There’s no one story of any empire and there’s no one story of America. I’ve been telling my family’s story in my work for nearly 20 years now. I’ve only recently been thinking about what my identity as an American artist is.
In his act of creating a second authentic artistic identity Guston has shown me, and many generations of artists, that losing faith in an idea of yourself as an artist doesn’t have to be the end. You can make art after disillusionment.
Like music, art doesn’t allow us to transform our nature or bring us closer to some abstract ideal of what we should be. But both help us shift our perspective and allow more stories to come into view.