Saturday, October 16, 2010

creative journeys

the point of going on a voyage of discovery is not to decide beforehand what it is you will discover, you have to be open to whatever you find. I believe there is an ancient Zen concept of not arriving at a spring with a full cup since you already have a filled vessel, you cannot take away anything from the spring.
Its in this spirit that I try to voyage and find ideas. There is no point in censoring yourself before you even find anything. There is no point in forming a mental construct of anything until you have found and studied it. As artists its our job to look and find and amplify. Is there any difference to finding a beautiful (yes, define beauty?) butterfly in a rain forest or a scary looking fish in the crushing black depths of the Marianas trench? You can never tell which creature may have a bigger impact or surprise.
I try to explain my work to myself and I try to follow some kind of logic, but there are times when solutions present themselves and there is no going back or rational explanation to be made. Isnt it equally irrational to paint a bunch of flowers slashed from their natural surroundings and jammed into a vase (purely for our own pleasure) and then painted? Why not then make a still life of 20 rashers of bacon draped over a door handle? It all comes down to what we regard as the norm. There is little rational about this.
Is there anything really rational about classical music? It must be the ultimate in abstraction, yet we regard it with the utmost reverence and awe. Why should visual art be anything less? (well okay , I do find Jeff Koons and Tracy Emin rather silly)

To me the camera is another way of telling a story. The old adage of: "The camera never lies" has somewhat faded with the arrival of Photoshop, yet there still is a tradition of looking through albums of photos as a kind of story telling. Even if it is a blurry image on a cellphone. This picture is part of my conversation about story telling. I think it will be the middle piece of a triptych, the one side being the fractured portrait in pigeon holes, the other being an image I am currently working on. It feels good. It doesn't make perfect sense, but there is some kind of kinship and connection among the images.
I am not discovering new worlds or continents, I am navigating the smaller fissures on and around them.

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