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The Mythical Artist-Hermit

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Let me first say that being mythic doesn’t make something untrue.  There are plenty of artists who need to work in isolation as much as possible.  What I mean is that the Hermit Artist is a kind of mythical archetype, as much as the Old Wise Woman or the Trickster.  They are both potentially real people and also part of our cultural mythos.  The Hermit Artist is still often the image many people have of the Artist generally and there are more than a few artists who take on that role… and sometimes just the image.

It occurred to me after a few days of setting up my installation at the BWAC that I am absolutely not an Artist Hermit. Perhaps I was at one point… but my process and work have grown more and more towards collaborative and participatory work.  The past few years even prodding complete strangers for reactions and unique viewpoints has become an important part of my process.

I feel that if my work is to reach many people on many levels it is essential to talk to people I would not normally see in my social circles (broad and diverse as those may be).  So I talk to strangers.  I talk to friends.  I teach and I learn from my students.  What I don’t do much of is talking to other artists about work in progress unless I am collaborating with them.

Let me explain… I have had my art history, I am aware of modern and contemporary art and artists, but I am wary of too tight a dialogue with the art community.   It is hard to have truly new ideas in an echo-chamber enviorment.  Perhaps this is what drives some artists into Hermetic practice. I believe there is a danger in looking too tightly at just art history, current artists, and the forces of the art world (critics, curators, dealers, etc.).  I get the impression that a lot of the attempts to innovate within that world may be coming from the desire for innovation itself, or to distinguish oneself (even brand oneself) as a unique artist.  It is a necessary career move, and a reasonable prod to thinking up something new…  but I think the freshest innovation comes from truly seeing something in a new way and bringing it to life in a way that makes the most sense for the artwork.  More seeing something in the world outside, less self-consciousness.  Yes, there are a thousand ways to look at the system of the art world for material, even for critique, but too much and it becomes navel gazing in a small circle.  Perhaps some of the artists who are considered Hermits are really just hermits to the art world for those very reasons and are quite open to the rest of the world… but I don’t think it is all of them.

All that said, what I most valued in my recent New York trip was the intensity of dialog, and a lot of that valued dialog was with art-insiders.  The difference was that I had intense conversations with artists and curators and many other people about the things that are seeds for art.  People, society, history, gender and identity politics, cultures, myth, symbolism, psychology, religions… and art.  Almost every waking hour of that week (usually until 3AM) I was working in one way or another, but even while I was physically working with my hands, I was often in discussion as well… and these discussions are integral to my work.  The whole trip was a long discussion, and when I wasn’t with people, it was with books and articles.  The trick to breaking out of the echo-chamber is the variety of sources and topics.

One thing is true though-  there are moments in my artistic process where it is death to the work to talk about it in any detail.  This is partly because the focus must be directed at making the work, and talking about it dissipates that drive.  It is also because there are moments in a process that are so fragile and etherial that if you try to say it out loud or explain what you are doing it dissolves in your hands like an object in a dream.  This is perhaps that almost mystical aspect of the artistic practice that those who are Artist-Hermits strive to protect.  It is when you are following your unconscious, listening to the materials, working on instinct.   Of course, “instinct” explains very little- let us say it is operating from the unconscious all those ideas and skills that are so internalized that they are a part of you.  The more one grows as an artist, the deeper that well gets.

Maybe after that hermetic moment is over you can step back from what you’ve made or thought up and say “ah… This aspect relates to x and is connecting in these ways to y and z concepts.  Maybe it takes until you open your process to observation again and someone else looks at what you’ve done and immediately understands it.  Sometimes that person is able to articulate something that is in fact there but which you missed because it was so much a part of you that you could no more see it than a fish notices wetness.  Then you can go back and analyze.

Either way, yes that hermit-space is absolutely an essential part of the process, but it is only a part for me.  Regular dialog with the outside- with the past and past artwork, with other artists, with collaborators, participants… and even complete strangers is equally important.

*later note:  let me also say that without the help of many people: friends and family, collaborators, other art people… that a lot of my work would not get as  far as it does.  I am most definitely not working in my own little cave.

Written by Mary Corey March

March 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

Posted in art, Essays, personal

Pop. A Gorilla burst my bubble.

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I think I honestly thought feminism was obsolete, but the Guerilla Girls just burst my bubble.

