The question arises, for myself and others of my ilk, whether our creations are made to subsist as "foster children of silence and slow time"; in other words, whether or not it will be a long, slow haul towards establishing ourselves and our art in a major way, and a way which would be satisfying and gratifying for us. How staunch, as a tightly knit collective, are the post-modernists in 2014? From the evidence my daily life has presented to me, I have induced the knowledge that post-modernity, as a capitalistic, profit-counting institution, has lost ground and momentum in our current Great Recession. My assumptions in this context must, of necessity, be modest- Philly Free School have demonstrably had a significant amount of space cleared for us, but we remain largely unknown to the general public, and no visible chiasmus exists between ourselves, our work, and the American or any other press corps. Yet if raw online numbers are any indication, there is certainly a receptive sector of the American and European public ready to greet our work with appropriately receptive hearts and minds. This is why the reference to Keats is both interesting and provocative- what we have written and painted must, owing to its depth, thoughtfulness, and formal-thematic richness, take on the sober, austere attire of "foster children of silence and slow time"- but it is intriguing, conversely, to consider that, with our current entropic zeitgeist, in which a populace are starved for authentic passion and intelligence in what they consume, Neo-Romanticism might attract some short-term success as well.
In a contradictory sense, it both is and is not immaterial to me whether this short-term success transpires- to the extent that our work is dealt with seriously, and we are not trivialized, it could be a positive development; yet all of us have enough education in the higher arts to understand that what achieves the most profound impact tends to do so slowly, incrementally, and often imperceptibly, over decades and centuries. This is one salient reason that post-modernity insults our collective intelligence- by reducing the higher arts to a mere adjunct and an underling to the popular arts, it so attempts to erase, in a brutish and militaristic fashion, the entire history of the higher arts beyond its tiny, crabbed purview, that the entire post-modern endeavor amounts to a sustained assault of anti-art and anti-culture on entrenched, yet often powerless, adversaries. In a very real sense, all PFS's elitism and classicism entail is a deep-set appreciation of the entire history of the higher arts, which we have refused to conceal or elide in an attempt to achieve short-term, ephemeral, and extremely hypocritical success. Why it is that aesthetic progress has to come at the expense of a reviled, demeaned, and somehow naive past is something I've never understood- now, as the new century coalesces, I've been led to the conclusion that auto-destruction of the history of the higher arts, as both a stated and a surreptitious post-modern intention/ambition, has had nothing to do with anything but fear and greed, set lecherously and coercively into motion to homogenize an already blasted Western cultural landscape. The commonplace, known to art-world insiders, that post-modern artists have more invested in pop culture imbecility and business ventures than in their own work (which may or may not sell for enormous sums of money), is shorthand for post-modernisty's rejection of both passion and intellect, and for anything humanistically expressive at all. Confounding this, our Philadelphia was Edenic for us. What Philly Free School pursued here was very unique, as we found a way to progress while conserving, and vice versa; and the twist in the tale is that our myth of what Philadelphia is may be the keeper for the entire length of the century to come.