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When I finished my undergraduate degree in art, I was flying high with excitement. After Graduate school, I was torn apart, dejected … but still highly motivated. There has been lots of writing about development during those exciting times, however, what often does not get written about is how an artist comes to terms with every-day reality 10 years later. What happens after they can see how the rest of world views art and the artword? What happens after they see how small and insignificant their daily activity is, and that they are not going to "change the world." I believe this is called maturity, and I am curious to see more artists process these emotions.
In this regard, NYC Sculptor Deborah Fisher has been posting about her own personal crisis in how she views art within society, and art’s relationship to herself. Here is a snippet, but be sure to read the whole thing:
"Art’s got its own troubles. It talks to itself in ways that are
increasingly hermetic. Its avant garde principles are now codified in
the MFA, which means that there is nothing but irony (or bullshit) in
these principles anymore. Buchel is the new Bourguereau. Even though
the whole point is that you can do "anything," it’s true that we all
seem to be looking for that sense of boundarylessness within a narrow
bandwidth of expensive trash for rich people, neutered political
faux-discourse, bad painting, specific artist obsessions with arcana
and "pictures of my beautiful, strung-out friends."
Ouch, that is harsh. As she continues, she realizes that wanting to change the world makes art up-tight, and that she needs to loosen up. This sounds alot like Dave Hickey’s essay "Frivolity and Unction," where he wonders what would happen if art were no longer considered "good for you," but rather something dangerous.
My point is that I enjoy reading this kind of honesty. It’s much more real that many BS artist statements which sound like they are trying to define the value of their art in terms of something else. You know, they usually sound like literary or social critics trying to sound smart: "I am critiquing the biopolitic of the post-modern body in regard to interstitial states of …. blah blah."

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1 Response

  1. Asshole

    I don’t know if John Cage is considered an artist anymore but I heard a recording of him talking about some piece of music he heard there is too much pain in the world the composer said I think there is just the right amount of pain Cage replied.

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