The “Weenie Count” was the pin. In 1989 te Guerilla girls did a count of male and female artists in the Modern Section of the MET, as well as male and female Nudes.  Results?  Less than 5% women artists in the modern collection of the MET, but 85% female nudes..  Really?  I thought, well, but that was still the 80’s, of course it must be better now.

Nope.

They did it the count again in 2005.  It was WORSE, but now with a higher percentage of male nudes (Could this be because people are less homophobic and more male gay artists and curators are Out?).

How can this be?  I honestly had no idea it was this bad.

I think I actually thought that sexism as a norm, as a general all-encompassing societal force was a thing of the past.  I grew up in a bubble.  While both parents had PhDs, my mother was the high-flier career-wise (and as a college president still is) . Her mother was an anthropologist and biologist studying genetics, and her grandmothers (Victorian ladies!) both had Masters degrees.  My father (despite his PhD) was a stay-at home dad for at least a while.  So I grew up assuming that the Feminist battle was more or less over… even if I knew some people were still jerks, just as I knew that some people were still racists (I had my racism bubble burst in middle school).

My map of feminism really dropped off at the 80’s.  I went to a girls school for a while, taught by feminist English and History teachers from 7th to 12th grade, took History of Religions courses in college that had sections on Feminist and Womanist theology, and Early Church History with a heavy dose of female mystics and movers.  I have generally examined historical feminist movements with interest, as well as the way women individually dealt with sexism and circumstances.  I love reading up on historical women who pushed the boundaries and achieved great things despite the sexism (just lately I was looking at Victorian ones, such as  Ada Lovelace, arguably the first programmer).  I also admired my mother and other women of her generation for pushing through the sexist barriers they did.

But after the 1980’s, feminism somehow lost me.

I ran into too many “feminists” who seemed to be trying to restrict who I was more than the “sexists”.  The Pink Suit bothered me- it seemed a symbol of becoming an alternate male (and a twisted idea of male at that), not being free and equal.  I came to think of more contemporary feminists as extreme, outdated and often annoying in a way that give women who are simply being equal to men or advocating equality and freedom of lifestyle choice a bad name.  I’ve often gotten into arguments over methods, and views.  I’ve even been harassed by some for wanting to  marry and have  a child and had to say over and over again- “no, I’m not brainwashed (I grew up with strong women thanks!), I know my options, I want this and yes I am will still be an individual and a human being, not a slave for being a wife and mother.”  I found it hypocritical that some “feminists” will dismiss a women as person as easily as the men they are attacking for being a mother- let alone a stay-at home mom!  It alienated me from the entire topic, post 80’s.  I suppose like many radical minorities that carry the name of a larger group, such people were not representative but just loud, and were giving everyone else a bad name.

My reaction was to stop thinking of feminism as a current thing, and to look on people today who loudly identified as “feminists” with some suspicion.  I also somehow thought the real battle was over.   Somehow my mind glossed over the fact that women still made less pay than men for equal work, and that it was just two years ago that the equal pay act was signed (thank you Obama!).  Of course I had my share of men who expected me to be weaker, stupider, etc because I was a girl and I learned to spot and trounce early to be treated as an equal.

As a bouncer during my art school days I would regularly have to best whatever new guy came in simply to do my job properly without constant condescension and interference.  I had to beat one boss at arm-wrestling just to get the job in the first place.  I’ve had to step in hard at times to be heard in conversation in a group of men and do some verbal/intellectual trouncing before they would stop talking over me in conversation as if I couldn’t comprehend the topic.

I did see it, but despite everything around me I missed it.  I attributed it to individual behavior, not a societal plague.  Somehow I thought society as a whole had moved past this.  I was blind to it.  I was in a bubble.

The Weenie Count burst my bubble and I am grateful for it.  It succeeded particularly because it was an objective number, not a subjective idea that might be overstated.  Believe me, I’ll be paying more attention to the role of women, and the role of women in art now.

So am I a feminist?  I believe in women’s equality and right to equal treatment, and in a freedom to chose one’s lifestyle, but until running into the Guerilla Girls I would not have called myself a Feminist.  Now I’m not sure if I will- there is too much baggage in that term.  I do know I will pursue the recognition of those rights with some serious fire under me.

I have to say it’s a bitter pill.  I already had a taste for the difficulties any artist struggling for recognition and shows has… but to find out that it is going to be that much harder because of my gender? It makes my blood boil.

I have a theory.  Next post.

