Friday, May 11, 2007

Finger painting, anyone?

On Wednesday, I visited a friend of mine’s studio. She’s involved in a large sculptural project (with a narrative base) and what’s amazing is, she’s having fun. Who would have thunk? An artist enjoying herself with her hands, playing with glazes, laughing, experimenting, taking her time.

I come from the school that art is above all serious, a key to our times, a vision about being, a responsibility. But, do these aims – which I believe to be all-important – mean that the artist can’t play? (I’ve always thought so).

Sol Le Witt once wrote a letter to Eva Hesse while she was living in Germany and at a point when her work was at an impasse. “Stop it and just DO,” he advised her. “Try and tickle something inside you, your ‘weird humor.’ You belong in the most secret part of you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool.” He added: “You are not responsible for the world — you are only responsible for your work, so do it. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be.

Easy to say. Are drugs and alcohol the only way to get there?


james leonard said...

Easy to say. Hard to do.

My life and my studio practice have taken recent turns that leave me in the midst of similar attempts at internal existential refinement. I'm actively taking stock of the youthful enthusiasm I once regularly exuded for my work and seeing if I can't fold some of that joi de vive into my currently well-rounded and responsible adult self.

Best wishes to you on your own attempts! It's a valuable bit of personal maintenance to undertake.

Molly Stevens said...

Thanks again for writing, James.
Balance. Nice concept.

Mark Creegan said...

So great to read this, right now I am in a do anything mode. I have been putting off cleaning my studio (its full of crappola!) I am cleaning by making stuff, just putting things together and hanging htem on the wall or whatever, I figure I should get something out of it. Or not, but I sure am having fun:)