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I've wanted to create a few large sculptures for about 8 years now. When I first had the thought of them I was living on the streets in another country. I started actively making decisions to build a life where I could create them 7 years ago this coming April. I've allowed stress and pleasure and acquiring resources to totally derail and reshape my plans a million times since then. But, consciously or unconsciously I always marched in some way along the line that would lead me to all the space, tools, time and funding it would take. Now that I'm basically here though, I don't like my life and I don't necessarily feel the same way about the pieces or the world. I feel like everything was just spinning endless samsaric gears into nothing and like all I want to do is burn my house to the ground and go back to wandering around again. Each day is a struggle to turn off my mind so I don't run away a few steps into the plateau I've spent nearly 7 years struggling to reach. If I don't build them this summer I don't think I'll be able to maintain for another year.
(the latter part is key)
The extent to which one has an innate talent for it is the extent to which they immediately had a (conscious or not) sense what drawing really is (the ability to ignore how you perceive the world, and draw what is actually there instead, or would actually be there if not real), and therefore are guided correctly in the first place.
(By the way, on a similar note, as it perhaps fits my overall argument on why I love conceptual art, I could define art itself as "the process of revealing some truth that it takes an artist to 'see' ". Drawing is a subset, wherein the revealing is rendering, the truth is how things actually look to the human eye, and it takes a trained artists eye to see that truth beyond how the human mind warps perception. But any art can fit well into this formula: Music reveals via performance an emotional truth that it takes a musician to hear... etc.)
That said, I have always been, since before I can remember, a fantastic artist with lots of that "innate talent", far beyond the level of my peers.... up until now. (I go to a highly competitive art school now... and gave up drawing anyway) This isn't to say, obviously, that from the womb I could draw photorealistic portraits... I certainly look back at stuff I did, say, before high school and laugh at how much i've improved since then. The art I did in first grade is surely worse than anyone here could do now, but at the time I was praised all over for my talent.
To some extent, that's no longer true: I've finally hit a wall where in order to improve to a final, professional level, I'd have to invest more effort than I've ever had to before.... and I don't want to. I've become tired of it, and the fun has been sucked from it for me.
I've had enough art history classes now where I can see a piece of some sort of "classical" art and note interesting conceptual things about it, given the trends at the time or historical references embedded within...
I won't be so cocky to claim that I could have done it (what Caravaggio accomplished in any one of his works), as, well, I've had to recreate masterworks as class projects before and it's DAMN hard and I didn't do all that well in my or my professor's opinion. =P Even so... I still don't find the technical ability to be... that special for some reason.
Also, modern art museums are so full of life. They're fun. It's like going to the most surreal place on earth, like a playland for adults. Modern art encourages you to explore and play, if not outright interact.
We decided we were trying too hard. The girl was probably more like this: "Oh my gooooooddd. I love Paramore so much. It's like they totally get me, ya know? Like, my ipod is totally my life, like, ya know, right? Like, I really think staaarrrs describe who I am right now, ya know? Like, they are sooo misunderstood, but they like, they don't even care. That's just soooo me, riiiiight?"
I rather enjoy other people's art. I love looking into what they may or may not be saying. Not to analyze it, but to appriciate the supposed effort behind a beautiful painting or the hours of labor to create this wonderful sculpture out of limestone. But what i love most of all is the art that my young coz gives to me. He's eight years old and for holidays he gives everyone a picture he drew. For my brithday a few years ago, and this picture is still on my fridge, he drew two vehicles, I'm guessing two cars, probably hot wheels, that are driving through the grass over lakes and so forth witha green blue sky and a big yellow sun. On the back there's a poem that reads "Roses are Red / Vils are bile / ereboty is sweet / isplsle you" Granted this was a few years ago, his spelling wasn't too great yet, but the message is still there. Some times the art can be portrayed in the misspelled words and that's almost more adorable than anything else.
Art is not just what’s in a museum. Color is not just a mix of the primary red, yellow, and blue with varying amounts of white and black. Art history is not just the grade you received on a test. Art is life: it’s flow, scenes, people, the “unreachable”, the beautiful, and the ugly. Art is expression: it’s colors you’ve never seen but have felt, shapes that the canvas doesn’t deserve, and the idea that keeps you going and stops you at the same time. Art is organized chaos: it’s the Pollock splatter style that can make you grin or cry, the Van Gogh floral that makes you feel peace and pain, the Raphael faces that can make an atheist believe, and the Michelangelo ceiling that makes your jaw drop while you crane your neck. Art is what you cannot say with words.
Art just happens. I saw it tonight, walking home with my boyfriend and my dog. The dog decided to use the open space of an empty lot to do one of his favorite things, run. Since Bonzo (the dog) was running, and Owen (not the dog) was holding Bonzo's leash, Owen was running too. I trotted behind, trying to keep up. Bonzo danced and spun around Owen, and the broken glass coruscated against the black pavement, making it seem as though the heavens had fallen and flipped 180 degrees on the way down. And it seemed as though that had happened just so Owen and Bonzo could dance there.
My art will never be as meaningful as the old masters, and never as meaningless as Dada. If I don't aspire to one extreme or another, where do I go? My short answer to the problem is to renounce the title "artist," but that seems cliche somehow. Maybe it's just because I'm a perfectionist without the patience to further develop my craft.