Thursday, March 27, 2008
Why I am Still a Painter
I was about to write a standard defensive post about why I continue to pursue the hidebound, retro, unfashionable art of painting, even though painting has been declared officially Dead, lo these twenty or thirty years, even though major contemporary art institutions seem to be sharing in this perspective, and even though it seems to be automatically assumed by the Art World Intelligentsia that a painter cannot possibly also be intelligent, progressive, and a unique original thinker.
Then I went to the Pulse Art Fair today, and changed my mind. Go see the Pulse Art Fair. It's wonderful. I will post about it when I'm not between seeing the Pulse Art Fair and throwing a birthday party for my honey. :-)
So, the reason I am still a painter has nothing to do with repeating an archaic Form, in a mechanical manner, the way the vast majority of persons who sell paintings at plein-air art fairs in places like Canton, Texas or Holton, Kansas do. It has to do with needing a complex and subtle language in which to communicate complex, subtle ideas; it has to do with using a medium that communicates kinesthetically and emotionally as well as visually; it has to do with the pragmatism inherent in using a language that has already been invented, and helping it proceed in its evolution, instead of having to invent an entirely new one, and explain it as I go along.
Also, as difficult and expensive as it is to find the space for a painting studio anywhere in the world, the difficulty and expense is nowhere near that of a welding shop, a film studio or a print shop.
(All images--screenprint, pencil and watercolor on paper, product of recent class at Lower East Side Print Shop. Now I must obtain a print shop residency so I can pursue this line of thought.)