I feel like their true essence is under the surface, because they are not as literal as the art I usually make. Maybe that’s why I’m having trouble with this- because it’s more of an unconscious thing. The materials and the form are familiar, and yet not. They may not be completely obvious to us, but they pull on something stored in our unconscious minds. They are made of a material, polyester, that is familiar to us all. We wear it every day, it touches (literally) many aspects of our lives. They are unfamiliar in the texture, rough, as opposed to the smoothness we are accustomed to in material.
“Sepal”; The Battle of Artist Statements
Sepal, Top View
Polyester, cotton, batting.
18″ x 18″ x 6″. (Although I kind of see this as a maquette – I’d love to see it 12 or 15 feet high… but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms.)
Sometimes I think, that while I dearly love the art world, sometimes, it’s a little full of itself. It’s funny, because it seems there’s a lot of trying to “appeal to the public” and complaining about how art galleries (and the like) seem unwelcoming and intimidating to people. Hell, they’re intimidating to me. I think the problem is that the general public isn’t trained in the same context artists are. Or maybe artists aren’t trained in the same context as the general public.
To be accepted in this sphere, artists must be able to talk about their work deeply, and intelligently, and by doing so, sometimes we get lost in the jargon. I’ve seen artist statements that are so lofty and “intellectual” that I don’t understand them, even after four years of art school. If I don’t understand it, I won’t spend the time to read the whole thing. It doesn’t make art accessible. How about keeping things simple, in every day language, not to isolate (or elevate?) ourselves. People not involved in art tell me they don’t “get it.” Is it because we over-analyze things? Speak English, be friendly, let people stop being intimidated and let themselves respond to things, as you intended your art to do in the first place.
I’ve been struggling a little bit with my own art lately. I’ve been making these forms out of my polyester material technique, and am expected to write an artist statement about them. Really, I could come up with a bunch of junk, calling it intellectual, etc, but I don’t believe it. What are they about? Why am I making them? I don’t really know, other than I fell in love with the process, and am enjoying making shapes out of them. I feel they need more time to develop, and right now, I’m just exploring. Why do I need to come up with some “art speak” about them, that I don’t even believe? Why can’t I just let them speak for themselves? I’m thinking I will write a bit about the process, and the form, and let you respond as you will.
Wait a minute! That might be the start of an artist statement!