There were the words. The ones that bring about that inner groan. Grrr. I hate these words. Oh, I understand them and the need for them, but I still want to take them outside and kick them to the curb every time I see them. Seriously, as much as I love what I do. Well, love hate sometimes, but mostly love. There are parts of this profession that just make me want to pull my hair out. I have thrown more than a few pace the room talking to myself tantrums over this part. I know, I know, hard to believe. I am such a mild mannered, low maintenance person. It's probably very hard to imagine anything upsetting me. Ahem.
I got an invitation to enter a competition. A really cool one for contemporary artists. And the organizers are doing it right. Long lead time, intelligent user friendly compliance mechanisms, and a great venue at an optimum time. Not expensive either. These people are feeling the love for the artists. In fact, they are loving us so much they want to share our uniqueness with the world and trade it for a tidy sum of cash. In exchange for the work AND some words. Yep. That's it. The dreaded artist's statement. They kindly ask us to include words about "what motivates your creative process".
I guess it is the equivalent of the elevator speech business types are used to creating. Or a value statement about what a unique selling point is. And it is not like I don't have a stack of them on file. (All of which sound immediately dated and stupid once written. ) But here 's the thing. Most us do what we do because we cannot imagine doing anything else...except on every third Tuesday at 3am when we decide we should just get a job, any job.
But how is it possible to fully explain why we translate life into blibs and blobs of paint? Why do you choose to love your mate? Or care for your child? Why do you sing a song? Or dance? See. And it's supposed to sound like you know what you're doing. It supposed to impress a judge. Grrrrrrr, see what I mean?
Today I paint a blob of blue because it was that kind of place, and I felt this was the best choice at the time. Tomorrow, I feel that a foray into black might carry a tune. I am compelled to interpret, to amplify, to express and caress with a brush, just as my eyes have done. Yeah, that will go over great with a judge. There is no ism in my work, no avant garde change the world perspective. It is how I go through my days. Oh, I see a great deal. I get it big time. I see options and trends and know what has come before. I am so sure they would love my "good painting is like great sex" statement. That one caused John Ed Bradley to stumble over the bricks in the sidewalk on our way home from lunch. Yeah, that'll work with the judges.
That dreaded artist's statement. Why can't they just send me the check and let me do what I do? The right brain isn't enough. They want our left brain too. What, you thought art just happened? No, we actually have to jump through lots of hoops. I'll have to tell you sometime what I had to do to get "ratified" by a city. But that is for another day. Come on brush. Let's do some dancing.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Posted by Janice C. Cartier at 8:15 AM