Right Wing Art

The launch of IM. 1776, and 3 recent pieces from Aeneas Tacticus Minor manifest a more and more serious and combative attitude by what might be called the ‘cultural right, which sees Art as the leading edge in the raging, and losing, cultural-political struggle for the soul of the West. Much of my own efforts in the last few decades has been directed this way so I welcome the development.

I was similarly encouraged in the 1980s by the blossoming of Classical Realism, a conservative painting movement led by Jacob Collins. Still, I saw problems with the movement. Jacob and I share an important teacher, Aaron Kurzen. We know each other and I tried to communicate with him and the movement generally but amid its growing excitement and success my admonitions went

unheeded. Alas, I was correct. Its problematic aspects have

precipitated it into what it has become today: a form of ‘contemporary art’ every bit as morally degenerate and poetically null as any other part of that lamentable clown show.

What was wrong with Classical Realism? These painters, mostly 10 years younger than myself, rejected “modern art” as they called it, englobing and confounding ‘contemporary art’ (Pop, Neo-dada, Conceptual Art) with Abstract Expressionism and what I call ‘second wave modernism’ (Impressionism, Nabis, Cubism, Fauvism, Expressionism — Dada and Surrealism require separate rubrics). The problem with all this, they feel, is a common rejection of, precicely: classical realism! The restoration of quality mimesis, therefore, would guarantee the rebirth of traditional painting.

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