Saturday, December 1, 2007

We are the Hollow Men

Samuel Johnson said, " Where there is leisure for fiction, there is little grief." What this means to me is that art doesn't make us better, it helps us cope. In a perfectly harmonious and orderly society there would be no need for art.
John Cage said something quite similar - that he "could imagine a world without art and could see where it wouldn't necessarily be a bad place." (I'm paraphrasing- and probably have it all wrong.)
Suppose John D Rockefeller came upon the Buddha on a city street. I imagine they would become fast friends and have quite a lot to say to one another- both robber barons sharing a joke about the teacher who named a teddy bear Mohammed.
....Alas! Our dried voices, when we whisper together, are quiet and meaningless,...........
In comes December and I have a new page to share with you. I should also share some facts about my practice as well as something of the spirit behind my sketchbooks. First, I draw every morning, usually at breakfast. On those days when I am in the studio, (usually 2 to 3 days a week, right now,) I draw more. Often, I have no idea where I'm going at the moment the pen first touches the paper. I have no need to draw anything, any more- I just draw. Like breathing. It's quite apart, as you can probably tell, from "seeing."
Well, maybe I'm trying to see inwardly.
At the same time, I have no reservations about appropriating or "sampling" photographic material or even ideas from other artists. No particualr artist is of any more importance to me than any other- with some exceptions: Goya, Arnold Mesches, Jean Rustin are very much on my mind, right now. (There may be a few others, forgive me.)
I no longer need to remind myself that I'll always be a beginner.

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