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My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

Posted: December 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm   /   by

Take a look at these monuments from vanished totalitarian regimes.

A modern-art take on Shelley’s poem Ozymandias: My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

old-monuments-yugoslavia-spomeniks-jan-kempenaers-1Human nature so easily believes whatever the current mindset and circumstances are is the pinnacle of achievement, and will be permanent. Evidence that this is a delusion are everywhere, like in these crumbling, graffiti-covered ruins. We are waking up from a particularly presumptuous and misguided era, the kingdom of sophistry, where our institutions embraced the notion that by using enough words reality could be altered to fit preconceived theories.

The systematic failure of this approach is becoming evident everywhere in society now; the only question that remains is how much turmoil we will have to go through as the current elite loses its grip. They’ve mucked up everything but they don’t care, as long as they stay on top. They will not willingly give up their power and privileges.

The change manifests first in the art, like it always does. Remodernism is one approach, going on internationally for more than a decade now. It’s the awareness that art is an inclusive, spiritually driven form of universal human connection, so different from the establishment’s divisive, rhetoric-fueled, status-symbol approach to art. The defenders of the rotting status quo sure hate the idea of art movements, where like-minded people band together, supporting each other as their new ideas advance into the culture. But there’s no stopping the cycle.

The end of 100 years of art-world philosophy is at hand. A worldview arose, became powerful, came to dominate. Its flaws were greater than its achievements; it decayed, and now is being replaced. Our spiral through history continues.

Richard Bledsoe

Richard Bledsoe is Phoenix, Arizona painter and writer. He grew up in Manassas, Virginia, and in 1993 received a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. He was one of the founding members of Phoenix gallery Deus Ex Machina (2007-2012). He is coauthor of the children's book "The Secret Kingdom" with his wife, painter Michele Bledsoe. Their work can be seen at Improbable Art.

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My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!