art speak

my head is swimming.... in a good way - i spent most of the day with a museum group - i was a bit nervous, but they were really lovely folks. in fact it reminded me of being in graduate school. it's like they have a forum in which they discuss their thoughts, passions, revelations about various aspects of art, the practice of making it, criticizing it, curating it, etc. the morning was spent with laura richard janku and glen helfand speaking on writing and being an art critic. there were at least 30 different publications circulating (shows you how much i know and read about art) - two that stick out in my head are zingmagazine and ten by ten - i'll have to follow up on those. what commenced was a good discussion of the roles of critics and magazines and how often things are politicized, but how also art criticism can be an eye-opening experience. of course i then started to wonder what role art criticism plays in my scheme of things... i'm most interested in criticism that does more than just describe - that pulls art into the larger scheme of life in general. i think as an artist - criticism can be inspiring - the catalyst to go see a show - the devil's advocate in a train of though - an intrduction to an aritst/a way of seeing. i think that art criticism can help to define - or re-define - or expand a point of view. of course it can also be staid, insulting, unimaginative and not helpful - just like art itself. what was also brought up, (and what, as an aritst i find the most difficult to deal with) is what role reviews and criticism play in the role of developing an artist and making them in a sense more marketable and interesting to curators, art enthusiasts and the public at large. as with every other arena, there's a political side to this game as well... in the end though, i was most curious and inspired by the fact that here was a room full of people willing to engage in this discussion at all - and it was an informed room no less.

i'll skip over the part where i had to talk about my work - will this ever not make me uncomfortable? it's difficult to explain things that you naturally want to keep sort of secret - or that you hope will be apparent with out explanation - or that put you in that vulnerable spot. i guess i'm fearful that in explaining the work might lose a little bit of the ju-ju that makes art what it is - almost a secret language. but then again i usually like when an artist talks about their work - because then you get to relate to it in a new way. so hopefully that was true for someone today....

amanda hughen - good friend and fabulous artist had her opening at ampersand arts last night. she's showing with jesse simon (it's really a good match). the space is lovely and her work is lovely.... i also checked out kimberly austin's piece at the sothern exposure show epic - also quite great. and today after all that happened above - i went to the cream from the top show at arts benicia . there are quite a few mills expatriots in it - and a couple artists that are also in emerge with me! (small world). yes, it's a lot of shows.... and tomorrow is the long emerge tour/reception as well. i definitely think that it's more fun to go to openings that aren't your own!! and part of me thinks when i look around the room at the artists that where we REALLY want to be is in our studios - continuing to make stuff. at least that's true for me.

i'm letting a couple of ideas brew... and i have to make that commission of bats.... the paint samples i tried muslin didn't really do the trick, so i'm going to have to figure out another fabric/method of adding color to the muslin. color that mimics those vintage paper colored squares in the tank pieces.... how could i have thought for a second that would be easy?? i'm thinking of turning to my old standby of felt.... or velvet?? hmmmm


Anonymous said…
it is always a challenge to sort out the wheat from the chaff of other people's perspectives on one's work. it is far better, though, to have the courage to try to do this than to avoid it and working in a cocoon is safe but not conducive to growth!

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