Wednesday, January 16, 2008


6" x 8" collage

Lately I've been noticing how much I value sincerity. I find myself valuing it in communication, in art, and even (dare I say!) in humor. This is not to say that I don't value a good bit of irony and cynicism now and again, but if I were involved in an irony vs. sincerity competition (yes I know, I dislike binaries, too) I would certainly find myself frequently dipping my toes in the world of sincere expressions of my feelings and thoughts. And truth to tell, ironic comments tend to fly by me so quickly that sometimes I feel I'm the last to "get it." So the above art piece is my attempt at honoring my qualities of sincerity. And don't worry, I am not going to start creating Hallmark greeting cards. No sirree. Expect challenging art and writing, and even some blatant irony thrown in.

During my little exploration on sincerity tonight, I stumbled upon a concept I hadn't heard of: "New Sincerity." Check this out from Wikipedia:

"The New Sincerity is a cultural re-emphasis on art as a harbinger for social change. It is a compromise between the tenets of modernism and postmodernism that returns an idea of progress, purpose and greater good. It brings an impetus of idealism, but with an inherent sense of healthy skepticism." [For the entire Wikipedia entry click

I'm fascinated. Where do you feel you live most of your days -- bent toward irony, immersed in sincerity, fluctuating constantly, or somewhere in between?


  1. Great and thought-provoking post, C. I think "irony" gets tiresome because it's clever and sometimes being clever is a shield, like how sarcasm means to "rip the flesh" ... if I'm being ironic I'm not giving out Come closer; irony is not warmth. Sincerity is intimacy, warmth, it is much more desirable and cozy on a cold winter day too. Irony makes for poignant but after a while, closed art work. Three cheers for sincerity!

  2. When I used to bring back or have brought back copies of The Stranger, I was often overwhelmed with a sense of tiredness at the thought of coming home and being surrounded by loads of hipster irony in actions, words, places and attitudes.

    Now that I'm here, I don't notice it as much. Wonder if it's changed or if I have.

  3. I remember returning to Seattle from a trip to Hawaii last year and feeling a big contrast. In Hawaii everything felt so sincere to me, and when I returned to Seattle I noticed I didn't resonate with the super-ironic air I found in places.

    Perhaps our relationship to irony changes constantly as we change where we live, who we spend our time with, and what we've experienced in our lives.


  4. John~

    I sincerely love that you sincerely love irony. I wouldn't image it any other way. :-)