Couldnt be happier…..
We were in MoMA in New York and came face to face with les Demioselles D’Avignon by Picasso, a painting I first became aware of when I was about 12 and really what made me want to be a “proper” artist… it was heart stopping, and then we got to see Van Goghs, Kandinskis, Kahlos, and the Dadaist Exquisite Corpses!!! It felt like this museum had been built for us personally! In a lot of ways the scale and scope of New York has really got me thinking about my art (also the spaciness of jet-Lag), from chatting with Corban Walker, to the 100s of spaces in the “Art Gallery District”, around 26th and 10th, I totally had my eyes/mind opened…. it’s like lining out with Man United all of a sudden, you’ve got to bring your A-Game of you’re done for… it challenges you… You might think you’re making good art, but New York makes you realise that it’s time to make Great art, don’t piss about, New York wants you to to be brilliant and to succeed…. Of all the things I thought New York would make me feel, I was amazed that overall it makes me want to be a better artist
There’s a lot of discussion about the role of Curators around these parts… I, have always been reticent to engage them in relation to my work, maybe that’s vanity, or because I often work in sequences and like to display them that way, negating the need of curatorial input.
Now, within the CoLab, and talking to Sandra there is a sense that it is very difficult for an Artist to curate the work of others, which, for my part, I tend to agree with, not that it’s impossible, but that the line between curation and having artistic input may blur, and that to me, is the danger.
Handing over work to a Curator to get oneself beyond indicision is all very fine, but what if they make decisions you fundamentally disagree with… can that be within the agreement/contract? (Methinks it would be good for paramaters to be a prerequisite, though often vanity can muddy the desire of either to accept logical decisions). And that’s the worry, simply that the artist as curator cannot seperate themselves from the creative process and in doing so transends the chalk line and makes purely artistic decisions.
This, I tell thee, (I have experienced it), initially leads the artist to consider wether they are wrong and the curator is right, but ultimately can be a wholly aggrivating experience, especially if the opportunity to exhibit is a rare one, and feels squandered….. and can leave a massive sense of disappointment and frustration, as well as the fear that ones work might be so badly misrepresented so as to be detrimental to ones artistic profile, (yeah, it can be that crappy)…
So, in terms of working with a curator, I reckon that (A) I’d have to like and respect them, and (B) they’d have to be willing for me to tell them they’re wrong… which I feel might make it a little difficult….
Any takers??? I have a lot of unshow work.
There’s always the statment knocking about that good art can only come out of some dark place, but I think it’s more sussinct than that. Certainly, some of the strongest art , the most emotive, comes from a place of strong emotion, and it would seem that the majority of those emotions rest on the negative side… Of course a lot of rubbish art comes out of these emotions, however, that’s more to do with the artist than the circumstance.
For me, it seems, that the only time I ever create anything strong, be it music/art/poetry, is whilst residing in that negative place. My happy art, so-to-speak, sometimes just seems frivilous, though I’m aware that the darker stuff might risk becoming indulgent, it’s only there than anything I create really stands out.
It’s really that the strongest emotions are the ones that are reactive to some sort of drama or suffering, and the compulsion of the artist to escape/express these often produces the purer, less controlled and/or contrived works. Strip away the editor of calm and the beast makes better art.
So for me, I can trace the troughs of experience through the stronger works, and that’s just the way I operate. Just like the way I feel Guernica or Käthe Kollwitz’s work are some of the strongest, cominging from loss and conflict, I feel in general, that whilst it may not always be tha case, art seems to thrive on grief and struggle.
I met a man today, early 60s with dementia, apparently he’s had it for many years, in the same nursing home as my mother. He looked really young, but like a man lost in a cloud. There were fragments of him there, but so much lost. A musician and singer, apparently he still sings, and danced a few steps when some music played, like they were a distant memory.
He’s the age of some of my friends, his wife visits him every day, sometimes he doesn’t recognise her. The loss of that much of someone’s world must be unsurmountable sometimes.
Monoprint from 2009
I’m always trying to create something that I feel is truly honest, that makes sense, and that I can really feel is an artwork that I can truly be proud of. It’s often easy to get kinda close to that, but very difficult to attain it. Also, working as an artist, in close proximity to the artwork often makes it impossible to evaluate it in any way, as it seems impossible to remove yourself from the creative process and really look at it objectively, and then, when it’s exposed to others it’s really hard to gauge how they’ll view it…. So it becomes a challenge, each time, to be brave enough to present a piece without fear.
This photo is of me and my siblings in Butlins 1968, as you can imagine, I have no memory of it, but I copied the photo from one my mother has.
Well, this is my first post, hope that somehow I can keep this interesting, also that someone other than myself gets to read it, that’d be nice.