Babies bable through the phonetic library of sounds as they move towards the sonic forms of what’s going to be their native tongue.
Is it incompetence or curiosity that takes us on this course or rather the likelyhood of a mix of the two? Is there some deeper relevance to why we stop babbling?
Is it because we’ve decided what to say or because we no longer are curious about possibly?
In order to know oneself, one needs to first invent a universe.
This is seen in the visual fine arts with the relationships between artists and their experiences with their work
Something needs to exist before it can be understood. While an Artist work is understood by the artist through the act of the art work itself being made, this understanding is not static, it both explores and builds on past understandings and evolves through post rationalization into new understandings about the the artist via the work itself.
We build visual languages to communicate and compare each other’s understandings. We do this through creating metaphors that symbolize states of being.
There’s a feeling that settles over me during sessions of wandering between two worlds. One world that believes that the yardstick that’s a measure of what’s good is measuring the ability to accurately replicate what’s in front of me. I openly give credence to recognizing the value of capturing the representation of what the model is presenting, but mememic representation not where I feel the most comfortable.
The other world plays at the edge of what feels right, leaving the framework of proportion and representational line in place, serving as an anchor to maintain readability while playing with a shifting color pallet and active mark making. A drawing populated with references from the model, but free to wander and take risks. From my point of view, words like “intuitive” and “action” discribe the work that’s being done. I feel good about what’s coming off the boards, but these are still bland words discribing work that can be and say more.
What that is… I still don’t know. Maybe there’s more worlds to wander.
…It leaves me uncomfortable when I suspect that I’m ok with a piece simply because it’s safe… when everyone’s in agreement that it is what it’s supposed to be.
On the flip side, I’m suspect of my own tendency to be even more attracted to work that’s noticeably difficult, a train wreck of sorts. It’s become to be seen as an issue of autonomy. Difficult work creates room around it that allows a viewer (me) to feel what they feel and work through what that feeling is showing them. Much of the time that feeling is Curiosity … it’s frankly more interesting to puzzle out why an art work doesn’t work than it is to nod at a good work as you pass on by.
I believe a person serves to develop their own sense of taste by identifying what doesn’t work for them rather than looking towards what works for others. When we find ourselves making work that we feel pleased with, it’s should be suspect… are we pleased because it satisfies something inside us or are we looking for something that matches up with outside expectation.
What deserves going on the private plinth? Getting framed and hung it turns out is not a small endeavor for work made in house. For starters, the actual cost of framing is a lot more than the cost of materials used in the art work itself. Added to that, for me, the irony that the time that it takes to frame a work is significantly more than the time that it took to make the work itself isn’t lost on me. A fact that emphasizes the point that everything that’s made isn’t going to be a priority for framing.
So now the question is “What is deserving of a plinth?”
The accumulated pile of drawings are starting to sort themselves out into a few separate piles that go beyond what’s being seen as the good and the bad (a whole separate discussion), but now the “good” pile itself is being sorted by “relevant connection” or what I see as my personal relationship to the drawing itself. The underlying concern is that it’s gotten hard to justify work that pulls from outside resource material. The reasoning is that the relationships that populate the images aren’t my relationships, they belong to someone else, these may serve as exercises, but they don’t belong on my walls (maybe the fridge, but not the walls).
Still, when I buy art work from other artists to hang in my own home, it’s usually not the relationships in the pictures themselves that I am initially connecting with, instead it’s the real or imagined connection with the artist themselves that holds the primary priority.
Rarely do I buy a work without any connection to the artist or the subject. If I like a work, but don’t yet at least have a passing familiarity with the artist, I generally prefer to become somewhat familiar with the artist before buying work.
So how is this shaking out as I decide what to frame and hang? I’m choosing to invest in the work that’s based on my own real world relationships, art work that uses friends and family as the subjects instead of strangers from the internet.
(On a side note, I believe this is why patrons are hesitant about purchasing figurative works for their own walls, the relationship just isn’t there. A connection to the artist themself needs to at least be first established.)
There’s been a coming to grips with the recognition of how I habitually overly connect with expectations. This isn’t a manifestation of perfectionism, it’s being intentionally (or unintentionally) put in a state of longing for an ideal.
Art is one of the few things that I feel that my longing for an ideal has been decoupled from expectations while still being coupled with decision making and judgment.
Perfection and beauty aren’t the necessary measure of art, confidence and authenticity more rightly take that place.
When I said “I’m having fun”, what I’m hinting at is that I’m intentionally experiencing being in the flow of the process of drawing, doing just for the sake of doing. The drawing is an simply an artifact that’s carried away from that experience.