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Old 10-13-2008, 08:47 AM
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cheesepaws cheesepaws is offline
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Re: What's your intension as an artist?

Looks like a bit of educational system/language usage issue. Looking at his profile - I am pretty sure that Soul-Holder is basically the equivalent of a college senior working on his thesis in the U.S. system.

Originally Posted by soul_holder View Post
Are these really the fundamental, underlining questions that need to be answered in order to peek your artistic measure? Is making artworks for the fun of exploring visual forms not enough anymore?
As far as your question – yes! These are fantastic questions to be asking yourself if you want to continue to make art that originates and responds to an academic context. Having “fun” can (and should) still be an experience that is part of your process – but unless you are occasionally delving into new arenas of skill and knowledge (which can, at times, be less than fun) - how do you expect to grow? Making art for the “fun” of exploring visual forms has never been enough (childhood aside).

Originally Posted by soul_holder View Post
I'm not against this 'question answering' approach to creative practice I just wanna know if its really the most beneficial? I personally find it quite stressful; I originally decided I wanted to pursue art because i thought I was good at pleasing the eye and assumed that was what it was primarily about. Now I have to become some kind of philosopher as well. Its slowly putting me off art and I used to think I loved every bit of it.
What does “pleasing the eye” even mean? Aren’t you curious about what is going on in the minds of your viewers that makes it pleasing? Who else has made work that uses the same visual devices as you? Did you copy them or arrive at the same solutions independently? How do you differ? How do your forms relate to your materials? Why is that form/material relationship relevant? How might you describe the experience your sculptures project? Do they manage this through surface? form? subject matter? Do you associate “pleasing” with some level of craft or skill? The list goes on and on…

He whole notion of “pleasing” acknowledges your viewer (which is great). Just write about the experience you want your viewer to have and how you get them to that place. Focus on the viewer rather than YOUR feeling, personal experience or biography. Visual analysis is a skill. Practice writing about your work from the viewer’s perspective – then, return to the personal and other contextual issues that might have provided motivation in your process.

What is your subject of study - what is your art about? Some may dismiss art that overtly engages cultural/social/political subjects – but most work functions on multiple levels. You will be hard pressed to find much work that does not at least engage the psychology of composition or color – let alone the science of such things. My point is that if you are feeling pressure to invent some political message (for example) as a subject in your work for the sake of a paper - well, composition, color, materiality, process can all be explored as subject and in (an academic) depth.

Of course, you are free to make work that does not engage contemporary studio practices, art history or the viewer on some level - but that is a life outside of art galleries, museums, and comparisons to the heroes of sculpture – some of which I bet you really dig.

Unless you want to be mired in the past you must ask yourself why is it important to be making the work you make today, here and now.

Originally Posted by soul_holder View Post
If your a practicing artist, do you personally ask yourself these questions?
Absolutely. I spend a good deal of time thinking and writing about what I am doing in the studio. Likewise, reading journals and books, visiting galleries and museums and making connections with other artists are all equally important to me and the work I am making. All of these experiences and information come together in the work. It IS the art making – all of it.

I have found that the older I get the less I share all this research/information with my viewer BUT, because I am getting better at it, the less I need to.

Good luck! Don’t make excuses – things that start hard usually yield amazing results.
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