This is great and exciting work to me, Bart. I love it. In its enchanting crystal clarity and fantastic minutia it reminds me a little of Richard Dadd’s work. I also think of the work of Rudolphe Bresdin, if Bresdin chose to paint instead of draw and make etchings. But maybe Gage falls somewhat short of these two other artists in hallucinatory and visionary intensity, a slight pop art influence inevitably trickling in because of the times we live in – a kind of cathode ray in the light quality – but not really developed out; it’s kept tucked in and at a simmer, Gage practicing more subtlety, and doing it very well. He is a subtle painter. One might say he’s on the angelic side of things, the demonic kept at bay, the crazy speaking in tongues stilled, mesmerized by the flight of the butterfly. If he started producing work for the commercial market, going completely over to kitsch, exploiting the charm of his work and duplicating it to make some money, I can see Gage might have ended up making images like Thomas Kinkade, but it appears he maintained his integrity and didn’t do that. – In another way, I think of Gage in relation to artists like Todd Schorr and Robert Williams, and wonder what you’d think of them. They have visionary intensity too but incorporate pop art references with gusto, going completely over the top, often in hilarious ways, and are also very skilled draftsmen. They’re not as precious as Gage is in his work. They embrace the demonic, letting in the crazy speaking in tongues and creating monsters in their work, allegorical monsters for our contemporary times. The extremism in their work has social commentary and satire embedded in it. I really love it all. I definitely have both the angelic and the demonic in myself. I try to keep both in balance. It takes great personal courage to venture into either side, leaving the other behind.
To be sure, Bart, thanks for your response to me over at your George Bellows post. I sincerely appreciate that. Have a great day and evening.
Thanks, John. I’ve only seen a single Bresdin ink drawing. Seen a number of his prints. The ink drawing was stunning. Saw it at the National Gallery in DC. He was Redon’s teacher if memory serves. I’m getting tired of having to look up stuff to confirm my recollection.
Interestingly, I thought of Dadd right off the bat myself. I think to get the visionary intensity of a dad one perhaps needs to be a schizophrenic fratricide? There are few madder paintings (if any) than the Fairy Feller, which I saw at the Getty. Do they own it? It was up once when I was there but haven’t seen it since. Museums have a habit of putting some of their best work into storage. Denver Art Museum has taken all the 20th Century European moderns (Beckmann, Soutine, Modigliani, Picasso, and so on) to fill the gallery room with local hero avant-garde Colorado abstract painter. Who needs to see old stuff Beckmann and Soutine when you’ve got provincial and derivative local abstractions available? And American painting is invariably better than European painting, as we all know.
Yeah… Gage is certainly far short of the Bresdin and Dadd… too much on the pretty side as you point out. But I don’t mind it really… see him like a Maxfield Parrish… or he could remind me of Church’s South American jungle stuff with that tropical tree in the one painting. Church was hired by real estate investors just like the Taos painters… Wanted to show the beauty. The Taos indians were living in diseased squalor but Taos painters show them as exotic components that will please the tourists… One can see the result of where that’s ended up by a visit to Santa Fe… Bring a barf bag. Mabel Dodge got venereal disease from her Taos indian love interest. None of this seems to ever make the art history books, though…. In America, Art is always beautiful. Reality has to be sterilized if it’s going to be “beautiful.” Thus the American contribution to the evolution of Western Painting.
I like Schorr and Williams less than Taylor, but that could just be an age thing. I don’t view myself as an authority on what’s great and what isn’t. Just being honest about how I personally view things. I’ve only seen an original Schorr and Williams painting once, and I wasn’t turned on by them at all. The paint handling is too “dry”… No spontaneity. I don’t know if it’s the case but they look as if they were drawn first and figured out completely. Then painted in. Like Ryden, who was a book illustrator, doing those covers for Stephen King novels. I like illustration work as illustration work. But there’s a difference between that and the obsessive natural observation of Taylor. If it doesn’t come out of nature… (Nature viewed through a temperament–Cezanne).. then it’s invariably superficial. Those guys even call it eye candy, right? Nothing wrong with it at all. Maxfield Parrish is eye candy. So are Cabanel and Frank Frazetta and Gerome. Gerome hated the Impressionists. I like the Impressionists. He didn’t understand them… I think that it’s too ways of seeing. The impressionists are extremely complex, spontaneous and responding to nature. Gerome is an academic or studio painter. Extraordinarily skilled and talented. But it’s staying on a superficial level… He’s not going to get his hands dirty or get swept out to sea… which almost happened to Monet painting in the surf in Brittany. And look at our boy, Turner.
