The Art of Fred Martin
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The Essay of the Month
February, 2005.

We are not inventing a new school (“School of Paris,” “New York School”), nor are we inventing a new style (“Surrealism,” “Neo-Geo”). We are not an army on the march (“Modernism”), nor are we the avant-garde of an army (“Post-Modernism”). In this way, we are not part of “the art world.”

We do not “make it new” like automobile manufacturers make models “all new” each year, nor do we have products “new and improved” like breakfast cereals. In this way, we are not part of the national economy.

If the purpose of art is to “reveal the new,” then ours is not the purpose of art. If the purpose of the economy is to “put bread on the table,” then our work has no economic purpose.

What, then, is our purpose and how do we fulfill it? Our purpose is to pour forth the ever flowing fountain in the heart by making objects which manifest the heart’s concerns.  These objects, then, we scatter as best we may across the world so others somewhere somehow like us may find them and in their solitude be reassured of another somewhere somehow like them. In this way, we don’t make it new and we don’t make money; but we do contribute to the long great sound that is our lives in time.

# 4, February 2005.
Old Signs in New Earth
Acrylic on paper, 44 x 30 in.