REEL CONNECTION | issue 1
February 08, 2014
Notes from the studio
It's been quite a year, and 2014 promises to be even bigger and better. A big thank you to everyone who has supported my art and shows. There are so many interesting people who love this work. You come up and talk about what you see and feel. One thing about this work: a viewer can really bring a lot of themselves to it, it doesn't just lay it out there in an overtly obvious way for you. It lets you digest it on your own terms. In a way, this is a challenging thing to offer a viewer. It is a way of trusting a tremendous amount to you, the viewer. This leads to a lot of fascinating stuff. I've had the same person on multiple occassions come up to me and talk about four different interpretations ... of the same work. Different days, different moods, different vision.
This is, I believe, a big part of why a lot of people like to live with this work. A quick glance in a gallery just doesn't do it for them. I forget who said that the depths of a great painting were best gained by living with it for a couple of years. I think it was Vollard. He also said that living with a great painting was capable of teaching you everything you needed to know about seeing a painting. It's true, paintings teach us how to see. Not all paintings, but paintings of a certain type and quality. That is what I am after, and that is what I am hearing: people coming up and bearing witness to how much they see. It is an exciting thing to see.
Recently I saw two young twenty-somethings heatedly discussing something in front of one of my paintings. They did not know I was the artist, so I could listen incognito. I wondered how they saw the work: after all, the visual and historical cues that they and I have grown up with are so different, our visual experience has changed so much over the last half century. Yet, these twenty-somethings were as excited as anybody about this particular painting and discussing it passionately. It's very gratifying to see that an entirely new generation is excited by the work.
LA Art Fair
Rhonda and I just got back from the LA Art Fair. A Korean dealer/friend was reminding us how different it is in Seoul and Hong Kong compared to the United States. "Over there, there are buyers, people come up and pay $10,000, $30,000 all cash just like that. Los Angeles is so dead." She's going to be taking work to Hong Kong this year. Rhonda has been to Hong Kong; I haven't. Looking forward to it someday. In general, our Asian contacts have been very receptive and open; very encouraging. Otherwise, the LA Art Fair seemed short on quality, interest, and a lot of good people that have been there in the past are no longer coming. There seems to be a trend: These days it seems that once you get out of the Big Four, these affairs are becoming a local situation: instead of collectors from all over and the world's top galleries converging on a city, it is a mid-tier scattering of dealers converging on a city--Houston, Los Angeles, Seattle, wherever--trying to sell the locals their wares. The work is weak, over-commercialized; long on hustle, short on quality. It's also a degraded environment for any kind of quality viewing experience. People talk about a resurgence and re-direction toward local institutions and spaces. Stay tuned.
Pure art is play. The deeper the play, the further we are from those who would enslave us if they could. Pure painting is food for those beaten down by life. Great art takes people back to their strength, their core. It stops and silences the noise and nonsense of life.
Each of these paintings is a doorway to freedom. Step through that door and be free.______________