(Chris Martin, Ain't It Funky, 2003-2010, humongous)
My most recent drawings look like patterns and backgrounds to me. I’m concerned because I’m coming awfully close to making décor. What is the difference between décor and art exactly? I’ve always considered the latter to have more personality, to have depth, even if the person making it is the only person to see it. After all, it’s art if you say it is, although no one else may agree.
Meaning and intention used to be a top priority for me. It was to the point that I’d decide on the meaning before even starting the execution. This made me feel ready for any oncoming attack. It felt safer. But, we don’t control or own the meaning of our work. Besides, is there really a point in making something if you already know exactly what’s going to come out? I'd even say the work suffers when it goes according to plan.
These days I don’t know what I’m doing at all. It’s the extreme opposite. And it’s scary and I pretty much hate it. I hear the attacks, and the piece isn’t even complete.
I recommend seeing the Chris Martin and Joe Bradley show at Mitchell, Innes and Nash, up through the end of the month. Here’s an excerpt from their press release, in the form of a conversation:
It’s like being inside and outside at the same time. On the one hand you are in a trance, on the other hand you are watching yourself paint. And I think the key is that when you are watching yourself paint you don’t judge, you just watch. The less I judge the more I can actually create and see what I’m doing.
You think Martin knew in 2003 what this baby was going to look like?