Enlightened Dogma - Ranting and Ravings




Welcome to Enlighten Dogma an on going self examination of the truth as it has Evolved for me during the pass 52 years of my life. The presentation of materials Will be formatted generally by short random statements of truth. Such statements are Derived from the observations of an artist, whose works often reveal their own truths.

First as a way of giving you an idea of the seriousness of what I am about to say, allow me to issue the following Warning that the Reading of the material here in may result in blindness, death or the need to have sex.

Followed by a disclaimer insisted upon by my attorney, stating that the Author at the time of these writings was not Of his right mind, and is not responsible for its content.

Now that I have fulfilled my required legal obligations. I will begin by answering the question what is the purpose of Life. The purpose of life is two fold, On the physical side It is procreation, On the emotional side often referred to as the spiritual it is the reinventing of our selves. This reinventing defines us as an individual, and gives purpose to our existence.




Impressionistic Narrative : Where the capture of an image in real time is
enhanced or altered in camera or in post production, but does not affect


What is Photography and how does it relate to Art?  Photography at its core is a Narrative discipline, a visual translation of a scene or object as it appeared in real time.
Photography becomes something else when the image maker physically affects the out come of the image, in order to express their own personal point of view. This something else is Art.
The Rules of engagement, when does Photography become Art?
THE PASSIVE NARRATIVE : When an scene or object is recorded in real time absent of human intervention.

Category Photography
THE SUBJECTIVE NARRATIVE : When an image or object is recorded in real time, as to the interpretation of the image maker, by the physical arrangement or placement of the pre-existing components found in the scene including the directional implementation of lighting or any in camera manipulation.

Category: a crossover photography to art
CONCEPTUAL NARRATIVE : When a scene or object is recorded in real time, with the addition of content that further defines and expresses the image makers point of view.   

Category: a crossover photography transitioning to art
THE CONCEPTUAL : It is when the recording of a scene or object in real time is viewed , only as the first step. In a process where post production results in an image that did not exist in real time.  This is where the imagination and the realization of the image makers vision, has its most profound impact.    
Art : Is human intent and initiative, it is the purposeful manipulation and transformation of content to express a human emotion and does not exist independent of man.


In a civilized environment human sexuality and resulting aggression is
concealed in a cloth of choice. When in fact it is an emotional delving
Rode of human need, an imperative of purpose by whose gratification, we
secure our immortality.

What is Art? : Art is what is human it is a physical embodiment of our
emotional dependencies (our inability to understand). It is a deliberate
act of human expression. It is not a random act of nature or other
supernatural occurrence.

What are Emotions? : Emotions are a primal response to physical stimuli,
dominated by our sexual imperative of need, defining the very purpose of
life procreation, everything else is simply filler. We are a fragile
creature afraid of the dark and uncertain of our mortal presence.



As I sat having a coffee at my favorite coffee stop. It occurred to me as I looked around, seeing everything in color. What if we never saw in color only shades of gray. Then for us the reality of color would not exist, it would be right there before us but invisible. That I thought is what art does it visually exposes us to new colors, emotions we may have never known existed.

What is our importance to the universe. Our importance is self importance in other words The universe does not care. But we sure better.

What is art, art is the deliberate conscious creation of humanity by humanity and about humanity and not some random act of nature or other circumstance. Art does not exist in The absence of humanity.

We are a physically bound entity created of flesh and blood. It is by this physical presence that we are connected to this world, and certain needs and desires. The most dominant of these after substance, is sexuality (the relentless need to procreate, this desire has been sugar coated, for what ever reason to ensure our compliance.) and Mortality the realization, of the end of our physical existence.

Art is the embodiment of our emotional soul on its eternal quest for enlightenment and Immortality. Art serves no greater purpose then to inspire our purpose of being. For it is Not life that gives purpose but purpose that gives life.

All knowledge has existed from the beginning of time. The slowness of realization is the Result of our physical limitations to comprehend its meaning.

To see clearly our purpose of life, we first must stop poking each other in the eye.

It is my contention that as for our intelligence, while we all have the ability to see down the road of life, some further than others none of us possess the ability to see to its end.

Art for me is conceptual: the rendering or portrayal of a scene or object as it has been Manipulated and then interpreted by the imagination. As opposed to the Narrative: that is the portrayal or rendering of a scene or object as it appears in real time, absent of human Interference or manipulation.

Religion a response to mortality and a chaotic world. It is the golden parachute to the other side, a means to an end a reason of purpose a flicker of hope in the great unknown A means of bringing order to chaos and defining the human experience of consciousness from birth to death and beyond.

Mans obsession of where life begins is trivial until he comes to the realization that All life is significant and not to be discarded in or outside of the womb.

Beauty: without substance can not long endure.

A truly significant piece of art represents the emotional state of the artist at the time of Its realization. A viewer who relates to a particular work of art is seeing reflected back to Him a piece of his own emotional soul.

The world we inhabit has been sculptured to the needs of man it is his reality that defines it.

Love: a response to a physical stimuli.

True Love : Is the emotional response to the absence of physical desire.