I saw the Gerome retrospective at the Getty. I liked it much less than I thought I would. Also saw a pre-Raphaelite show in San Diego. Didn’t like it at all. That’s why I loved the Turner film, as it shows Turner’s reaction upon seeing a pre-Raphaelite painting (was it a Waterhouse? I wasn’t watching that closely as I was looking at the reaction on “Turner’s” face). The French Academy was the death of Turner and Constable.. then they were revived with the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Now it’s all dead again with the POP era, which is all-pervasive. Taylor is academic-type painter. And I think academic painting can transcend the common in artists like Ingres and early to mid-Period Dali.
I just want you to be aware that I think your way of seeing things is just as valid as mine is. I respond viscerally the the quality of paint. Have a hard time with digital images, reproductions in art books and so on. Those media favor the flatly painted. Flat painting doesn’t suffer in reproduction. Visceral painting does… Soutine looks like crap. So does Rembrandt for that matter. For me the only experience that is at all really satisfying is being in front of the painting with no distractions so I can participate in the vision. I basically have the sensibility of old Europeans, as Walter Benjamin pointed out that reproductions rob paintings of their aura. They do. The aura is a spiritual quality, as I define it, and it’s only delivered directly through the paint.
blah blah blah, right?… oh, for the info on mabel see “The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture.” Edited by Lois Palken Rudnick. Fascinating stuff. And I’m not making moral judgements! Or casting moral aspersions! Lots of syphilis and vd going around all art communities as you no doubt know. What I’m opposed to is sanitizing and distorting real history… I’m also opposed to the Las Vegas-ization of art.
Thanks for the response, Bart. I feel I’m getting a better sense of you and feel a little more comfortable. I like this response you’ve given me. Just to give you an idea of my maturity level, I’m 46 years old. I’m pretty much a solitary, not married and without kids, but I’m an affable fellow with a free-associating imagination, a good sense of humor, and hidden depths where I can be quite serious when I need to be, and sometimes I come up with surprising insights.
You mention Maxfield Parrish, and, along with Richard Dadd and Rudolphe Bresdin, he too came to mind looking at these wonderful little paintings by Gage Taylor. I don’t think Parrish was only eye candy. I can delight in pure excellence of craftsmanship on that level alone, before moving into a consideration of subject matter and its treatment by an artist. On a formal level alone, compositionally, Parrish’s images are satisfying. They’re more illustrative than painterly, but I don’t object to that if they’re done the right way. The fairytale light in Parrish’s images is marvelous, an uplifting and enchanting light into which one may escape into another world and encounter wonders and marvels to edify the spirit. (I must tell you, I love fairytales.)
Maybe we’re not being really fair by terming Gage Taylor’s work precious or pretty. Strictly speaking, though the danger of falling into that was certainly present while he was engaged in his creative process, Gage Taylor practiced intelligent restraint and actually avoided too much of the precious or pretty, giving instead just the right measure of it, and I think he’s successful. I get a sense he knew exactly what he was doing. These paintings of his are magical little gems. I’d in no way ever belittle the accomplishment of these miniature wonders. There’s an air of innocence about them, even enhanced by their hallucinatory quality, something of the poetry of the idyll. All around these images is the presentiment of evil, of the dark and forbidden, the deformed and perverse, violence and suffering and death, but Gage Taylor keeps these outside of the magic circle of his artistic realm, recreating for us, to the best of his ability, the paradise which we have lost, giving us a sense of how it might have been. The top displayed round image with an erosion in the fabric of paradise, the larger universe of stars and galaxies revealed outside in a purple sky, maybe a kind of black hole forming which will eventually suck the entire paradise which we see in the foreground into it like water swirling down a drain, I think highlights my point. That’s maybe indirectly a confessional image by Gage Taylor.
