Arguments Worth Having

Art = Absurdity = Provocation = Contemplation = Wisdom = Love

Posts Tagged ‘I Think You’re Totally Wrong

Mark Rothko vs. Nature

with one comment

David Shields and Caleb Powell arguing over Rothko and nature, from the film I Think You're Totally Wrong  - photo courtesy Rabbit Bandini Productions

David Shields and Caleb Powell, at Lake Arrowhead, debate the qualities of nature and art, from the film I Think You’re Totally Wrong – photo courtesy Rabbit Bandini Productions

David Shields on Mark Rothko:  “I listened to a tour guide at the National Gallery ask his group what made Rothko great. Someone said, ‘The colors are beautiful.’ Someone else mentioned how many books and articles had been written about him. A third person pointed out how much people had paid for his paintings. The tour guide said, ‘Rothko is great because he forced artists who came after him to change how they thought about painting.’ This is the single most useful definition of artistic greatness I’ve ever encountered.” – from Reality Hunger

Rothko21 Rothkos:  Rothko may well have changed how artists think. Good thing? Take a look at the 21 Rothkos on the right, all replications of the same concept. Rothko had modest skills, above average talent, but recognized his lack. He chose the path of “Look at me! I’m different!” Variety has a place, but.

From Pollock to Frankenthaler to Eva Hess to Jeff Koons to Tracey Emin, Rothko led chunks of the art world  into both riches and a pretentious mess (See the $45,000,000 rectangle.) For every Rothko there are thousands aspiring for Egregious Difference and deadening the world. And that’s how Rothko changed art.

A Thousand Words:  Enough words, let the pictures speak.

Written by Caleb Powell

November 2, 2014 at 8:03 am

Film shoot done: I Think You’re Totally Wrong

leave a comment »

P1020307

December 18-22:  Rabbit Bandini Productions shot I Think You’re Totally Wrong.

P1020325P1020305I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A QuarrelDavid Shields and Caleb Powell. Knopf, September 2014. A debate, nearly to the death, about life and art. Caleb Powell always wanted to become an artist, but he overcommitted to life (he’s a stay-at-home dad to three young girls), whereas his former professor David Shields always wanted to become a human being, but he has overcommitted to art.

P1020287P1020274Shields and Powell spent four days together in a cabin in the Cascade Mountains, playing chess, shooting hoops, hiking to lakes and an abandoned mine; they rewatched My Dinner with André, Sideways, and The Trip, relaxed in a hot tub, and debated life and art through genocide, marriage, sex, Toni Morrison, sports, porn, the death penalty, baldness, evil, James Wood, happiness, sports-talk radio, George Bush, drugs, death, facial scars, betrayal, alcohol, Judaism; bad book-titles.

Actor-writer-director James Franco directed a film based on the book, shot at Lake Arrowhead outside Los Angeles, this December 2013. Earliest release date is January 2015. Shields and Powell played themselves with Franco in a supporting role.

On Location

On Location

Written by Caleb Powell

December 26, 2013 at 4:18 pm