Good and Evil : Two sides of the same coin. Hosted by man they are terms used to describe human behavior. Evil the desecration of life. Good the preservation of life.

Art and Religion : Both share some common traits , sacrifice, the willingness to endure Hardship, in the attempt of attaining ones true purpose. Belief : a strength of purpose in what can not be physically proven ( in religion this would be faith ) ( in art this would be in ones self ) and Immortality : the hope that there is something more to life than death ( in religion this would be the retrieval of the soul ) ( in art this would be the recognition of the work.

While beauty might be ageless it is not timeless.

Money can insulate but can not isolate us from the sometimes harsh realities of life. It Does however fill in many of the pot holes, and makes for a more comfortable ride.

Mankind a dichotomy of good and evil as defined and divided by the physical and the moral presence of his existence. In the absence of whom neither exist. So the many Deities and demons that permeate our lives are the manifestation of our fears and insecurities of who we are but for some in whose name they are spoken aloud , they are a means of control and intimidation of behavior.

Morality is the soul of man, his emotional being, as compared to his physical being. Physical proof of the existence of the soul can be found in the salty tears that run down our cheeks.

The more art is manipulated and transformed into mans vision the more it becomes art, and part of the woven fabric of our lives.

How art is defined is a matter of purpose, for while many man made objects display an intrinsic beauty, they have been created to serve a function.

Pure art serves no greater purpose than to inspire and reflect.

The degree to which a work of art is deemed art should be derived from the Artists conceptual originality (style) and mastering of medium.

A good piece of art should incorporate strong visual elements composed in a harmonious structure.

A great piece has all of the above, and message blended such that it does not interrupt the visual interpretation.

Art is the embodiment of human emotion, its the struggle to define our purpose.

Color unless used as the primary element to define a work, assumes an ancillary roll as a modifier to the work. ( It is the desert not the meal )

Just as there exist an intellect of intelligence so does their exist an artistic intellect, it is the emotional road map of who we are.

A question do you buy art to match the sofa or the sofa to match the art.

A resourceful Artists is an opportunist who takes advantage of the transitional state of materials. (12/13/06 )

I once thought that if one started a line on a piece of paper that the line would end on the same piece of paper. That sort of reasoning keeps us from moving beyond the piece of paper. We are only bound by our (Biology) our physical limitations. Our physiological limitations our often self induced. (12/13/06 )


I stand before you in the torn and tattered remnants of a human ideal called "freedom". Once a harbinger of the weak and oppressed, now a panhandler soliciting the lies and drugs of my enemies. Stripped of my dignity I have been spat upon; burned and laughed at on the world stage. Betrayed by the politicians who bastardized me before my enemies. I am treated as a crack whore, high on the infidelities of wealth and power. A victim of moral and social anarchy. My arms, once strong and outstretched, welcoming all who would embrace me, now dangle weak and in firmed, shriveled in apathy. Once a proud symbol of truth and honor, I am now a tarnished relic of hypocrisy and scandal. '' I AM AMERICA '' by Curtis Salonick (1/03/07 )

A Template for Judging Photography:

Passive Narrative: A Scene or object as it is rendered in real time, void of human manipulation {image recorded in camera}.

Conceptual Narrative: A scene or object that has been manipulated to conform to the image makers version {image recorded in camera}.

Conceptual Realization: The realization of imagination, a scene or object not physically bound to reality, formulated in the conscious or unconscious thoughts of the image maker. {The capture of the image is just the first step, a variety of image manipulation techniques are employed outside the camera}. 4/25/08

Art is the physical manifestation of human emotion, it can generally be segmented into two categories: Passive and Confrontational the degree to which any work is segmented is determined by its narration, and complexity of elements. 04/25/08

Passive: Requires minimum interpretation as it is judged primarily on its aesthetic values.

Confrontational: Challenges the moral and social gnomes of the society of its origin {it is more message oriented}.

It is the physical that binds us to reality and makes us mortal.

It is the Emotional that liberates us from reality and makes us immortal.

We respond physically / We react emotionally.

The Physical gives us purpose / The Emotional gives us reason. 4/25/08


The Reality that we know can be compared to us checking into, a very large very old hotel and being given all the keys to all the rooms. The rooms represent Knowledge, the keys represent our physical ability to open the doors. But do to our physical limitations all the keys appear identical to one another. This reality causes us through a process of elimination to have to try each of the keys in each of the doors until one opens.

Artist : Curtis Salonick 01/29/09

The rendering of an image in any media does not necessarily make is Art.
Art is an expression of human emotion and the purposeful physical manifestation of the Artists will. 01/29/09

Art serves no greater purpose then to inspire and reflect, on our presents. 01/29/09


Art is the confluence of our physical reaction and emotional expression. 01/29/09


Our presents in the scheme of things can be compared to that of a single
thread woven into the the fabric of a large garment. Our significance is to ourselves. Our
allegiance is to the continuum of Life's purpose.
Art is the physical manifestation of human emotion. It is an inspired reality of humanity, by humanity and about humanity. Art does not exist in the absence of humanity. 01/29/09
The Elements that define Art :

Concept - The shared interrelationship of the different physical components, that comprise the work.

