Sunday, August 1, 2010

Observations on Art 8.1

It’s a dreary rainy Sunday morning in the Village. I look down at a surprisingly empty street, wet and the color of spilled espresso, it looks as if all the grime of summer washed into the street overnight. But look higher and the trees are a beautiful shade of green, happy with the cooler air and the fresh shower they had.

My cynical and, some would say, radical side has been doing the writing for a few posts so I think I need chill a bit and get back to my love, my life, art. I have always considered myself an artist, at least since the moment when the thought first enters a child’s mind, ‘what am I?’ or “what do I want to be?’ when i grow up. Since that day my mom stuck my fingers in paint and let me make my first mess on a canvas, a wall, on myself. My dad still has that little ‘painting’ hanging in his living room.

I guess I never looked back from that day because I have never considered doing anything else with my life. I went into Art History instead of Fine Arts for two reasons. My dad guided, no pushed, me in that direction and I can’t stand all the rules and theories of Fine Arts. But in history I learned to appreciate styles that I never would have dreamed of casting my eyes upon before. I fell in love with van Gogh.

In photography I love the contrast and detail of B&W but in painting I love the color. I thrive on the shades and subtle nuances that most people can’t even see. Show me a painting that you think has two shades of blue and I'll show you a dozen in the same painting. Of all the colors I love blue like no other, in its infinite shades and tints, it can make my brain light up like no other color can. Matisse said “Cutting directly into color reminds me of a sculptor's carving into stone” and i know exactly what he meant.

Sometimes I'll go to a new show or museum and find a painting I haven’t seen in person before and fall in to a zone that can last for hours. This recently happened at the MOMA Matisee show with “Flowers and Ceramic Plate" where I sat on a bench for two hours with my head in my hands staring and lost in it. Pulling the blues apart bit by infinitesimal bit and putting it back together in my head. I have no way to describe it but if it is possible to get high on color I do it. The vqs gave up and wandered off probably hoping nobody called Bellevue to come and get me.

When I was in college I had a professor who once told me that I was well on my way to becoming the ‘mad hatter’ of art. I laughed and took that as the biggest compliment but I never knew if he meant it that way or just thought i was cracking up.

“There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it you need to be as mad as a hatter.”

Sounds like the art world to me.

Incubus - Nice To Know You