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Old 12-15-2008, 10:50 AM
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GlennT GlennT is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Minneapolis
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Re: What's your intension as an artist?

I think that a quick summary of my usual process of creating art will help add some perspective to this discussion.

I primarily do work on commission, which means that my work is already meant to integrate itself into a social, cultural, and sometimes historical context. I begin by doing research, which first involves talking with a client or committee and finding as many clues as possible as to what they are hoping to have accomplished by the art work. Then I go to the written word and photos of related works to learn about the social/cutural/historical context, as well as to see if there is anything I can learn from the mistakes or triumphs of past works of art.

Now, that I have done that preliminary work, comes the real important part. Having prepared my mind with an understanding of the task at hand, I meditate upon and open myself up to the source of my inspiration, which is God as individualized in His/Her relationship to me. This is a light that never fails, so it is a matter of my making the proper attunement.

Having recieved the inspiration, it is a matter of using my heart, mind, and body as a vessel to produce the work as best as those tools and my art-making tools allow. I am completely dedicated to the vision, but the process is open in that I am constantly learning as I go and looking for further inspiration along the way to clarify and improve the expression.

That being the case, all I can hope for from some present or future art historian is that they be inspired by the work and then use the tools of their craft, verbal language, to help lead others to a place where they too may respond to the work and receive an inspiration.

The inspiration is aready there, with or without the activity of the critic. The role of the critic at best is to lead someone else to appreciate it. At worst, the critic takes the role of the spoiler and diverts attention away from the inspiration with a thousand other silly distractions meant to debase the creation in order to elevate the intellect of the critic in the mind of the reader.

For an artist who works in a totally different manner than I, creating at whim without a specific social/cultural/historic reference, or who goes with no particular plan and attacks or shapes the material as instinct or inspiration guides them, there may be even less there of tangible substance for the critic to go with, and more creative latitude for their verbosity to take flight and create a drama about the work that may either acknowledge or supress the merits of the piece.

In either case, the art criticism at best will help guide the reader to open their mind and heart to the intention or inspiration of the artist, who may then benefit from all that the artist put into the artifact. Yet all of this is already there, and it is just as likely that a person with no knowledge of any literary associations with the artifact will be so moved in the presence of that artifact as to be transported to that space where the artist had hoped it would take them.

People are different and also have different learning styles, such as kinestetic, auditory, or visual. The literary arts are of great benefit to some but not all types of people. There are probably some people who would best benefit from a work of art by 5% exposure to the art, and 95% exposure to writings about the art. Same for the reverse proportions, and anywhere in between. The cave painters of 30,000 years ago most likely had 0% exposure to writings about their art, but seemed to have been able to appreciate it just fine. The stained glass of the great cathedrals of Europe were meant to speak for the illiterate, telling the entire story with pictures in glass with color, form, and light.
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