You express hatred of psychology, Bart, but I find these images psychologically intriguing as well. They make me wonder what kind of man Gage Taylor was, where he got the deep inner drive and compulsion to make those particular images. In certain great artists there are other things operating – on multiple levels – not only aesthetic considerations. In another way looking at Taylor’s work I think of the clear and natural light though enhanced and imbued with a subtle spirituality in Bosch’s representation of Adam and Eve in the Garden before the Fall, in his Garden of Earthly Delights, before we move across to the right vertical panel and gaze in astonishment and fascination at his fantastical depiction of Hell and its various torments against a dark, apocalyptic sky, with an unnatural, spectral light falling across the whole scene and fires raging in the distance.
I’m with you, that if I had to choose what art to spend time with, what I could return to more than once, feeling I’d come away with something new each time – my own personal preference – I too prefer Gage Taylor’s work – and Richard Dadd’s & Rudolphe Bresdin’s, and Turner’s. I do sense where your heart and soul is in matters of art, what satisfies you the most, and I think in many ways you and I can relate to each other. This is excellent, Bart, what you wrote of Taylor’s work – “obsessive natural observation” – I really like that!
In gratitude, and I hope you have a good day.
I’m putting my reply to you up on a new thread. Should be up in a little bit.
Hello! I just found Gage’s work quite by accident. This poster (Hope you can see it) was in a free box on a street side curb. Just love it!
Maybe this will work…
This is so rare. In good shape can sell for as much as $3-4,000. Most of the things written about Gage on this page is laughable. I apprenticed with him 4 years and worked with him 17 years. Unfortunately, when I’ve tried to correct information here my comments are deleted. http://www.urieldana.com
You should try getting a life and what you’ve written is bullshit. You wrote to object to what I wrote about Taylor along with the kind of insult you offer above that what is written about Taylor is laughable. I took down my entire post along with images I posted. Who do you think cares about Taylor exactly? I was doing the man a favor as well as posting his work because I thought John would like it. I guess in your deluded mind nobody is allowed to have any opinion about Taylor’s work that doesn’t accord with yours? Do you have any other thoughts about art other than what relates solely to you and your imagined grandeur having worked with Taylor for 17 years. All you’ve accomplished at this point is to get his work removed from my site. Go ahead and keep complaining and I’ll delete the comment section as well.
In case you’re unaware of the fact, this is my blog. I can put on the blog whatever work I like and talk about it and anything else I like. It’s still a free country, at least in regard to doing something as pointless as writing an art blog, since there are very few people in this country who have any thoughts at all on the subject of art, politics, history, economics, general philosophy, literature, music, and the various things I’ve written about. Perhaps most artists these days are like yourself, entirely self-absorbed narcissists who are not very literate. You might note that in your nasty three line comment which doesn’t even manage correct grammar.
In good shape it can sell for 3 to 4 grand? Great. Glad to see you have your priorities straight, as invariably people like yourself are obsessed with money and havent the foggiest interest in or notions about anything else other than money. You should check out how much money Andy Warhols and Jeff Koons are worth. Now those are a couple really great artists. Taylor is a small time nobody compared to them. If a rare poster is only worth 3 or 4 grand? But hippie memorabilia is no doubt going up in price as we’re in neo-hippie times again. The neo-love generation is back. Who’s your guru these days? Why don’t you offer me some spiritual advice?
Conversely, why don’t you grow up? Or tell me what is laughable about what is still written about Taylor? I imagine that will give me a laugh as well. Anyway, if you want to trade insults, I’ll just strip all of this away. I’ve had to do it with a couple other people. What is it about you “artists” these days that anybody who has a different opinion than yours can’t be addressed with some basic civility or politeness?
You continue to mis-attribute Gage Taylor work to the wrong time period and art movement. You ask me to compare prices of his work to Koon’s and Warhol? Jeff Koon’s was a generation later, Andy Warhol a generation earlier. Both were attached to branches of pop art. Taylor was not.
Taylor is correctly attributed to the California Visionary Art Movement. It was small, yes, but influenced several generations of painters. This is why he is continued to be acquired and in the collections of museums.
People inform me when something comes up about Gage because people looking for his early work regularly contact me. I posted the price on the Music From Bear Valley poster as a service to the person who found it. There were only 250 printed and only 50 of those were signed. It had nothing to do with what I think its worth. Personally, I think posters are worthless and do not put any value on them.
