Monday, April 13, 2009
To please oneself or not, that is the question
It’s impossible to paint and not have the Abstract Expressionists there with me (Pollock, Kline, de Kooning (who I really can’t stand), those guys). Their gestures and how seriously they took them is a model in my head, and I didn’t even know it was there.
But, in 2009, the emulation is mostly esthetic. Because, investigating what they were interested in (movement, purity, inner truth) falls short. It’s not enough.
Sometimes I catch myself making a decision in painting because it looks AbExpressy (which looks good to me) and then I’ve got to get rid of it. Because I know it’s shallow. It’s fake. My alternative is not to make something look bad. But, the priority has to go to a non-esthetic investigation. How I fulfill the investigation may be via the tools of the Abstract Expressionists, but the thing has got to be on its own track.
That said, I’m attracted to the work of Amy Sillman (that's her painting above). It’s good, and it reminds me of the Abstract Expressionists. But, what else? I don’t think anything else, so maybe it is enough after all. But not for me personally.