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  #51  
Old 05-18-2007, 10:30 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi, First of all Glenn, What makes you think that spirituality is a lie?
It's only a big ego that would think that they are the ones to lead someone (as if they needed it) to a spiritual awakening.
I've always found that the people who talk about their spirituality are exercising their jaws and are about as spiritual as a rock.
The really spiritual amongst us lead their lives in such a way that you don't even notice how spiritual they really are.
Joe~, I guess since you seem to be one of those exemptions, you're not an artist, are you Joe?
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #52  
Old 05-18-2007, 10:50 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

I rattle the rafters in my studio everyday with great ferocity and brutality and still feel exceptionally capable in doing so. Thoughts concerning the human predicament are nowhere there to interupt my manglings of the material. Thoughts of beauty and horror couldn,t be farther from my mind. But at the end of the day, while the big dummy licks his wounds, I am once again overwhelmed by a hungry Perceptiveness that reels in the days undertakings to decide whether or not something has gotten figured out.

There must be a reason for the artmaking...its not something you "just" do. If it is, then punch the clock. In the biggest of pictures, it doesn't really matter if questions remain unanswered. To each his own.
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  #53  
Old 05-18-2007, 11:07 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

The whole "Artist Statement" thing is funny and deserves it's own thread.
I think a lot of folks could do with a quick rewrite of their "statement" and maybe they'd do more selling and less listening to the crickets chirp.

Too much myth, too much myth, too much myth...
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  #54  
Old 05-18-2007, 11:38 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman
1) If your ego is so big that you actually believe that shit, you're NOT an artist!!!!!!!

2) Being an artist is ALL about the journey, and for me it's a journey of self discovery through the work.

3) What's really cool about being an artist is that you get to work hard in your studio at something that is your absolute passion.

Jeff
Jeff - good to hear from you!

1) I don't see it as an ego thing, and whether I'm an artist? Never claimed to be, someone else's call. (Labels, labels... don't need these props. I'm a relatively stable individual, and I've got over my ego). I'm just speculating on the psychological drive to create. Interests me.

2) Not interested in self-discovery - done that. I am not even terribly interested in myself anymore. Maybe that's one reason sculpting interests me: the JOURNEY you refer to may mean more to me than it does to you - it takes me OUT of myself, not deeper in. (I've been living with myself all my life - sculpting is a break, not more self-obsession).
3) I agree with this - there's a passion in the work. But, being me (and not you) I'm interested in why I am passionate about shaping bits of stone.
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  #55  
Old 05-19-2007, 10:15 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Cantab, The question, "Why am I (you) passionate about shaping bits of stone?" as opposed to what?, doing something else creative, is unanswerable.
There are, as I'm sure you know, creative people in ALL walks of life, we just happen to do what we do because we DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Why we have this passion is an unanswerable question.
I have done art all of my life, as far back as I can remember and in elementary school whenever some sort of art work was needed, they called upon me to do it. I did pretty well in all my subjects but in art, I was THE MAN. Did those early accolades and recognition form my passion?
No, I don't think so. ART IS ALL I EVER WANTED TO DO.
Can one find the WHY in that? I don't think so.
Evaldart, The reason you "just do it" is that you have a passion for it and I don't know anyone who has a passion for punching a clock.
I think some people look for convoluted answers where there are none and at some point in my life I did too.
My answer, there is no answer, just faith.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #56  
Old 05-19-2007, 10:37 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Cantab, That journey of self discovery I spoke about is more along the lines of finding out where you're going creatively, what form and shape your art will take. I do 2D work as well as 3D and both have an influence on each other. I think that journey helps clarify whatever it is you do and I'm not talking about realism vs. abstraction here (although I guess it could be) but more about how individual work changes and grows over the years.
So yeah, I guess maybe you're right, I mean when I'm in my studio, I'm thinking about my art, not about myself. When the day is done, I'm always amazed at what has transpired.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #57  
Old 05-19-2007, 11:52 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Lets see If I can summarize this thread:

Cantab, the malcontent that sounds like he should be making art out of blood and animal parts but actually makes very lovely pieces as a way of transcending or escaping a mundane and boring existence. Good for him, at least he knows why and what art does for him.