If you wish to take down your comments section or anything about Gage please do. It is better to have nothing than to have misinformation. What ever your issues are, they have nothing to do with me. All of your vile comments reveal much more about your true nature than anything about me. Thank you for the good laugh about being a hippy, boy did you get the wrong number!
Hi Mischa, Thanks a lot for the contribution! Accident or synchronicity?
I’ll go with synchronicity…just love this poster!
Whatever my issues are? That’s hippie talk if I ever heard it. You’re an old hippy. Face it, Uriel. If Gage were alive he’d be one as well. I like hippy art. Is it a badge of shame for you? You were doing psychedelics, right? That’s where Gage Taylor’s psychedelic colors come from, right?
Look. If you want to live forever in cloud cuckooland, be my guest. Just don’t expect me to go along with it. Here are a few more questions so that I can try to determine if you have even the slightest contact with basic reality:
Taylor and Co. Influenced several generations of painters? Like who, exactly? Name me the painters that constitute the “California Visionary Art Movement”. A Google search turns up precisely nothing with that name. But I’m sure that in your delusional world it’s an important “movement”, that like OP, pop, AE, minimal, performance etc. have all changed not only the course of art history but human consciousness itself.
I’ve never heard of it in 50 years plus of reading daily about art and making art. But I’m sure there are many old hippies like yourself around who have fond memories, and you’re welcome to them. Why don’t you share them with unenlightened souls like myself? I know, if only the world has listened to the great love generation and given peace a chance there wouldn’t be all the strife there is today.
Warhol and Koons are all about love too. It’s all love, love, love. I can sense that about you, Uriel. You radiate it.
As to my issues, why don’t you do a bit of reading on the blog instead of spouting a lot of nonsense, but then again you’d have to read about the real world which you clearly only have a tenuous connection to. You’re part of the California Airhead Movement, only surf is no longer up anymore, is it? Or you haven’t noticed?
My “vile comments” and my “true nature”? And you can see these how, exactly? In your visionary spiritual visions after reading a few paragraphs pointing out the simple fact that you’re in a terminal narcissistic fog? These are vile comments to you? Saying you’re an airhead? You are an airhead. I have no problems with airheads either. It’s just the pompous ones that I like to play around with. It’s how I amuse myself these days. Perhaps that’s my “issue”. My issue… oh man….. California Dreamin’ is becoming a reality. You know that the guy who wrote that song was diddling his own daughter? But I know that hippies don’t like to look at things like that, as everything is peace and love.
So are you a Hillary supporter? She’s all about peace and love and justice and is real concerned with minority rights, the environment and dropping bombs on the middle east and Russia. Or are you too spiritual to concern yourself with worldly affairs? Too busy doing your Transcendental Meditation with David Lynch videos.
You make a lot of totally unsubstantiated remarks with no evidence or facts whatsoever to back them up and then go on to continue insulting and mischaracterizing me. Give it your best shot. I could care less. And I do find it amusing. I also know you can’t answer any of my questions as you don’t have the basic intelligence to even understand what I’m asking you.
And even what you replied was idiotic, which is why I find it so amusing. As Gore Vidal wrote, “Stupidity excites me.” So here are a couple more questions. Think real hard and see if you can answer any of them. In what way is Koons “attached to branches of Pop Art”? And Warhol was attached to a branch of Pop Art? What branch was that? Do words have any meaning to you whatsoever? Can you write a single articulate and, therefore, meaningful sentence regarding art? Have you studied it? Know anything about it? And of course Taylor is part of Pop Art of that time. San Francisco psychedelia was Pop Art…. In fact Taylor was a branch of Pop Art. Warhol was the root, not a branch.
But as Trump said to Hillary, these are just meaningless words. Just like Trump’s words. It’s all bullshit. We’re just making up names and categories and who’s famous and who’s got the most likes and money and advertising marketing hooey. That’s all you’re about, Uriel. Marketing your own work, with the link you put up above and trying to make some bucks as Taylor’s intermediary dealer. You’re a cheap two-bit hustler. How’s that for a vile comment? Talk about thin skinned, but then again you have such a self-inflated notion of yourself.