Written by Mary Corey March

January 8, 2011 at 2:20 am

A new revolution in Art: part one, breaking the cannon… again

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This essay got far too long to put in a single post, so I’ll be breaking it into a few parts.  I am also in the process of getting through a booklist on a certain part of art history (the New York School) that is shedding a lot of light on the subject and my ideas are expanding too fast to keep both current and coherant- so I will settle for large less precise chunks spaced a bit apart.

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Revolutionary artistic movements now accepted as influential and important are generally dismissed in their time, and nearly always in infancy… mostly because they are re-writing the criteria for what art is.

A revolutionary movement is one that changes the rules.  In the last century accepted Art has expanded to include objects of mainstream manufacturing origins, junkyard-employee selected crushed cars, dead bodies, women clothed in raw meat, naked people standing in gallery doorways, a branch found in nature, a man in a cage with a coyote and even MANY different variations on actual feces either on its own (one piece had it canned) or applied to paintings (elephant dung).   Most of these mentioned have graced the Guggenheim and MOMA in NYC.  I’d say that the idea of What Art Is has been pushed as far as it will go without actually physcially attacking the viewer (and I may just be missing some here).  Famous artists have often put themselves in danger as an integral part of the piece.  Where now?

"The face and voice of the citizens of Black Rock City" HeadSpace is an interactive audiovisual installation which comes to life at dusk. A video projector, camera and microphone booth stationed 20' away from this giant head project the image of the participant's face and voice onto it. This live projected image appears to be three-dimensional from all angles around the sculpture, and the 10' tall projected "face" seems to float in space above the playa. All who wish to have their dreams, confessions, announcements, stories, jokes, poetry, performance, or songs heard are welcome." (text from BM website) Photo taken by Mary March, 2005

Right now any media is fair game, and any subject, but there are still rules.  Fifty years ago tossing out technique and conventional composition in favor of process, concept or emotional content was still up for debate.  Now it is part of the cannon of accepted Art.  A piece can stand on concept alone, or even (less often lately) on craft and composition alone.  It can stand on technique together with composition and/or process and various other combinations, but validity nearly always demands the artist place the piece within an art-historical context.  Right now awareness of and deliberate relation to art history is essential to an artist’s credibility, which seems to be  increasingly only accepted in the form of an MFA.  The institution again.  But I think the rules are changing again.

I have been wondering for years what would come next- but really everything I could imagine was a return to something in the past- in particular I expected a return to high technical craft and representationalism coming together with the conceptual and the abstract.  Endless variations within the current cannon  in subject matter and aesthetics (a lot of it with that technique/concept fusion) created plenty of new art and argueably new movements and schools  but the cannon remained.   Now after at least 6 years of being in the middle of the new art revolution I only just recognized this week that it is indeed a revolution: finally something that has the potential to change the rules again. I just didn’t notice it because I didn’t think of it as Art-art until I started studying what I consider the last major revolution in more depth… no doubt because I was educated within the current institution.

Now I see a growing movement that is making new rules which do not demand any of the standards that are still left.  Technique, concept, art history awareness, focus on process, conscious composition… it’s all being tossed… and yet I see some incredible art coming out of it.  I think some of the best of it retains an element or two of the remaining cannon- but some of it really doesn’t and still works.  The artists are also increasingly passing on control to participants and collaborators… and a large proportion of them come from outside art educational backgrounds.

What I am observing now is an international movement of art projects that could only be described as “outsider” art by the art world… and yet they are not only gaining entry into the art world, but transforming it. Moreover I’m not convinced this movement could grow up properly (or more to the point improperly) inside the art-educated art community because the art institutions are passing on their Traditions, their cannon (as is their role), much of it a good 50 years or more old.  Most of my professors in art school gave us what I now recognize to be a very 40’s-60’s view of art and the artist.  Contemporary artists are rewarded within the current system for fitting their work into that cannon… but the system may be shifting again.

The changes in the rules (or a lack of regard for them)  is coming mostly from outside of the educated art circles, but there is some cross-pollination and participation by what you could call art-educated artists.  I see the kind of communities springing up around these things that I don’t see in the academic art community now, but which perhaps echoes famous transformative artistic communities in other times and places.  I see what I can only interpret as a revolution in art that seems as-yet unacknowledged, even by many of the people within it.