StevenW, the soulless man of science that rejects that which can not be proven yet engages in the ethereal non real production of art.

evaldart, post 47 read like a religious text, nearly indecipherable, but here is a translation for us mer mortals: Transcending or rising above can involve the beautiful as well as the ugly and tragic. Consciousness makes no judgments about these events, our human forms, our minds do. It is the duty of the artist to make or present to the world objects that force these judgements.

Joe(squiggle) who entered again to post a shot and long running debate about intent with ironman.

GlennT, is a humanist. That works for me, human consciousness and spirituality are exactly the same thing, not two different things.

ironman, every group has one like him, he happens to be ours. ďStop the jibber-jabber, its only art, just make it for godís sake!Ē Probably a real productive guy because he operates with 600 fewer questions rambling around in his head than do some of us.

allenring, then there is me a serious left brain guy being a right brain poser on this site, spending more time posting than arting because.... you all just donít get it! Or as I would gladly describe myself to StevenW and GlennT, ďIím a dynamic explosive immortal soul having a momentary human experience.Ē
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  #58  
Old 05-19-2007, 12:29 PM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Well, what's a soul anyway,... As long as my jeans are "tuned"...
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  #59  
Old 05-19-2007, 07:07 PM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Apparently my ironic comment to Ironman went over his head and under allenring's. I do not endorse the idea I put forth in my prior post, that spirituality is a lie. I was making a point, using irony and humour, ( or so I thought ), condensing Jeff's comments to point out the Enormous EGO of the human mind that declares itself the only reality and dismisses spirituality, which connects to the source of infinitely greater wisdom than the human mind.

Now, are we as clear as American beer?

GlennT

Last edited by GlennT : 05-19-2007 at 10:37 PM.
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  #60  
Old 05-20-2007, 01:40 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
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  #61  
Old 05-20-2007, 04:10 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Post 57 - excellent! And I like the thought , "human consciousness and spirituality are exactly the same thing".
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  #62  
Old 05-20-2007, 07:23 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

I mostly avoid using the variations of the word spiritual as it has been overused and abused, crammed into every context where a term for "greater-than-real" is required. But IF I was to use that word it would be in reference to the unknowable , dimensionally-duplicitous, essence-esque protagonist we call a consciousness.
Makes me think about ghosts...and and don't tell me about a conversation you had one dark and stormy night with your great-gran-pappy cause we all know there ain't no such thing as ghosts.
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  #63  
Old 05-20-2007, 09:27 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Allenring, As far as those 600 questions goes, I have the answers, got them from the Readers Digest, read while sitting on the can, LOL!!!!!!!!
Seriously though, at 60 and after many years of pondering those questions (I only have 3), I have come to the conclusion that making art is what I want to do and agonizing over the great philosophical questions of mankind is counterproductive to that goal.
One has to kick those questions out of the way in order to make good art.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #64  
Old 05-20-2007, 11:30 PM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Bravo, excellent answers all, what great fun!

Except Iím jealous of StevenW because his jeans are tuned and mine arenít, and now Iíll have to tell the spirit of my great grand daddy that he isnít after all real. Fortunately GlennT and Aaron remind us that beer is the only important thing here. And we all know that ironman was not really kidding when he said he gets all his answers from the Readers Digest.

