When I first began this post last week I was having an emotional day in Vermont. I got to listening to one of those way-to-thoughtful story-telling NPR programs and all of a suddenly I started crying, thinking about my mother. She died nine years ago around this time of the year. The experience got me to thinking about who we tell ourselves and others that we are. I was in the studio when my episode took place and was getting ready to meet with a friend here about reviewing our artist statements. It seemed suddenly very relevant at that time to do a deep dive into what I think I’m doing in my art and how I talk about it to others.
My artist statement is here. I haven’t updated it in about seven years. It was produced with help from an ex Bradley Brookshire who is a great writer and music professor in New York. I’ve always liked it because it’s serviceable and vague enough to encapsulate every possibility I was interested in exploring at that time. It now feels somewhat stiff to me. I just read my friend Anthony Falcetta’s statement (you can read it here), and while I think he’s doing something different in his piece than I am, I couldn’t help but to compare the two. I think the difference between the two statements is that Anthony is talking about what he thinks his painting is trying to accomplish while I think I vaguely describe how I think others will receive my works. Its a small distinction I know but it got me to thinking what trying to say as an artist.
I tell myself that I’m offering the viewer a picture into a very hermetic universe in my head, and that these peaks into my brain offer illuminations on space, closeness, texture and distance. What I’m realizing, as time goes by, is that I don’t give much regard to others views about my work (except that they like what I produce without argument ).I am increasingly allegiant to a very rigid process that does not allow for variation. There is something so satisfying to me about process that the process is becoming the art more than the final result. The challenge for me now is to write a statement that speaks more to that truth while also including the very real explorations of space and density that is visible in the final artwork.
I’m in the third week here at the Vermont Studio Center and have accomplished several projects and began several more which I may or may not complete. It’s been useful being here, though maybe less so than I had hoped. I’ll talk about some of the new work and my thoughts on being here next post. As an aside, here are some shots of the beautiful grounds here.
In the meantime here’s my musical selection for this post. I’ve been listening to metal music again and got the new Deftones CD “Gore” last week. It directly inspired me to do a new wall drawing. I like several tracks on the record. My favorite two are “Doomed User” and the title tract “Gore” Here are the YouTube videos of those tracks. Okay until next time….