fascinated by the intricacy and efficiency of the strange little Rube Goldberg contraption that is the typerwriter,” Mayer explained in a statement about his art. “There is no good reason that I can imagine that the machinery of the typewriter had to be engineered to be so beautiful and organic, as it would function perfectly well without being pretty.”
Mayer, 29, grew up in Minnesota and started drawing in high school. The first pieces he sold were things like cars and wildlife scenes, anything that would sell. He’d place his work in galleries around the North Shore of Lake Superior, where tourists visited.
“I made enough money to buy clothes, a car,” he said. “I failed art in high school once, so I never cared much about the institution. Any technique I was interested in I mastered quickly. I did not like to not know what I was doing.”
After graduating high school, Mayer moved to Lake Tahoe in 1990 to snowboard. Influenced by American Indian spiritualism, his art work became more mystical.
“But I figured out somewhere that I’m a white guy,” he said. “There was not a lot I could do except be respectful (of Indian spiritualism) and what I was doing was not. It was becoming a commercial form of expression.”
Spiritual snowboarding is just about as understandable as this “commercial form of expression.” People like to buy things that look cool. Damn that cursed art that makes money. Sometimes it really seems like artists should just keep their mouths shut and do stuff. The world would be filled with less contrived and saccharine shit.
Update: The Star Tribune (free, but registration required) has a wonderful review of the Minnesota Biennial by Mary Abbe that repeats much of this sentiment:
Enough with the playpens. Artists have been wallowing in them for decades, encouraged by art schools, galleries, museums and collectors to release their inner child, to express their wanton wills and to liberate whatever little thoughts and emotions might flit through their little minds and souls. Well. Enough about you and your whims, your neuroses, your flights of fancy, your scribbles and drips and fun-with-the-trash.
Let’s declare an end to navel-gazing, sophomoricism, banality and self-indulgence. Let’s move on to something — anything — more visually engaging and intellectually stimulating than the dismal dreck that’s showcased through Feb. 3 in the Minnesota Biennial: 3D II at the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
I haven’t seen that show yet, but now I really must go to see if it is as terrible as she says it is. There is also the glowingly reviewed Kahlo exhibit at the Walker… damn this holiday traffic!