Artist statements are a fascinating form. I, myself, have spent hours alone making things, objects to someday serve as links between me and others, others and others. But for now, as I make them that is all futuristic and fantastical. Alone so much, I naturally have conversations in my head. I love to interview myself about my practice and what it is that I think I am doing. Not about the message or the ultimate meaning of objects, but just what the heck I think I am doing spending all this time alone making things.
It’s also a sort of sports hero sort of thing. Like practicing one’s backhand against the garage door while playing tapes in one’s head of one’s interactions with the press after a win at Wimbledon. In a way artist’s statements are victory speeches, and anyone who is being shown and gets to make an artist’s statement has, in some small way, won. That may be why I fetishize them. In a way they are the prize, the reward. After all those years of silent labor I finally get to speak! To people! The work, it does its own thing. The artist’s statement is for me alone.
It’s fun to hear artists spill out these pronouncements formed in months of solitary practice. It’s lovely when they are almost entirely inscrutable, loaded with intent but impossible to parse. In that spirit I paste this one, from the first artist I thought to Google. There are probably lots of great artist’s statements out. An artist confident in his work has no need to make sense in an artist’s statement. This one is loaded with inscrutable truths, my favorite of which is in the opening lines: In life you can do two things. In art you can do one thing — just think of how long and how impatiently the artist must have been waiting to release this gem of an insight into the world.
150 words on my work: In life you can do two things. In art you can do one thing. There are no decisions to make in art except one–that is the possibility of art, while the actuality (of it) is life-like. And that is why anything connected with art appears paradoxical, although that is not the goal of art. Art is discipline and discipline is drawing. Drawing will change before art will. Discipline is always the same. And we will never know what art is–except as the goal, which is already defined through necessity although not understood, is essentially abstract in nature or naturally abstracted, which is to say life- like, without hope. Because color is the most abstract evidence of/in art and because we are beginning to grasp certain specific abstracted experiences (which appear as forms in art) my work looks the way it does.