Image above: hidden/revealed, acrylic & ink on aluminum, 17.5 x 23.5 inches

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ah, what to say

For starters I've been obsessing over the election since the conventions.

You may understand, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

After the swearing-in of the new President, I too took an oath: stop obsessing and get on with life.


Moving on, I've started doing some reading and reviews of the many 'art to do' notes i've made during this period.

The readings:

David Salle's 2. to 1.How 3. See  [crazy title].  This is a book by an art critic who wished to change the conversation about art, to lose the academic/gallery speak and converse on art and artists the way artists talk among ourselves.

That idea kinda' hooked my attention. A longish introduction followed by a number of essays is the basic structure.

Gems I liked from the introduction:

[Quote marks omitted]

1.    The most convincing works tend to be those in which thinking is inseparable from the doing.

[if you're a process artist like myself you should dig that]

2.    Nothing I can say is going to improve how it looks.

3.    The right idea, one that is in productive sync with one's talents, can unlock a whole worldview. If that idea is also part of a sensibility that is forming and spreading in the larger culture, or zeitgeist, a multiplier effect comes into play, and the art will resonate strongly with the viewing public.  We will feel that it express us.

4.    Art is more than a sum of cultural signs: it is a language both direct and associative, and has a grammar and syntax like any other human communication.  The act of paying close attention to what someone made, in all of its particulars, is what stimulates an authentic, as opposed to a conditioned, response.

5.    The wall label might inform you that the work is about the artist's investigation into the semiotics of performative strategies, while you find yourself wondering if the cafeteria food is any good.

[i so love that one]

6.     Form is the raw material, and style is the forge.

[as a derivative thought I recall a lyric ". . . style is just another word for limitation. . . ']

As I come across these on further reading I'll post more.  I find the thinking generated by reading books like this helps place and reaffirms my internal dialogues; new art has never come out of reading such stuff, that's not the point, it is instead creating the mental studio that in it's self allows new directions for me.