I will now use dirty words that will make many Art-art people smirk and roll eyes.  Burning Man.  If you haven’t been, whatever you think about it is probably wrong.  There is just no description.  But I can tell you this, my first time there changed my views about art forever, and it represents or even leads a large part of this new movement.  In fact, it may be the only community doing these things that has any consciousness of being a movement, despite the fact that the people creating the art often don’t even identity themselves as artists (though they will tell you that what they are making is art).

I attended my first burn fully familiar with installation and interactive art such as it was in the museum setting.  I was already leaning that direction… but what I saw there blew my mind.  More dirty words in Art circles.  It wasn’t that the art was good in the currently accepted Art-art ways.  But it had other things that impressed and set it apart:  Scale, use of serious Engineering and Technology, huge Collaborative Groups creating projects together, a sense of freedom or Whimsy, and most of all, Interactivity.   This is the heart of the new movement I see in art, and it is slowly moving outside of the desert and into public spaces and even museums and galleries.

It took a year or so for what I saw at Burning an to sink in to my art process.  I arrived there with a new sense of the importance of the viewer- that work is only complete in that interaction with the viewer, but I came away considering how much more complete that engagement can be when the viewer becomes a participant. A few years later I look back and see that the bulk of my work since then (and the best of it) is interactive or collaborative or both.  This is a movement that is not only transforming engineers, programmers and random people  into artists, but transforming art-educated artists who come in contact with it.  It is causing them to drop the egocentric view of the artist and reach outward- not just to their environment, to history or current events, but to other people (in particular to non-Art people), here and now.  That may be the most revolutionary thing about it.

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The next post will focus in depth on the work coming out of Burning Man and Maker communities that create together, often in huge warehouses.  If it doesn’t end up as long as it looks, I will also go into examples of this type of art entering into public spaces, museums and galleries… but that will probably be post 3.

Written by Mary Corey March

August 13, 2010 at 2:49 am

The Roles of the Artist

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Another thing that struck me at the Fisher Collection Opening was seeing brand new hand-drawn wall drawings by Sol DeWitt, who died in 2007.  “Exhibition Copy” said the little blurb.

This is the sort of thing that sends me into a small frenzy and feeds into my growing exploration of the artist’s roles in creating work- and as always where the lines are drawn.

Right now I have three categories going:  Artist as Maker (the touch of the artist), Artist as Director (conceptualizing and orchestrating the piece start to finish), and Artist as Composer (creating the concept and outline of the piece but not necessarily present for the execution).

Let’s start with artist as Maker.  There are apparently numerous copies of the Mona Lisa around the world that are difficult for experts with microscopes and chemical tests to distinguish, and yet there is only one “real” one.  What makes it real?  The artist’s touch.  It is as if the artist is a saint and there touch makes the piece holy (or in this case Art).  That Leonardo used his brush, that his hands worked on it is the important distinction between the real Mona Lisa and the “fakes”.  The fact that they are so close that there is nothing of his vision or composition of the piece lost is not enough to make it Art.

Then we have the Artist as Director.  There is a long tradition of artists having apprentices (or more recently Chinese factories) making parts of pieces or even entire pieces under the artist’s supervision.  They don’t get the credit, the artist does.  In these cases the artist functions as the Director.  They conceive the piece, lay it out as a design, and approve or reject each stage until the final piece is approved.  This means the important part isn’t the Touch, it’s that the result is what the artist intended it to be- the people doing it are the artist’s tools as much as a brush would be.

Here I would like to draw attention to an aspect of the Artist as Director:  the act and process of selection. When Duchamp picks out a urinal, signs it and puts in in an art show his process has been a conceptual one, not a creative one from the perspective of making (or even ordering the making) of an object.  He has found an object and put it in a context.  He has used it in a way that creates a new meaning.  Even Warhol, ordering a squashed cube of cars from the New York Dump and having it delivered to the museum is going through a process of selection.  That he has not seen the cars is as much a part of the piece as the cars themselves.  The question I ask here is- if a contemporary curator with rights to the car piece called up the dump and ordered a cube of cars would it still be a Warhol?

Now what about that Sol Le Witt drawing?  He wasn’t there to approve it, and the hand drawn lines certainly weren’t done with his personal touch. This brings us to Artist as Composer.  I was standing next to a composer while looking at the LeWit drawings and it occurred to me that this art was being treated like a composition.  The artist had laid out the score and other people were following it.  Which begged the question- does that curator’s assistant who draws those thousand lines get credited the way a violin soloist does?  No.  They are invisible.  In a way we just pretend the artist did it- which for me in the case of the more expressive lines is harder to swallow.

