Saturday, 18/11/2017 | 7:50 EST
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High Art Fridays (HAF)
is an eclectic assembly of international artists working in a wide range of materials and iconographic ideas. They are brought together in an inclusive network whose genesis came from multimedia artist Ron Shelton. One common attribute in the body of work presented here is authenticity. Regardless of the content or materials, technique takes a back seat to message, idea, or expression.

Comparisons to Art Brut, Tachisme, and the Cobra movements are all relevant in a postmodern context. Several things about the work shown in this group are of particular interest in today’s art world as it unfolds itself in social media.

The work is often raw, almost guttural in its scrawling language, and at the same time emanates a kind of unique sophistication and taste.  With this aesthetic theme in mind, HAF continues its objective by addressing important issues in our global community.

Scribbles can be used to cover a finely rendered portrait, or take on a life and personality of their own. Childlike depictions of adult subjects bring to light the power of direct response without a filter of political correctness or socially promoted mannerism. Today, social media has provided artists with the opportunity to do what artists have always needed and wanted to do: exchange ideas and study with each other. Now these connections can be made over the internet with remarkable success.

Artists in New York can visit the studios of artists in South Africa, Europe or Asia instantaneously and communicate directly to their colleagues about the work. Kindred spirits are found with visual and audio “real time” exchanges. These kinships have always existed but were never before accessible the same way. Ron Shelton celebrates this phenomenon, encouraging people of all backgrounds and levels of ability to join the dialog.

Not only are formal and aesthetic issues faced by contemporary artists offered on this forum, there is an abundance of spiritual resources as well. The group is in its early stages of development, and has a presence already that makes it a forerunner and advocate for contemporary emerging and established artists.

Carol Heft, USA

Carol Heft is a New York City based artist and educator. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and her work has been exhibited internationally. She teaches Drawing, Painting, and Art History at several colleges in New York and Pennsylvania, and is represented by the Blue Mountain Gallery in New York City.