Someone making a vile comment is somebody who has a deep dislike of the person they’re addressing. I don’t dislike you or have any deep feelings whatsoever as I’ve never met you. I might even like you if you could manage to stop insulting me in your comments. But if you’re going to insult me, I’m going to insult you back. That’s blog rules here. If people are polite, I’m polite. If they want to joke around with semi-insults, I’ll joke back with semi-insults. I also like to write whatever’s on my mind. You might have noticed that, unlike you, I’m not some hustler trying to sell myself. Nor am I trying to pretend to be an authority. I know what I know, and what I know is from not just experience but it’s from debate and examination of material evidence.
My opinions could, of course, be wrong. And you would bother to back up any of your bloated and self-important statements with some kind of evidence then perhaps I can learn something. But so far all you want to do, like John Dockus before you and so many others, is start attacking me personally because you really have no way to dispute what I’m saying other than by talking nonsense.
And finally this is the major point. Taylor is not a Visionary Artist. As I wrote above, and as you can see from the poster, he’s doing whimsical children’s book type illustrations.
William Blake would be an example of a visionary artist. Ever heard of him?
Artists don’t get to just drop some LSD and make whimsical paintings of bears playing musical instruments or fluorescent color landscapes and call themselves visionaries. Was Taylor in a lunatic asylum? Did he suffer from any mental disorder aside from when he was taking hallucinogens? Then, perhaps, we could look into his being an actual visionary. The work that I’ve seen by him is incredibly ordinary, and in fact is quite banal, next to the visionary work of a Bosch, a Blake, a Henry Darger or Wolflli. It’s certainly pseudo-visionary. In other words, he’s using visionary motifs. But the main thing is that it’s formulaic, predictable and banal as opposed to the visionary artists I’ve mentioned.
Of course nowadays, as I say, it’s totally pointless to even discuss this. Absurd, in fact, as nobody cares whatsoever (outside of a small circle of friends, as hippy bard Phil Ochs sang). Who even cares about the word hippy? I don’t. That’s for sure. The planet’s ending, sweetheart. Wake up and smell the forest fires. You’re living in them. Get your head out of your pristine ass.
You lost all credibility by your second sentence.
Gee, I’m heartbroken. Since I don’t have any credibility maybe you can read something by a professional anthropologist. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. It’s all about you and the Visionary Northern California Psychedelic Hippies.
Anyway, just not to leave things on a negative note, I have to say that I found the two paintings “Raphael’s Alien and Child” (1995) and Raphael Aliens (1995) and, actually, now that I look the entire series of the Madonna with the face of an alien quite thought provoking, as I did this reply to a question by Gage:
“One of the reasons I’m sharing my work is because our universe is currently moving from 3rd to 4th dimensional consciousness. In a 4th dimensional reality, our thoughts manifest themselves instantly without the lag time we currently experience. Any psychological damage or issues we haven’t confronted within are suddenly in our face. We’re seeing real polarities of light and dark in behavior right now. People are saying to themselves, what’s going on here?”
Thankfully, those deeply confused people experiencing the jolts that come along with having the universe moving from 3rd to 4th dimensional consciousness have your paintings and psychic-spiritual insights and experience to guide them through the transition. Good luck with it, Uriel. Namaste to you all.
Anybody help me find out how much my The Road is worth? 48×32 wooden solid canvas..mint condition..got from my uncle who got on early 70s
Sorry. I don’t want anything whatsoever to do with Gage Taylor or the woman who represents him who came onto my blog, after I’d taken the trouble to post Taylor’s work, and start launching attacks against me personally. She has unsolvable mental health issues as far as I’m concerned.
If you want to contact her about the Taylor painting (as I assume the painting you mention The Road is by him), be my guest. According to her she’s the representative of Taylor on earth and was his former studio helper/assistant.
Being harassed by her is the reason I took down all the pix of his work I had posted. Since she objected to my having my own opinion about Taylor’s work that was in any way different from her own I decided that I don’t want anything to do with either of them. So look up Uriel Dana with a google search and best of luck if that works for you in selling the work.
But whatever you do, don’t consider this to be a recommendation you contact her. It isn’t.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out / Change )
You are commenting using your Google+ account. ( Log Out / Change )
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.