Art School essays
"Industrialism triggered the end of craft and divided makers from thinkers. Photography relieved painting and sculpture from the burden of documenting reality. And modernism allowed art decades of important psychological self-regard that affirmed the individual but unfortunately created a hermeticism that disconnected art from Middle America, making it suspect and irrelevant."
Ernesto Pujol. "On the Ground" essay in Art School by Steven Henry Madoff
I rarely come across something in my readings that stops me in my tracks and I actually exclaim out loud, that's what I have been trying to figure out how to say! The article is about becoming a life long multidisciplinary artist, and how that is what the definition and future for being a contemporary artist is. I agree, although the thought is an intimidating one. The notion of perfecting a skill set, well attempting to perfect one is one of the reasons I started down the path of painting in the first place, to be able to paint not only what I see in front of me but to be able to interpret the feeling I have with the person or objects. To convey a human truth on a surface, a truth so universal that the style of painting, or the subject matter transcend the era or contemporary ideals. It doesn't matter that no one dresses like Rembrandt, what matters is the honesty portrayed in his self portraits, we can identify with him hundreds of years later, throughout his journey of self portraits we age with him, we recognize ourselves to be on the same journey through reality with him. Rembrandt never becomes outdated because like the morals in stories of old, they don't change. The characters and settings change, the language and the medium are updated or explored, but the moral stays the same. It is the same in a lot of the old masters work, we may update the fashion involved or change the medium, but when a universal human truth is realized it doesn't matter, it always is reflected. On a side note, you can tell how universal the human truth is because is there any question that someone with a complete different background doesn't see the same depth and beauty in a Rembrandt? No matter what language you speak or what country you hail from, the paintings speak to everyone who sees them, the truths are instantly translated to everyone through the visual language in the painting.
Last Sunday, the 8th I spent the day in Chicago interviewing with different graduate schools, learning about their individual programs and trying to glean as much as I could from them about the application process. I've done this a couple of times in the past, it's nice because it's always good to get a critique from someone in the field, and it gives you a nice reminder that you need to have thick skin in the world of the arts.
I interviewed with a couple of schools, and had some mixed results. The first school I interviewed with, I wasn't truly interested in, but I always mess up my first interview (something I've learned from the last couple portfolio days I went to) so I made sure to head for a table with a short line, so I could get a feel for the situation and to basically get acclimated to interviewing again. The interview was a disaster, which is kind of what I was expecting but it still sucked, I still held onto that small glimmer of hope, almost a David Sedaris type of hope that someone would pick up my portfolio and hail me as the second renaissance, that they would be grateful to be given the chance to look at my work, that they would throw open the coffers of their university and just throw money at me for just the experience of gazing on my work. It was instead two people stumbling through processes and techniques, ideas and concepts with no clear path or end in sight, I imagine it's similar to waking up in a different country and trying to figure out how to describe what you need in some form of intelligible language and flailing hand gestures. Only to end up in a bathroom when where you needed to go was market.
This happens to me every first interview because I'm nervous and I fumble through my explanations, I also try to use the biggest fanciest words possible with hopes of impressing and at the same time disguising my nervousness, which if you have every been on the other side of the table, you can see through it instantly. So a total mess, but as we talked and as we deciphered each other's true meanings and messages I began to interpret and understand he was giving me some actual good advice and giving me the information that I was actually after, he gave me the impression that this program would not be a good fit for me, and that I would be working against what I was interested in, in a way the interview was a small glimpse of what my time in the program would look like. I would eventually get to the point where I could stumble through and complete the degree but I think struggling against it the entire time. It was a cool realization, and if I'm being honest took me about 2 days to learn this.
So the search continues and I also had a lot of really amazing interviews as well, ones that left me feeling like I am finally ready for an MFA, which means I only have to ask a couple more times for those letters of recommendations
New website, which will hopeful bring a new age of images to share and look over. A new place for some dialog to happen and maybe a way to quit the old 9-5 and start a new phase in life. This picture sums up the experience of starting a website.
I'm working on the web page one page at a time, so expect changes and see we'll both see where this takes us. I am setting up more of a generic webpage right now and working through all the little hiccups along the way.
Thanks for visiting.