It’s not like a Felix Gonzales Torres installation where the artist had already given directions to curators (this is the type of candy I want and this is how I want it arranged) on installing very specific items that had a very manufactured quality (ink jet prints, hard candies).  He was consciously acting as a composer while he was alive.  Torres didn’t necessarily need to oversee the installation process.  The work was conceptual and could be installed rather than created in the same sense.  He created images that he wanted stacked a certain way, printed on certain paper, etc. and the instructions just needed to be followed- no mark, no creation.  After he died, his pieces could be installed without him because they could already be installed without him- the important part was the concept.

But the other thing we have is that not just anyone can install a Torres (even if it is done perfectly according to his instructions) and have it be considered a Torres.  There are copyrights to the work.  This presents a whole other can of worms, especially in the digital age when copying and distribution is so easy for everyone.

So why does one set of standards apply for the Mona Lisa and another for the LeWitt?  Is there logic there or just tradition and gut feeling?  I would be interested to know if LeWitt approved having his drawings copied for exhibits before he died (if he accepted the role of composer rather than creator/maker here).

This is one of many puzzles I probe at with regularity.   Right now I’m tempted to do a triptych addressing it.

Written by Mary Corey March

June 28, 2010 at 5:23 am

Posted in art, Essays

What is “good taste”?

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Firstly… let’s say that what “tastes good” is a very relative thing.  Yes, there are sensory experiences that humans tend to go for universally by instinct- sweet, human faces,  etc., but culture, individual experience and the intellect can affect significant changes and variations in those raw instincts.

What I want to think about is not what tastes good to a given person or even generally, but what good tasting ability is.  In a relativistic world, I would define good taste as the ability to appreciate subtle differences.  When one chooses a preference based on a more subtle understanding, then the choice is a more refined one, whatever the choice is.

It’s no accident that we use the word “taste” to describe finely discerning.  I have come to equate learning to perceive visual subtleties with the ability to taste wine.  Give a range of wines to someone who has no experience in tasting it and they are likely to tell you there isn’t much difference.  Give it to someone with good taste in wines and they can not only describe the aromas, flavor and finish, but if they are really good they may be able to tell you the vintage. They have learned through practice (and often actual classes) to taste the different subtle notes in the wine- to distinguish vanilla, berries, woods, etc. and can more or less tell you what went into it.

People who don’t have that ability to distinguish might think that the wine snobs are making it up… but it doesn’t hold when the wine drinkers can take the same bottle of wine and taste the same things independently.  Good taste is the ability to distinguish subtly, and it takes time and practice just like anything else, even for those with a natural sense of it.

So what does that mean with art?  On a purely visual level (setting aside concepts and historical references for now) it is the same thing.  Often when I first get a student they can’t tell a warm gray from a cold one, or phthalo blue from ultramarine (for a wine taster that might be like not being able to tell a Cabernet from a Merlot).  To the untrained eye, gray is gray and blue is blue.  Given a little time learning to look more carefully though, soon they can’t understand how they ever could have confused the two.  They have learned to see better.  They have learned more subtlety in distinguishing color.

Consequently they can look at a Monet and see a lot more going on in it than when they first looked, and more importantly as artists, they can paint with more color sensitivity.  If their technique is up to matching what their eyes and mind can register, it comes through.

So what is often happening when someone without visual training (conscious or purposeful) looks at a painting and says “yeah, I know a student, kid, etc who could do that”?  I submit is often that they aren’t tasting the different flavors.  It isn’t that the difference isn’t there, it is that they haven’t got the ability to see it yet, and consequently are liable to think that there is a conspiracy of art snobs just as someone new to wine tasting might suspect there is a conspiracy of wine snobs.

On the other hand, sometimes the kid can paint it.  Then we have contemporary art where it may be a pile of ordinary candy, or a smashed car… but that is usually the can of worms known as Concept, which is another little essay on its own. On the other hand…yes, I believe that every once in a while there is a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes, but more often it’s a matter of taste.

Written by Mary Corey March

March 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

Arts and Sciences

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I just got my copy of “Global Change Biology”(vol 15, Nov).  I have it because I did an digital photo composite/painting for a friend’s journal article on climate change as a sort of thank you for putting us up in Oxford.  Seeing Oxford with the professors is a wonderful thing- the places professors there can go, and the traditional honors (like sitting at high table) are well worth exploring.  Anyway, this particular illustration ended up on the cover, and they sent me the journal in the mail.

