Sunday, July 25, 2010

Next Great Artist!

Reality shows are generally not my thing. But as we are artists, my husband and I have been watching this one. It is the basic premise of a bunch of various folks, various challenges, and one by one voted off the show. The ones of this genre that I have watched have been cooking shows like "The Next Iron Chef" (we totally loved Micheal Symon from the get-go and were really glad he won; the second time around was less interesting and the guy who won was much less interesting.)

We have been watching these artists struggle along in this show. It's been a struggle to keep watching as there seems to be such a disconnect between how we live our lives as artist and how these poor bastards are directed. One of the things that is really clear to me is that you hone a talent and sink deeper and deeper into your understanding of your skill/art.

These guys are painting one day and building 3d sculpture the next. The challenges range from really thoughtful to just plain silly. It's not productive toward building the skill and language of art, in my opinion, but just silly stress testing of these folks.

Mostly the show is frustrating and upsetting due to the judging and all the posturing of the "fine art" judges.

But it also is really interesting to watch other creative people work on their process. Mostly the camera people/editors don't understand what the creative process is so they focus on stupid inter-personal garbage of who's liking who and who thinks who is a jerk.

But one of the things that I have been getting from the show is a reminder that art is intensely personal. The more vulnerable is the more interesting and evocative.

I have been thinking about all the things that I do and wondering how this all fits together into my art. So much of what I do is about the final product - brewing, gardening, knitting/dyeing, production metal smithing. Often the actual creative part is lost in the crushing amount of paperwork and detail that running 2 business and a very busy life create.

My art is what I do and what I am. But how do I open up and present the confusion of going through menopause while struggling with a brain injury? How do I share the rebirth of getting my brain back only to struggle with continuing post traumatic stress and trying not to mourn the loss of a decade and so many memories.

I've seen some folks use memory boxes/shadow boxes and those are cool. And some I have even envied and wished that I had made them. But I keep being drawn to other ideas of sculpture/mobiles to express these emotions.

I am working on the courage necessary to make these leaps. It's much easier to sink into the piles of paperwork and other details but I am thinking that my art is getting impatient and may not wait much longer. We'll see.


Steve and Suzanne Buchele said...

Interesting - that so much goes into the final product, but at least there is a final product that can be evaluated. I feel like I pour my efforts into things that can never last longer than the moment, and are preserved only in by the memory. Things like song, sermons, food.

Spike said...

That also is an interesting tension in art. What is ephemeral and what lasts? If the viewer never "gets" the art, was it ever art?

There are all sorts of those meta-questions that can really get your head in some odd places.

I know the warm feeling I get when I listen to you sing is in part influenced by the knowledge that the moment won't last. I can't go back to it, I have to be right there listening really carefully, feeling deeply, and completely in the moment.

I remember watching someone leave during a BB King concert, probably to go to the loo. My thought was that moment of leaving took precious things from that person as his concert was only about 30 minutes long.

I have a very early memory of going to a Simon and Garfinkle that brother Rod took me to in the old Armory. I don't have many memories of being a kid, so this one is really precious.

I guess what I am trying to illustrate is sometimes tangible things just gather dust while memories stay bright.

There's a recording of Joni Mitchell complaining about being asked to sing some song again - she says something like "nobody asks Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel again..."

Lots of chaotic thoughts on this subject - but I sure identify with your feelings about the things you value doing being ephemeral. Brewing, gardening, soap - they all disappear. Knitting hangs around a bit longer but eventually it wears out.

We did get a call from one of our jewelry customers who talked about planning on handing the Statement Necklace she had bought down to her daughter. That was cool.