Monday, December 18, 2006


I’ve previously mentioned the extremes of minimalism in both lifestyle and art. From Thoreau’s Walden to Rothko’s color field paintings; there is a common bond of self-regeneration through the acquisition and process of having more by making less.

Despite its new-age, Taoist/Zen façade; Santa Fe is hardly a refuge for the non-consumer. Average home values start in the $450k range and middle class is code for private school. One has to wonder if the closest we can get to a simplified life in the 21st century, is just living in a smaller rural township. Even the smallest western boroughs boast cable internet and pay-per-view television. So it isn’t necessarily a refuge from technology I seek (and I’m fairly sure I’d have quite a difficult time surviving without modern conveniences). At this point in human history I think the best we can hope for is a refuge from commercialism. A place without $300/night hotel rooms or a legitimate downtown only pocketed with the occasional tourist trap amongst the viable shops, rather than completely replaced by coffee mug and beaded jewelry emporiums.

I’ve been fighting for a minimalist attitude in my more recent works; yet it seems a difficult approach when a landscape painter has to look around the billboards to view the mountains. – DN

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