Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2 Words

Poesis and unequivocal. Okay 3 words. Imprecision.I can unequivocally promise you that I do not use the word poesis when I am talking about my work. Am I imprecise? No. That I do not reference Plato or Homer, says a lot about how close I am to my work. I am not reaching back to a bunch of dead guys to put words in my mouth. I am usually speaking experientially. The last time I looked, art was a living breathing thing.

Oh I get it. I get it big time. And I went to school. Lots of it. We can talk amongst ourselves about philosophy, poetry and paint, but when it comes down to it, what is most important for you to know about what I do, is that I live it, breathe it, and put it down directly through the filter of me. ME. ME. ME.

That would be an unequivocal rant. Let me be more precise.

I saw an artist's statement just this week. Highly publicized. I am beyond delighted for this artist. Actually thrilled. Her father taught me how to draw nudes. Yes, he and I spent a lot of time with naked people, mostly women. There was classical music, academic excellence and a long prestigious history and tradition that we upheld. We bantered in Italian, French and American Slang. It was great fun and hard work. He smoked. I didn't. The man taught me more ways to love line than you can shake a stick at. It is his voice I hear whenever, or wherever I am drawing naked people. He even has a very lovely and decidedly posh nickname for me. I love it. I smile whenever I hear him say it. But out here, or out there, you will never hear me go by it or ever hear me describe my "poesis" when I speak or write of making art.

I am not the good child.

I tend to color outside the lines. My biggest show in his domain was in spite of, not because of his philosophies about art. BUT it was only when he came over, whispered in my ear at the opening of this particular show that I had nailed it and gave me a resounding pat on the back, that I knew indeed I had a hit. Sometimes we do our best work in opposition. And I owe him the world.

So all best, Saskia. You are fabulous. Knock 'em dead. Love you Auseklis.


Kelly said...


Forgive me for knocking your friend, but her statement leaves me lost.

"What is most important for you to know about what I do, is that I live it, breathe it, and put it down directly through the filter of me."

That's what an artist's staement should answer: What is the filter of ME that YOU (the artist) are using? I read it, I read it again, but I didn't get that at all. *sigh* Sorry.



Janice C. Cartier said...


See what I mean? Damned Statements.

That statement is her under the mantle of le Grand Academy where artiface and rigidity can lead to great technical expertise...but I want to say, Saskia, get out of your head and into your heart, tell me what you feel.

Honestly, the whole field of "art writing" makes me want to cringe sometimes.

Kelly said...


Exactly. Worse yet, as a somehwat artist and defintite follower of artists, it makes me fear there is no feeling behind the overblown words, and hollow art is not for me.

When I got my BFA, every fine art class I took emphasized critiques. You had to begin with a statement and then stand up to having a new ...bottom... ripped for you, defending yourself with your words, several times a month in the various classes. At the time I thought they overemphasized it, but a lot of folks can't articulate what the heck they're doing.

To get the BFA you had a show and a massive faculty critique in your final year, and those little crits were good practice for that grilling, for sure. Most folks didn't make it that far.

If you expect to let the world critique you as a practicing fine artist (oh, heck it happens every day in business, too), I've come to realize that defining, expressing and defending yourself like that was worth more than all the hours in the studios.

Until later,


Janice C. Cartier said...

If you did not get this art statement, it was not gettable. Oh, I can take the time and go back and review Dionysious and his followers. And Apollo. And so can you. But meanwhile what this statement says is that the Academicians have a strong grip on the dear girl. There is nothing wrong with an Academic view..it is just that I need more air than that.

Twombly is just as influenced by ancient narratives and greeks and gods, but he'll talk about the paint. His is the most gorgeous grafitti you can ever dream for, or hope to embrace.

Just my view. :)

Vered said...

"I tend to color outside the lines."

I knew that about you even before you said it.

I love people - artists or not - who color outside the lines. :)