Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reiner the bear

Accidentally I found this thread (from the year 2004 I guess) on the mombu forum. Fun to read after all these years. The tree in question has a weak time for a few years but is coming now. It will be on exhibit soon. The treads on IBC forum are lost.


by luke tulkas

Nobody's willing to bite in so here comes the prodigal... Luke. After
all, even Reiner says that "one has to paint with bold colours".

Reading a thread titled "The bear" on IBC gallery I was quite surprised
by Reiner's responses. At first I would have sworn that someone is
impersonating him, but when there came no denial I thought... hm, it
really must be Reiner and I'll be darned if he doesn't have an attitude
problem. We all have them from time to time, but Reiner being the
"treasurer" and all, with his history of polite, well meaning posts...
Strange, to say the least. If it were me, I'd get a public slap on the
hand (by our ever watching moderator) in a second. Reiner, being an old
geezer, is of course untouchable in this respect. Well, folks, that's
about to change...

We all know (more or less) that he has quite a conservative view of
bonsai. Almost all of his trees (those that he shows anyway) are
(informal) upright, almost all wannabepine shaped, absolutely no aerial
roots, strictly glazed / coloured and shaped pots, etc. But that's his
"taste". Who could blame him for that? After all we know that "de
gustibus...", yes? Well, at least Reiner doesn't.

Anyway... I'd like to point out a few inconsistencies (mildly put) in
his reasoning.

He says: "The age of the atrocity (referring to the deadwood parts of
Walter's tree) has absolutely no bearing on its merit in the design of
the bonsai!" Meaning: "Being an atrocity, it needs to come off."
A few posts latter he says: "Pleasing only to those who know and
appreciate the quality of care that has gone into creating the 'ideal'
bonsai over so many years." (So age only matters when something "good"
comes with it?!?)

I'd add: "the quality of care" over "so many years" has nothing to do
with the outcome - a "finished" bonsai. If it had, then the judges would
need (and want) to know the whole story behind the "artifact". Moreover,
the "quality of care" and "so many years" would bring valuable points to
the final score. But do they? And do they? Directly I mean?
The "quality of care" simply means that the tree has been "made" by some
handicrafter and has nothing to do with the "artistical" merit. Reiner's
narrow view of those merits and his recent outbreak on IBC indicate to
me that he's gone down the typical handicrafter way: telling the artist
that his art is no good. Very possibly because he (the handicrafter)
finds out "after all those years" that he's merely a handicrafter. Being
jealous of someone who, in the process, developed as an artist, too.
Sad. Very sad.

He also says: "I just stripped it of everything that makes it ugly."
(referring to the removal of deadwood parts in his virtual of Walter's
tree). I wonder if he'd also say the same about Kimura's trees. Would
you, Reiner? In so many words as in "The bear"? With the "Nachtgeschirr"
and all? And, BTW Reiner, if you think Kimura is classical then you'd
better recheck your grip on reality.

Identifying contemporary with crap is another of Reiner bright ideas.
Well, Reiner, why don't we ban all the painters (and their paintings)
after Leonardo or (if we're very very liberal) after Rembrandt? I mean,
all the rest is just contemporary (read: crap), right? Hey, why don't we
let the grafittists with their sprays into the museums and let them make
on-site "virtuals" of post-Rembrandt paintings?

About the arm twisting contest. To avoid this verbal agressiveness turn
into a physical one, I suggest that you make it a pissing contest
instead. We'll all need a good laugh after this thread comes to an end.
(Better yet (so Jim doesn't jump to the ceiling)... before you stop
sending me your responses _privately_.)

Disclaimer (so you won't all have heart-attacks): I'm not saying that
Reiner's trees are crapsai (copyright Reiner G.). I just can't "digest"
his I-set-the-standards-the-rest-is-crap attitude. And before you ask...
no, I haven't created any bonsai masterpieces. But I know a quality
bonsai when I see one. In spite of what some handicrafters want us to
believe, one doesn't have to be a hen to know a rotten egg from a good
one.

To see sme following answers go to: mombu forum



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

At the recent newly created bonsai exhibit of the best 60 trees in Southern Ontario were a number of Reiner's trees as well.
His maples were beautiful in a simple, easy to look at sort of way (although the many wire marks hiding under the too dense canopy were disappointing). They didn't surprise like the three Lenz creations. Or disappoint like a certain sunburned larch. Reiner's trees were well-crafted, like an ABBA song. I would love to call one of them my own.
Note that I didn't comment on attitude here, just on trees, a few years after the above discussion.

Anonymous said...

Ah, classic! I'm glad you speak up on this stuff Walter. I can't stand people's constant need to provide "virtuals" of every tree they see. The artist is expressing their vision, why modify it? Get your own vision.

"Art is the expression of imagination, not the duplication of reality."
- Sculptor Henry Moore