Friday, February 11, 2011

Allow me to set the stage. This will be a rant. I drank/drunk 5 beers and a hot shot of Cutty Sark. While chain-smoking the rest of my pack of Camel filters and downing said beers, I formulated this idea.
Artists are purely an emotional lot. That's not to say no other professional archetype employ some form of passion. However, the artist nowadays is moved by a specifically primal state of mind. As I see it, I cannot FORCE work when I'm in some kind of funk. There's very little point to push myself when I am not mentally and emotionally inclined to it. However, I am most likely wrong in trying to generalize my predecessors or contemporaries. Though the concept remains that we are in a ready state when we are at some kind of brink or motivating instance that compels us to produce. Just like our will to make love or fight, these things don't readily appear because it is conveniently 5:04 in the afternoon on a Friday. There is some kind of impetus.
If anything, we are a highly reactionary breed of human. Be it a social, political, personal, overwhelming factor, we cannot help but respond to this event but through creative expression. Otherwise, we would succumb to [what I believe] a base level of complacency. If life is going well, there are few motivating factors to "rock the boat." That being said, the level of production is based on the artist's ability to harness the raw energy that is a by-product of some qualifying moment. Otherwise, the work does not fully capture the essence of that motivating factor. Granted, artists have probably produced relevant masterpieces out of sheer necessity, but I'm trying to identify that airy moment of, "holy shit EUREKA." This can be said of a species in some form or another [though we only know of our own species in this regard], because there is no synthesis of new ideas without an anti-thetical motivator. "God" was not easily conceived when Man needed some explanation of the unexplainable.When any person comes across some opposing force, we create/discover a reactionary force to counter it. Whether or not you like to believe it, there is no motion that is not met with resistance. This is the fundamental structure of things.
Now let's get back to the meaty subject. Artists are a kind of sensitive human that takes that which opposes us and turns it into a visual subject. There are plenty of other humanotypes (let us assume I coined the term ;) that will manipulate/subjugate opposition in less complex/philosophical/conceptual ways. This is our gift/curse. If anything, we try to express that which we see is opposite a way of life [personally, I believe the artist's way of life is all-encompassing and thus capable of evaluating all things] in some kind of convergent, physical, visual reality. One can understand that even the most abstract of artists are at the very least reacting to something in an emminent form. Otherwise, why create art?
Sure, I believe ANY person can create art and that art is prevalent in an almost infinite, observable way... but the artist is spurned for a more compelling reason. Whether it be an entirely energetic and compulsory manner or highly methodical and theoretical way, there is a compact reason for the product/concept. Artists create as a response. In my opinion, this is what has set us apart from the other branches of human specialization. Scientifically-based professions create as a solution. There is no guaranteed solution or objectivity to an art. There are definitely strong perspectives that help define art, but across the board, I cannot say your perspective of art is exactly the same as mine or any other. The physical properties of art can be seen as a science; the conceptual properties most certainly can not. Feel free to argue over any point I've made thus far. As far as I know, a science is roughly 99.9% stable. Art is definitely not.
Back to the main point. What artists do requires a kind of human emotional/intuitive basis. For example, Chuck Close lost a lot of human ability to naturally create. However, he still creates out of sheer human will to translate thought into a translatable, human creation. Sure, a beaver can create a beautiful dam structure, but our intrinsic ability to evaluate/observe, then communicate this idea is Art. That is not to say I am robbing Nature of it's many works. If anything, it is our ability to perceive and judge any kind of creation as a base factor in Art. And that is where the entire point lies... artists observe, translate, and structure that which we learned into a method of visual vocabulary. We cannot expect everyone to decode our message, but this is part of the gift/curse. Otherwise we would be relegated to simple language, when we all know there are far more nuances involved in description. We access an emotional reaction and create. Just as I angrily attacked a canvas in a slightly drunken haze. The work has definite cues to the creation process in comparison to a labored work that would show less of the spontaneous/immediate reactions evident in the energetic work.
As another aside, the digital revolution has almost forced the artist to adopt this kind of conceptual framework. Just like photographic process nearly destroyed pictorial perfectionism of the 19th century, we as artists must embrace a true human state in order to produce a relevant and signatorial work. Go out there and create, this is a birthright we have earned and have every opportunity to fulfill.

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