I’ve done several illustrations for scientific studies in the past.  It was one part of supporting my art through having many shifting jobs which I could do on my own schedule.  I’ve found I also enjoy being some tangential part of the scientific pursuits of my friends.  Biology was always one of my favorite and most familiar subjects in school.

I wish there were more collaboration between the arts and sciences.  At one point they were very closely linked indeed.  Scientific papers (such as Galileo’s) were often presented in play or story form, complete with characters, after the fashion of the Socratic dialogues.  Leonardo da Vinci was also no slouch when it came to sciences.

Today however, I find that as much as we all admire such Renaissance Men (I have not yet heard a person described as a Renaissance Woman) on the rare occasion that one can demonstrate clear talent in both spheres, one is generally viewed as a sideline or hobby.   Of course there are competitive obstacles that Leonardo and Galileo never dreamed of these days.  One can’t just publish an independent study and be read or taken seriously.  You need the credentials, the association of a major institution of good reputation, etc. An identical paper or study would never see the light of day outside of the University system.

The same is true of art.  The very subjective nature of art since Dada makes judging quality distinctly difficult.  To paint beautifully, intensely, and realistically while breaking a little bit of stylistic ground is not enough.  The Renaissance painters had a much clearer set of standards by which they were judged.  Today one needs the track record of conceptual work, art school, and most importantly, shows and reviews.

And yet if one ran the gauntlet in both fields, got the PhD, got the major gallery shows, the NY Times reviews, I still get the feeling that the colleagues of each field would fail to acknowledge such a person as both and artist and a scientist.  They would instead be to each group a person who did the other calling as a hobby.

More than that, though I have many friends in the sciences, and I know that most of their colleagues would have no idea where to even find an artist of any stripe- even in a city like San Francisco.  If they wanted an illustration for an article they wouldn’t even know where to start.  Are we so far apart?  To be fair each discipline is similarly isolated from others- not just chemistry from physics, but even sociology from anthropology, or sub-sets within a discipline.

I think we are suffering from this lack of cross-communication and I hope that in this age of rapid and multifaceted communications we might start to bridge these gaps.  No if only we could bridge careers as well.

Written by Mary Corey March

November 11, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Posted in art, art philosophy, Essays

Introduction

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May 20, 2009

I am a contemporary artist working in San Francisco. I began this blog for three reasons.  Firstly I miss writing as a tool for focusing the mind.  Writing not just to ruminate, but to pierce and bind together layers of ideas.

The second is that I love to make process visible.  Showing how an artist thinks about her work, how she approaches it day to day, and how the ideas flow is the ultimate exposition of process. Some things are for behind the scenes, of course- but then don’t we all love backstage tours?  This then, is for peeks at the backstage.  I won’t be showing you everything.  There are periods within process where even voicing it has the potential to shatter.

Years ago I attended a talk by a prominent critic who he said that it was not the artist’s job to explain their art or put it into context.  He asserted that they were not qualified and had best shut it before they hurt themselves.  That was his job.   This notion may well keep him in tea and sugar, but I feel it takes away from the artist.  Not every artist is a great speaker or writer, and for some the art they produce is more emotional than intellectual.  Still, even those artists should able to say as much.

A conceptual artist on the other hand must be able to discuss meaning and context outside of the artwork or she is engaged in a game of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where value is made up by those surrounding her and there is no actual substance.  In conceptual work the concept is the actual substance.  If that is missing all you really have is a stack of sugar cubes or similar.

The third reason I am writing here is that I miss seeing the artist.  We all know something about the lives of certain past artists- Picasso certainly.  He was a media personality. Is here anything like that now?  Have artists suddenly become boring people?  No.  It seems as though even the most famous artists have become increasingly invisible to the public (who often remember Picasso but aren’t really sure who is working now).  Perhaps today’s artists are hidden by layers of critics and curators.  Or perhaps our niche in the media has been filled with the misdemeanors of child starlets and similar.

Can the art be separated from the artist?  How can we talk about art without process, and how do we understand process without knowing about the lives of people who create?

So here I am stepping into the light.  You will see some stream-of-consciousness posts about process, and some essays on art and the art world.  Welcome.

Written by Mary Corey March

May 20, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Posted in Essays