New drawings, 2/18/07

February 18, 2007 at 11:03 pm (art, culture, drawing, interesting, life, personal, thoughts)

I think I’m going to try and do a pretty long series on this theme:

021807-c.jpg

021807-b.jpg

021807-d.jpg

I’m thinking about my favorite art quote ever, from Philip Guston writing about the experience of being an artist in America during the Vietnam war:

The war, what was happening to America, the brutality of the world. What kind of man am I, sitting at home reading magazines, going into frustrated fury about everything — and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue?

Yep, right there with you, Phil. What kind of (ahem) person am I, pushing paint around in the studio when so much of the world seems to be going to hell? I don’t think that making drawings about this sort of thing actually accomplishes anything practical or meaningful, do I? And if not, they why do I keep doing it? And what (exactly) happens when I keep doing it, even when I admit to myself that it accomplishes nothing?

I don’t know. I really sincerely, deeply don’t know.

I’m actually no more or less depressed by all of these thoughts than I usually am. I’m actually just more curious than anything else.

This is sense, this curiousity – is more and more what I want to zero in on with my work. Rawness and honesty, more now than ever. How can I push myself – to be more honest and more open, more vulnerable and more present in my own work than ever before? I don’t know, but I guess that’s not the sort of thing you’re supposed to know. You’re just supposed to do it.

(Update: I actually like these drawings enough that I took the extra step of adding them to my “real” website. If you want to see them bigger, you can click there and it will lead you to larger images.)

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4 Comments

  1. Yadir said,

    Bravo!

  2. ggwfung said,

    nice teeth. I wish I had gleaming pearly whites. All I’ve got are chipped yellow incisors.

    nice art.

    ggw

  3. Andrew said,

    I have a constant struggle of being vulnerable in my work. How much is too much? What is not enough? But for me, there is a fear… a fear of ruin or of being laughed at or not thought serious. I do think though that one’s work has the power to change the world. Perhaps it’s naive. Perhaps it’s stupid. Perhaps my paintings won’t make the blood flow backwards and the wounds heal and the body be restored… but maybe I could bring solace in one’s last moments. Maybe my work will survive me after I’m long gone and inspire others to create and make decisions about who they are and what they value in their lives. I don’t know.

  4. amywilson said,

    I think it’s especially hard to be vulnerable in your work while still in school. There’s a certain level of anonymity that you’re granted when you’re making your work outside of school – you get to show it to who you like or who might help you or that sort of thing. In school, you have to show your work to a certain group of people… and then you have to live beside them for months or years after.

    But that fear of not being taken seriously or of being laughed at… well, the fear doesn’t go away. It’s very real. And I don’t think it’s an unreasonable fear, either. It’s a weird little cultural reflex to make fun of those who wear their hearts on their sleeves. But it’s wrong that we do that. And it really has to change.

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