But the really amazing thing is that I actually thought that I could get some professional advice on marketing my sculpture when I joined this site! I actually thought this site was about making and selling art, what a hoot, can you believe that?
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  #65  
Old 05-21-2007, 12:46 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Quote:
Originally Posted by allenring
But the really amazing thing is that I actually thought that I could get some professional advice on marketing my sculpture when I joined this site! I actually thought this site was about making and selling art, what a hoot, can you believe that?
Marketing is about talking to people, you are either good at it or not, but even if you're not you can practice. Selling it is simple, just make it good and price it right and like Ironman says, put all the other crap out of your mind and just do it. You can have the loftiest artist statement and the coolest, artsiest most balanced website on earth and still sit around listening to the crickets chirp. Get off your butt and get it out there in front of real people.
There's your advice, don't expect me to tune your jeans or anything..
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  #66  
Old 05-21-2007, 01:06 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Allen........I like how you reduce ideas down to their lowest common denominator, yet I still think you have a ways to go. Keep up the good work, keep taking it down. Get to the core. Surely there is a set of filters and lenses that function better than the rest.
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  #67  
Old 05-21-2007, 02:40 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironman
Hi Cantab, That journey of self discovery I spoke about is more along the lines of finding out where you're going creatively....
Jeff
Yep - I think this is important. But many artists and sculptors have immersed themselves in an art that has a definite theoretical basis - Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, minimalism, etc. By doing this they refine the creative instinct, apply a kind of criteria and carry art out of that awful realm of 'self-expression'. Hate that! That's not self-discovery, that's indulgence. Theory's important, otherwise art can deteriorate into aimless beautiful objects, and beauty can end up defined by what simply pleases us.

In an essay Kandinsky once wrote of the ďinternal necessityĒ of an art object. I think you may like him. He was writing about the rejection of representation and the aesthetic logic a work develops without reference to the external world. I would also relate this phrase to the relation between the artist and the work, that Ďinternalí thing that makes art personal.

Last edited by Cantab : 05-21-2007 at 02:04 PM.
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  #68  
Old 05-21-2007, 09:26 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi GlennT, No, your comment didn't go over my head, I was putting you on!

Hi Allenring, I'm still laughing at that, "We all know........" comment in your last post.
Marketing, what's that? Just keep talking to the client until they buy the damn thing!

Hi Cantab, In my younger days, I worked thru some of the genre you speak of and have arrived today at work that you would probably classify as being cubist/constructivist influenced. Did I aim for that? NO! Am I locked into any label? NO!
Growth will occur better if labels (restrictions) are pushed out of the way. Why limit your creative endeavors? Yeah, I know, we do need some laws to push against, that's the point of all this.
Quite familiar with Wassily, we were on a first name basis back in the day, oy vey, Munich, the beer gardens, the frauleins, what a city!
Seriously, Of course an artwork develops an aesthetic logic all it's own, if not, it's not art, is it? By "external world", I'm assuming you (Kandinsky) are referring to various "ism's".
Those ism's, as D. Smith used to say are for the connoiseur/curator to classify the artist and are of no consequence to him.
I cut out an old "Calvin and Hobbs" cartoon that I think relates to this, here goes.
Calvin, "Art isn't about ideas, it's about style. The most crucial career decision is picking a good "ism" so that everyone knows how to catagorize you without understanding the work.
Hobbs, "You do goofy drawings on the sidewalk."
Calvin, "Right, I'm a suburban post modernist."
Hobbs, "Aren't we all."
Calvin, "I was going to be a neo-deconstructivist but my mom wouldn't let me."
I've saved that cartoon for 10 years so I hope you got a laugh out of it.
One thing I've said in this thread is that although I certainly condone the discussion, sometimes you've just gotta push all this theoretical stuff to the side and just go do the work.
First you talk about artists who immerse themselves in art that has a definite theoretical basis, applying a kind of criteria that carries the art out of that "awful" realm of self expression. "Hate that!"
Then, in the same paragraph, you say, "Theory's important, otherwise beauty can deteriorate into aimless beautiful objects and end up defined by what pleases us.
This seems to be a contradiction, no? Or am I not getting it?
Theory's either important, or it's not.
For a long time, I adhered to a minimalistic aesthetic in my work, but I became bored with that. I missed the interplay of light and shadow, curved forms to straight geometric, stimulation of a more visually complicated type.
Most people would probably say my work is less sophisticated now than in my minimalist period.
Who cares?
I became a minimalist because of the visual austerity and I abandoned it for the same reason!
Yeah, I know the theory but, theory be damned, this is a VISUAL medium and it's the intellectual community who've brought you the likes of Mel Bochner and the obscure writings on art of Hal Foster.
Looking forward (as always) to your reply.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #69  
Old 05-29-2007, 04:02 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Ironman - thanks for the last post. Thoughtful, and all too true. I like the fact that cubism and constructivism have inspired you - I don't think I have ever got over Cezanne, cubism, constructivism and collage.

