Monday, February 8, 2010
The Ugly Panic
(Cindy Sherman, Untitled #399, 2000)
You ever step back and know, “Man, that is just ugly! Who would ever want to put that over their couch!”
At this point I could run for refuge in concept. You see, if I favor an idea – say, what the death of authenticity means for the western-male definition of esthetics and the market– over visual communication - and ok, I’ll say it, BEAUTY - it doesn’t matter what the hell it looks like. But concept is often an excuse. Because, the fact of the matter is, it’s hard to make things look great.
The flip side, of course, is decoration-priority work, meaning surface over meaning. Perfect color, complete control, sparkle. That may be worse than concept-priority work. I go back and forth.
But more often than not, I seem to have to enter a certain panic while making a piece – this weekend it was a “that is so ugly” panic - which forces me to make extreme decisions to get myself out of the hole and save my face.