The Tower Journal

   Mark Blickley


“Real Realism: An Art Manifesto for the Disenchanted”



In this 150th year celebration of Civil War’s end while presently in the era of Post Minimalism, Neo-Plasticism, Transavanguardism Stuckism, Cynical Realism, Neo-Geoism, Remodelism, Transhumanism, Hyperealism, Neo Expressionism and Maximalism, WE DEMAND conspicuous ethereal and raw depictions of emotion linked to a hard humanity through voyeuristic flashes that glimpse intoxicating reveries celebrating gratified indulgence and vulnerability in a dream archeology of symbolic imagery and concrete observations that define unfilled yearnings for wholeness in the dizzying orbit of eternal circles that allows a view of life at every possible angle.


Before the disembodied slapping of tweets that have nothing to do with song, a demand for contact with absentees using letters of recommendation, condemnation and reconciliation,

Before a muddy mixture of colors, referee between bright and sallow by shunning standardized tests through greater reliance on sense of smell,

Before denying energy transformation renders sound waves eternal, make gasping sounds that swallow silence, thus mocking it’s very definition,

Before drawing conclusions or any other expressive form of scratching, first identify the itch by observing hand movements that unify a dualistic mind and body,

Before perverting a sense of beauty with ironic disdain, supplement medication and meditation with somersaults in the nude,

Before fading into despair over non-incubated ideas, ignite creative experimentation by doing unusual things with eggs.


Real Realism reinforces the premise that everything transitory is merely a smile.  All that we see is a proposal, a possibility, an expedient.  The real truth, to begin with, remains invisible beneath the surface.  The colors that captivate us are not lighting, but light as the graphic universe consists of light and shadow. The diffused clarity of slightly overcast weather is richer in phenomena than a sunny day where simple motion strikes us as banal.   

 Real Realism acknowledges yesterday and tomorrow is simultaneous.  We obliterate this time element by a retrograde motion that would penetrate consciousness, reassuring us that a renaissance might still be thinkable.  This conviction is already and always present. 

Real Realism tracks the evolving, living alteration of a higher aesthetic based on nature. For what could be more natural than the transformative decay of time crystalized into the present?

Real Realism dramatically echoes a suffocating nightmare that forces one to battle through visible layers of chaos and isolation, creating slews of ethereal night watchers on the cusp of a mortal dawn.

Real Realism is convinced that all indications support that the demonic melts with the celestial.   This dualism will not be treated as such, but in its complimentary oneness, for truth asks that all elements be presented at once.

Real Realists join philosophy, psychology and theology in the universal quest for an understanding of dualism’s relationship to humankind.  Humankind, the kinds of humans we console and confide, avoid and attract, intimidate and inspire, love and loathe, support and suspect, pardon and punish.

Through Real Realism, the conceptual becomes visual, a vision not rooted in perceived differences as much the connective links that will enable a prostitute to sell her body for money and then offer it gratis as an artist model for life drawing classes, or a tough prison guard, working the roughest penitentiary in New York City, devoting his free time to sing in a classical chorus that releases the beauty of Mozart, Handel and Britten to the public.

Above all, Real Realism is about human beings living a twofold existence, whose key word is fold.  Dictionaries define fold as entwine. And this is the purpose of this manifesto--- to offer up an attempt at understanding how contrary, conflicting behaviors and actions often entwine via invisible threads of experience and conscience that wrap us all in a shrouded swaddling that simultaneously echoes and muffles artistic exploration and expression.




    Copyright © 2016 Mark Blickley

Mark Blickley
is a widely published author of fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry. His most recent book is Sacred Misfits (Red Hen Press) and his latest play, Beauty Knows No Pain, recently completed a run at NYC's 13th Street Rep Theater. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and PEN American Center.

The Tower Journal
Spring 2016