I have a stick that I have been drawing with for 30 years. Drawing with the stick creates an automatic calligraphic quality.The patina of 30 years of India ink drawing on the stick is striking. I have several books stacked on the table They are non fiction or poetry or philosophy of my selection, basically the books I am currently working with for information and inspiration, along with 2 books of my published work, and a work in progress . Behind me are works done in ink wash that utilized the stick as one of the art making tools for the drawing. Some are figurative, some abstract and some utilizing the written word with the inherent calligraphic approach the stick engenders. When my guest arrives I have them select a book of their choosing, and I read random passages. I ask them to reflect on what I have read and we enter into a discourse. As the conversation unfolds a word is certain to pop up that will carry a pertinent and possibly powerful meaning for the guest. I write that word using my 30 year old stick dipped into india ink and give it to them, . The word carries a kind of talismanic energy, or at the least a visible manifestation of the experience.
Are our hands, images, and insights connected? What is the biological function of what is called the arts? What is the function of images? Why art? Where does it take us? Images do travel through time between people and across language.
Art is defined by form, color, shape, contour, contrast, magnitude, scale, and intention . Art has also been defined as solving a self defined problem or challenge. In a very universal sense any object or creation that is declared by the artist then becomes by that declaration a piece of art, Duchamp, Beuys etc. And then we commonly see the words medical arts, culinary arts,
The still life studied by the painter becomes the painting by use of oil on canvas, but what of that original assembly of fruit or vegetables on the table top?
Definitions of art can be malleable and fluid, but within all art is an element of an expansive reach, a need for expression.
Much art that I have seen of late has a very strong socio-political component.
I question how effective , though well intended, this work actually achieves.
I realize we are in a world of great and rapid change. A world where virtually any scenario could reveal itself, from the most dire and apocalyptic to the most utopian and Pollyana. However much of what I see seems more like reportage, a reportage that tends toward preaching to the converted. This converted population, that although aware, tends to have an emotional temperature running toward cynicism, malaise and depression.
Art also has the capability to lead towards celebration, inherent in this is the same impulse that indicates all possibilities, that supports fundamental movements of gratitude, mystery and harmony. These are equally fertile areas to address the social and political issues of our times.
Art can be the visual component of story. And there are a lot of stories, instructive emboldening and sustaining stories.
TALKOS : red or green was an installation and performance piece loaded with props.
Paper sculptural tacos and their contents served as jumping off points for conversation and discussion, an “a la carte for conversation”. I offered a “free sample” – a quote on a strip of red or green paper, and asked the recipient to please read it aloud. This initiated a conversation about some aspect of economics. It may have been historical, present day, or how economics may shape into the future. I feel that we are in the middle of an industrial revolution that is going to shape society, politics, and economics for generations to come.
I have a reserved optimism and sought to share that with participants in TALKOS. I also wanted to hear what they think may be happening in this context.
It was fun to meet people who understood and to some degree or another were able to add to the conversation. We generally felt a sense of hope. Some began somewhat pessimistic about the future but were able to see that maybe, just maybe things could manifest in unexpected and positive ways. One thing did surprise me, There are people out there that are so invested in their pessimism that they reacted to my actual data as though I was a crack pot. They actually seemed to get mad at me, walked away in some funk of disgust or discomfort at having encountered a kind of lunatic . But what if I am right? What if work does become obsolete?
Last Chance To See Exhibit
Closing Event at PHIL SPACE On Tuesday, June 28 at 6 PM – 8 PM
I will be present to answer questions, wander around, make a few drawings and even read to you.
Light refreshments will be served. Hope to see you!