Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A Clean Studio, A Clean Mind

I met with Lobsterboy. He’s nice enough, but I got the impression that he is at the tail end of the lobsterboy act. He was kvetching about his days with Ian Allen (immediate red flag in my book) and cherry red. “At one point you realize that you can’t drive around with a suitcase full of dildos forever” he said. He’s 35, which is kinda spooky, cuz I have started to look at life in five year chunks, (cuz I’m turning 30 soon) and I don’t know if I will be saying the same thing in five years…Anyway, I think the meeting went well. But I am really having a tough time getting my head around people’s hesitancy about having a backdrop. I am working on ideas for T-shirts; he wants the iron on kind…

Perhaps some of my feelings about the meeting were directly attributable to the parking ticket I received…

I made some progress on the Deb logo. I pilfered the phoenix logo from Pontiac. I need to start thinking about what I want to do to my website as part of our exchange.

We cleaned the basement and finished installing the Elfa. I made huge leaps towards a cleaner studio. I decided to move the Mac upstairs, and consequentially, I purged the studio of all unnecessary detritus. I hope that this will give me a clean slate to start working from. I am scared that I have set myself up for disappointment, because I am trying to live up to the statements that I made in the MICA application. Now my procrastination has taken the form of cleaning. Soon, I will have no excuses….

I am going to the monkeyhouse tomorrow. I don’t know if monkeys will figure heavily in my next step, but I figure that some life drawing can’t hurt. It has been a long time since I sketched anything from life.

In this months Modern Painters Matthew Collings Diary has a provocative flow to it. He reviews an artist who makes paintings that recall the constructivist movement, abstraction from the 1910s-30s. He says that they are good at forcing you to think about how paintings are made and how they are good.

“…Here, instead, the muted color was muddy and the lines were lifeless. The overall effect was a deliberate blankness. The emotional response could only be disappointment, I thought, unless you weren’t really interested in the qualities that Abt’s paintings at first appear to be about….The statement is that yes these are colors and lines but no I’m not interested in that kind of thing – Who on earth would be? You realize that she doesn’t think that there is anything there in the original model worth bothering with and clearly the critical buzz around her at the moment agrees…Abts refers to something sophisticated, refuses to get involved in its sophistication and offers something crude instead. It’s a model not of a fraught moral position or contents that have to do with the meaning of existence, but of efficiency vs. authenticity. The goal is not to get people to be moved by art. It’s about trying to capture the interest of people who can’t be bothered to find out what art is and what gives it its capacity to be moving, by getting rid of anything that was ever genuinely moving about it. This isn’t an act of fierce Nietzschean individualism. It’s an act of conformity, of obedience – going along with what everyone else is doing….”

I think Collings is on to something here. Are we so evolved that we can only look back at art history for material to parody? Is blankness the new intellectualism? Making the artworld work more efficiently is a commercial goal, but what about the high falutin' goals that were real when they were employed in the past?

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