The issue of theory - some theory pre-dates the act: Cubism was a discipline and a theory of perception and, early on, it was applied rigorously. I felt it worked with the built environment and landscape, kinda silly with portraits, though. OUT of it, though, Picasso went on to work in a more complex way, using the theory less rigidly and in combination with other influences (Surrealism/neo-classicism). And this is the thing for me - Theory can shape, be a springboard. It can also POST-date the work, in that it emerges from the work in the studio. Also: unmediated, emotional stuff doesn't interest me (some expressionism, for example). Recently I read Peter Carey's 'Theft', an excellent novel about a painter. His work reflects a complete commitment to emotional response. I couldn't live like him, and I couldn't create like that. I can't see the structure.....
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  #70  
Old 05-29-2007, 09:18 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Cantab, I think that most of the art made in the last 100 yrs. hasn't gotten over cubism/constructivism in that doors were opened for new ways of expression akin to what Michaelangelo, Bruneleschi and other artists of renaissaince Florence did to influence and change art in their time. To me, those are the 2 pivital points on which art changed forever the way we look at things. Of course none of this happens in a vaccuum or at the snap of a finger and other developments, photography for instance did also have an impact, but that's for another discussion.
Yes, I guess theory can come BEFORE or AFTER the work but I think most of it comes after.
I imagine that Picasso/Braque DID go into their studios looking for a new means of expression, but I think it was the playing around with the materials (PLAY being a very important word here) that got their intellectual side thinking and possibly formulating those cubist theories.
So for me it's that unmediated emotional (or unemotional) stuff which I call PLAY that I think predates the intellectual theory.
There is theory either before the art or after it, but there is ALWAYS theory.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #71  
Old 05-29-2007, 10:59 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

I agree with Ironman, theory can be either a developing entity paralleling the path of the art that it accompanys OR it can be an established "recipe", every new artist cooking it up his own way. Both are always occurring.
But I have problems with the theory that arrives purely for the sake of itself, completely made-up hogwash intended only to draw attention to the theorist and not any art.
The theorists and critics should be facilitators, and bring about understanding - even to the artists themselves who might be doing what they do quite subconsciously. They should not be creators themselves, crafty wordsmiths inventing nonsense in the interest of flaunting their presumed intelligence of establishing thier own careers, leech-like on the backs of the artists like a sports-analyst who never put on a jock-strap.
I always value the rantings of the artists in any form over the dissertation of the professional theorist who, as far as I'm concerned, does not have any priveledged knowledge on the subject. As this forum demonstrates on a daily basis, artists are plenty intelligent enough and willing enough to expound their own theory in surplus (and many of them even are good writers as well).
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  #72  
Old 05-29-2007, 04:06 PM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Looks like I'm going to have to start reading Readers Digest because ironman has a good point, reinforced by evaldart. Consider the mass media. Their entire function seems to be to define and label events and evolving trends. While 'they' sound very authoritative you may notice they are always behind what is really going on with, or the direction communities are moving in.

I think that the play and the new have to happen first, outside existing knowns. Then we seem to have a need to label, to define. A definition "cubism" makes it easy to discuss, teach, explore, sell, critique and so on a style of art. Think how hard it would be to communicate and exchange this type of art with out that label.

Unfortunately the instant an agreed upon label is placed on work it instantly limits it. It now has to fit a definition rather than be a new creation. It also begins the inevitable march to dating it and it becoming 'old' and 'done'.

I searched hard and long for a self applied label for my art. I ain't well know enough for some authority to label it for me. I did this to 'brand' my work. It is an intentional marketing tool which I admit may have little artistic value. However the label came long after the art. I could never have come up with the label if the art did not already exist.

