Sunday, August 18, 2019

Art Thoughts

I've been thinking of doing more visual art for a while, and finally having a space of my own where I can set up a "studio" has led me to do it. Not being an "artist" I wondered why I was wanting to do this as well as my writing and music. Here are a few thoughts.

I am not an artist.

Or rather I haven’t the skill of an artist, even if I have the sensibility.

My other art forms – poetry, fiction, music – are informed by a very visual sense, conceptually, and in execution.

What I can do is create stuff, using whichever tools are to hand.

Collage is my perfect medium. Collage is part of my artistic practice going back thirty years.
I like the physicality of the collage.

Juxtaposition gives meaning.

Art is not just about a literal meaning, but a non-literal one.

As Frank O’Hara writes in “Why I am not a Painter”, his artist friend includes a sardine in the picture because “it needed something.”

Abstract art has value.

Abstract art comes from something that is not abstract at all – a concrete need and desire.

Rendition or representation is in itself a questionable task

In the age of mechanical reproduction there is value in the non-repeatable, the random chance. In the age of digital reproduction the physical object has its own meaning and value. 

Constraints are good.

Constraints enable you to make decisions confined within certain parameters.

You have to start somewhere.

I’m interested in the fragile; and I’m interested in the reproduction

Is the art the original, or the print?

There can different levels – so that an original work can be photographed, can be amended on the computer, can be placed somewhere, and can then be a new original work.

I’m interested in the sculptural, the space, the room.

We live inside boxes. Rooms, houses, cars, offices. That seems significant. 

The modern world is cramped.

Pictures speak easier than words and with more clarity.

I don’t know if I want to represent a thing, or the thing to be simply the starting point because “it needed something.”

It feels good to be released from the need for a narrative; or am I just attempting to apply a narrative to another artform? 

Scissors and glue takes us back to childhood; never a bad place to go for revitalising our wonder at the world.

Art is recycling. 

I'm some way off having something that I can explain in "art speak", that is a good thing. 

Maybe I can exhibit this some time; who knows?

Learning new things by doing feels good. 

I think I am working towards something, but maybe that's less important than the single steps on the way. 

Creative people need to be creative - and sometimes that means changing what you do. 

"Only ever doing what's expected of you is a tragedy." (This is the title of my next music project.)

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