Posts Tagged ‘suffer for your art’

Feb 13th, 2017

Embrace the Strange.

My wife gave a TedX talk on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments. Those times when you think, “Never in a Million Years”.   On the same night, my friend Kevin gave a TedX talk on finding comfort in the uncomfortable. Both talks were profound, touching, and comical. I walked away reminded to observe.   It was also a point of reflection on my own process from the first marks of a pen in the studio to the artist’s reception.

In the beginning of the movie “Pollock” starring Ed Harris, Jackson Pollock is standing at an opening of his work, several people approach him for autographs, he politely signs, but as he does he also looks around. His eyes move across the room, observing, looking for something, he is searching for or observing the order in the chaos. He is a stranger in a room full of friends, family, collectors, and art lovers.   It is a moment that I feel most artists have had as they put their work on display for friends, family, and strangers alike.

Why do we do this? It’s a question that is asked not just by the audience, but also by the artists themselves. I ask myself in those moments, why? Then I try to embrace those who have come to share in my work. The work is done most often in isolation, but the presentation of the product “the art”, is shown for public consumption. It is a juxtaposition built into the creative process. I have openings to share the art, to see response, to share in a moment. It is amazing that people will give of their time to share with me. It’s humbling when you put your work out there for everyone to see and people show up to see it. Its that moment that is so perfectly portrayed in the “Pollock” film. As the artists  you are standing alone in a room and you cast your eyes to see all those who have come to share. Its intense, its inevitable, its humbling, and you and your art are vulnerable.

It sounds pretentious,but I have handlers at my shows.  Their job is to move me around the room.  If left to my own devices in this moment, I know I will retreat to a friend and stand in the corner and talk in isolation. Someone once said, she feels like she’s in charge of a dog at a dog show, as she pushes and pulls me around the gallery. The reality is, I love people, I love socializing, and I live off the energy of motivation and conversation. I’m not saying I’m good at it, in-fact I often have to apologize for what I’ve  said, but the truth is it balances the isolation in which the art is made.

At the end of the day, it is part of my job, it is what I do, it is who I am, it is normal, it is strange, it is part of the process. Some moments are stranger than others, but I find comfort when I remember to embrace the strange.

Cory

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March 31st 2015

Suffer without my art.

I like to paraphrase Todd Snider when I say.

I don’t go into the studio to change anyone’s mind about anything

I go into the studio to ease my own mind about everything.

 We are going through a massive shift in our lives as we prepare for life in Shanghai for the next four years.

When you make a monumental shift like this it brings energies and perspectives and experiences to the foreground. Some good, some bad, and others that seem to just want to hang out. Unless you have made this type of shift from unknown culture to unknown culture, you cant really wrap your head around how it all works.

What has made it work for us in the past may not be what makes it work for us in the now. There have always been a few constants for me as we take this journey. My wife, my son, and my art.

The tricky piece is to know how to balance those things and how to refuel the ones, who need it, reassure the ones who need it, and evolve gracefully while doing so.

I have never really done anything gracefully. …..

 While going through all the paperwork, endless questions, endless discussions, and dealing with understanding and needs it certainly puts the art on the back burner. Making art isn’t something I feel like I am supposed to do. It is something that makes me a better person and helps me stay deeply connected to the human condition. Right now it is impossible to get into the studio.   It is easy for people around me to say, make or take time, but that just frustrates me further because in saying that they don’t understand the depth of the creative or reactionary process that artists go through.

 I know this for certain, with all this peripheral noise, I cant even think of entering the studio

Without the studio there is no art, with out the process of art I am not a better person

I have heard the term that artists need to suffer for their art, but I never really bought into that, but what I do now know for certain is that for me,

 I suffer without my art.

 That’s all for today Debbie downer of an entry.