It seems to me that few if any of the members on this site follow any well defined school of art. I think that is fantastic and something to be celebrated.
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  #73  
Old 05-30-2007, 03:37 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Final thoughts on theory: as a non-professional carver Iím eager to raise the profile of art as a serious activity for the Ďamateurí artist. And I feel that any artist of this kind who takes his/her art seriously, and has a good depth of knowledge of the arts, should consider theory, and aligned to this, the implications of working Ďblindí, that is, just making stuff that appeals to you/others. I like a high level of self-consciousness in art (and in life), and I tend to feel that the thinking is as important as the work in the studio. For instance, like most artists, perhaps, I have 3 or 4 pieces lying around my workshop that are still unfinished, and I spend a lot of time just wondering what I am trying to do with them. And how to make the forms make SENSE. So, I think that theory and thinking are closely related. For instance, I donít do REALISM because I have, over my life, a highly developed sense of the absurdity of the world as we Ďpictureí it. And I find art that is realistic (nowadays) just faintly ludicrous. Itís like knowledge has moved on, but the art hasnít. This is a kind of theory that may lie embedded in much work by abstract artists. In fact, there may be a lot of theory that we take for granted, even in our own work. Modern art is founded on radical changes in perspective, from Impressionism on. Iíve mentioned Cubism, and Kandinsky. You can probably name a range of other important theorists/artists/self-conscious movements. If we donít think through what underpins our work, then we may only be working according to the grand changes in perspective inherited unconsciously. Iím not sure I like that.

Allenring's work, for instance - at a glance, those severe angular pieces, powerfully designed, machine-cut, slightly impersonal. This work embodies a lot of thought, and a sense of a modern cultural tradition. It may not be theory that underpins the stylistic consistency of the work, but I think I could develop one for this work!

Part of my problem is that I have never got over Dada and Cubism. Dada was an art movement, the principles of which crossed cultural boundaries (including literature, visual arts, theatre and film). Cubism, too, is easily linked to scientific views and precise intellectual/philosophical movements of the time. For the same reason I like Hirst Ė there is a brain at work here that transcends sheer aesthetic judgement. Art should, I think, reveal how we see the world, at the very least. And that may be why theory is unavoidable.

Last edited by Cantab : 05-30-2007 at 04:24 AM.
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  #74  
Old 05-30-2007, 09:27 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Hi Cantab, That's exactly it! When you said, "It may not be theory that underpins the stylistic consistency of the work, but I think I could develop one for this work!"
The theory always comes afterwards as a way to define and set apart from other work what is being done by a certain group of artists.
Those 3 or 4 pieces in your studio aren't going to get finished by thinking about cubist theory, but only by looking at them aesthetically to try and find the way to have the forms make SENSE visually.
Maybe you could add some LEDs and we could say that Cantab is now working in an Allenringistic inspired genre.
Cantab, just do the God damn work! Make it YOUR WORK and the theory that underpins it will take care of itself.
I don't think that you trust your intuition enough, so without that you have to fall back on intellectual explanation to justify what you do.
You're a teacher aren't you?
I had a very good friend like that, he wasn't a teacher but he had to think everything through, make many models, talk about the work, how he worked from the gut (the opposite was true), very intellectual, blah, blah, blah, on and on, so after all the talk and all the maquettes, whatever was good in the first piece was beaten out of it by the time the finished product was completed. He could not bring himself to trust his instincts/intuition which were good, because he couldn't verbalize them intellectually.
By the way, I like the Chapman Brothers for their irreverence.
Have a great day,
Jeff
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  #75  
Old 05-30-2007, 10:26 AM
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Re: Thoughts on the beauty of art

Good post Jeff, "JUST DO THE GOD-DAMNED WORK" , yesiree. I think too much when I'm NOT sculpting, to the point of confusion. But in the studio the wise-guy upstairs cannot be heard over the hammering and the grinding. The big dummy does whatever the hell he pleases. Of course some sense must be made of it all when the dust settles...time for some more thinking and some theory, while everything else recovers and refuels.
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