Because art is so important, and I like delving into it with friends, I thought it useful to make a note of the art I like:
VISUAL ART: It’s not one school of art I like – I range from surrealistic to expressionistic to abstract styles – almost none of which are classical, modern, or neo anything – they’re usually contemporary though. Themes I like are unsettling, alienated, and urban and include installation art. I like a lot of things, but especially art I think of as being in an emotional Hell – not because I am, but because I identify with the strength and depth of emotion. I look at a lot of stuff on Tumblr, but I think it’s easier to point, more narrowly, to specific artists.
VISUAL ARTISTS I AM FOLLOWING: Adia Millett, Andy Kehoe, Antony Micallef, Brett Amory, Charles Jarboe, Craig McPherson, Esao Andrews, Evol, Fulvio Di Piazza, Ian Francis, Jason Decaires Taylor, Lauriston Avery, Nicola Samori, Philip Geiger, Robin Ross, Yamini Nayar
ARTISTS I LOATHE: I possess a raw, unreserved hatred for Damien Hirst. I think it’s just as important to know what art you loathe as it is to love art.
FICTION: absurdist lit (I adore Kafka), classic dystopian lit (Huxley’s Brave New World, Orwell, Zamyatin, Bradbury’s 451, Ayn Rand), urban fantasy (things like the Bordertown series and Emma Bull), sci-fi that focuses on cultural anthropology (CJ Cherryh, Orson Scott Card, Heinlein, Ursula LeGuin, Guy Gavriel Kay, etc), and a lot of more substantive horror lit that isn’t just about monsters (King’s work – including Hearts in Atlantis, The Long Walk, etc.), Umberto Ecco, and so on. Some straight up literature, too – I don’t care for Salinger, but Knowles “A Separate Peace” was really powerful.
NON-FICTION: I really dig cultural criticism in a lot of fields like Jaques Barzun, Jaques Ellul, Chris Lasch, Noam Chomsky, Eric Voegelin, and where it crosses over into history (e.g. Daniel Boorstin’s The Image), as well as intellectual history (Ernst Kantorowicz, Norman Cantor, etc.) and more classical works of cultural criticism with a wide range (Adam Smith to Thorsten Veblen), and a lot of newer books about culture (ranging from Seth Godin to the next one I want to read by Jarrod Diamond). I also read the Orthodox desert fathers.
POETRY: I don’t read a lot of poetry, but I was teethed on the romantics. What I read now, however, is modern, direct, clear. I like Alice Walker, Roald Dahl, and Octavio Paz. Right now, I’m really digging Arkaye Kierulf, the way one might Griffin & Sabine.
CLASSICAL MUSIC: a variety of classical composers (sure Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, but not Brahms – too much like Aaron Copeland and American band music) and especially the Nationalistic Composers like Smetana, Sibelius, Wagner. Chopin and Debussy, of course. And I dig some liturgically based classical music like Durufle and Thomas Tallis. Violins can straight up make me cry like a Vulcan (yeah I know that was Brahms’ Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major 2nd movement – there are exceptions), so about anything with violin music that goes after my sappy heart strings. I dig the cello, too (I played it for a while). And I’ve got a soft spot for Marin Marais because of Tous les Matins du Monde.
POPULAR MUSIC: a wide ranging set of interests – Lilith Fair and the woman artists I will call Banshees, lots of Singer-Songwriter stuff, Pre/post-punk (Slowcore, Emo, Screamo) and Post-Metal, Folk of about every kind (whatever draws from the one trunk of musical tradition all tribes share), Nu-folk – if it shows up on Thistle and Shamrock or Folk Salad, I’m probably down. All kinds of things, depending on what I’m doing or what mood I’m in. Depeche Mode, for instance (albums like Violator and Songs of Faith & Devotion), Snow Patrol (Up to Now album), Mumford & Sons, Breaking Benjamin (Dear Agony album), etc. Easier to list my bigotries against Rap and Top-40 Country (sorry Harper), both of which I really don’t like. Right now I’m head over heels for Polly Scattergood and Mazzy Star, thanks to Nik Perring. 🙂
FILM: too many interests to count. Easier to talk in terms of directors like Luc Besson, John Hughes, Kenneth Branagh, M. Night Shyamalan… but even that list would be huge. I dig film. I live in it. Indie film festivals are my thing. I can do Horror films, though, because there are so few of them. What stands out is: They (Wes Craven), Let Me In / Let the Right One In, The Blair Witch Project, Jeepers Creepers, each of which was groundbreaking I thought, and The Grudge (so shoot me, I don’t love Ju-on or even Ringu better). Then also The Innocents / The Others (both based on Henry James’ book “Turn of the Screw”), The Devil’s Backbone (goes with Pan’s Labyrinth), Darkness Falls, Village of the Damned (both versions), The Shining, the Phantasm set of films (just because they creeped me out so much as a kid). The recent film “The Intruders” I liked, too, and I have a few others in my list. I don’t watch much horror, but I do read certain kinds of it. King, Koontz, and Gaiman are masters of the kind I like.
VIDEO SERIES’: Do we call it TV anymore? Boston Legal (any of David E. Kelley’s legal dramas, because of the relationships he builds in them), Seinfeld. Can watch this stuff endlessly.
COMEDY: I adore Lewis Black, mainly when he’s angry and/or uncensored and not cleaning it up for HBO. 🙂