Composition - The orderly arrangement of elements, predicated on a human predisposition that best represents an emotional reality.

Technique - The knowledge and skill required to transform an emotional concept into a physical representation of reality.

Perspective - The visual interpretation of our physical Reality. Its proper use can be an integral part in the optimum representation of an image.
Its components including depth, height, distance and angle play a crucial role in the final visualization.

Lighting - That which reveals and embellishes the image.
The viewer that finds relevance in a particular work of art, does so threw a shared emotional commonality with the artist.
The reality of Good and Evil exist only in the heart of Mankind..

Art similar to life is founded on redundancy. The reinterpretation of reason.
Art is the result of purposeful human intent. 01/29/09


Art is not a competition, but an expression of human emotion.
Criteria for Judging

Narrative - A scene or object as it appears in real time,void of human intervention .( image is captured in camera )

Subjective - A scene or object predicated on the repositioning of elements as to the Artist reinterpretation of a perceived reality. ( image is captured in camera )

Conceptual - A scene or object whose parts or whole my exist outside of reality. ( image my be captured in camera, but then other disciplines my be applied outside of the camera in completion of the image. ) 01/29/09


Emotion - The moral implications of it, is what defines us as humans . 01/29/09


Art is an emotional reaction of our physical world, it is a mortal imperative.
Art is the mapping of the emotional and sexual influences brought to bear on the Artist, threw his or her social, religious, and physical realities. 01/29/09


Maturity - The pound of flesh that life exacts from our dreams.
The purpose of life is procreation, the reason for life is what we do in the mean time.
The grapes of freedom are being crushed beneath our feet as we drunkenly drink the wine.
Purpose is the bread of life. Reason is what you place between the slices.
The only imperative is physical. Everything else is defined by our Reality.
Art does not define purpose. But rather reason of purpose.
Our Reality is defined by our ability to cope with our physical limitations. 01/29/09


Art is the Humanization of form and substance. 12/09

Art does not exist outside the influence of Humanity. 12/09

An Artist most profound work comes from his emotional center. 12/09


The only imperative in life is the physical, because we have no way
of rationalizing it to our Reality. 03/06/10


Art is a selfish act of an individual willing to expose his or her
emotional vulnerabilities, to the criticism of the many,so that we might
better understand who we are emotionally.

As an Artist I seek to build an emotional bridge to the Viewer.

For a work of Art to be successful, it must act as an emotional bridge
between Artist and viewer. It is this shared emotional connection that
makes the art work desirable.

Time is the physical manifestation of our physical reality. I believe
that it is not constant but fluctuates, faster or slower as to our
awareness of its passing.

I liken our existence to that of a Honey bee, our birth represents our
leaving the hive, in search of not honey but emotional experiences, that
are then imprinted on us. Then upon our death we return to the hive to
share with the whole the information we have gathered.(to complete or to
to satisfy). 3/18/10

Artist Statement: Art is a purposeful act of creation by man, of man and for man. It is not a random act of nature or other intervention. The degree to which art is deemed art is predicated upon the artist's unique and original vision, and the mastering of his particular medium.
Curt Salonick

Photography, long seen as the depiction or reflection of what is, provides for me the starting point of what could be a creative process that transforms and manipulates several simple images into a final composite.

To me, the definition of Art, is defined as the act of creation by man and not a random circumstance of nature, or other intervention.

The degree to which Art is deemed Art is determined by the artist's unique and original vision and the mastering of his particular discipline

All art is derived from three conceptual disciplines....the Beautiful, the Ugly, and the Meaningful. Any two of which may be combined.
The Beautiful...an orderly delineation of Man's ideal perceptions.
The Ugly...a chaotic state that distorts and alters Man's view of reality
The Meaningful...a reflection of Man's soul, the purpose for his being

Beauty is ageless, but not timeless.

It is not life that gives purpose, but rather purpose that gives life.

My work is an on going exploration of what I view as the four pillars that support the Human Condition.
They are:

#1 - LIFE - That which defines our physical being in the present.
#2 - DEATH - Defined by the end of our physical being, an unknown
of which we posses no comprehension, so we can neither accept nor deny it. Therefore we mourn it.
#3 - SEXUALITY - The driving dominate force that perpetuates the species.
#4 - RELIGION - The golden parachute; a means to an end, a reason for being, a flicker of hope in the Great Unknown, defining man from birth to death and beyond.


What makes an image art is the degree to which the influence of the maker is evident.
The only undeniable imperative is the physical. It is the only that we can not rationalize to our reality.

Reality : An alternating state of consciousness
Reality of Self : Is the expression of personal free will
Imposed Reality : The Reality of others to subvert the will of the individual.  example (prison)
Religion : A defined human Reality of need
Morality : Controlled aggression




*All images on this site are the property of C. Salonick and may not be reproduced or used in any way without permission.
©2009 Curtis Salonick. All rights reserved.