As days have become frayed about the edges, reminiscing is sweet preoccupation with more distinction than time spent waiting for things to get better. If the little "if" didn't exist we would be enjoying Europe by now. As it is, Paul and I are making the best of it on our property in Texas, unable to return to Upstate, NY. Shutting out the noise of the world is nearly impossible. The cacophony is deafening, muting my imagination. What relevance is there in art? Once there was no such question. If it wasn't art, it wasn't relevant. Silently, I hide alone in a studio behind a closed door, making attempts to express an idea on a two-dimensional surface. Unless posted on Facebook, the image goes nowhere. My first paintings were made in Japan where I spent most of my childhood. I began painting because no one liked my singing. Sounds, while not coming out of my mouth, float through the solitude of my head proving to be just as annoying. Silence fills up quickly with the transmutation of energy.
The conclusion to my study of art history in New York City was that the development of art is defined by an indefinable concept. A concept dismantled in the very hands of those whose mission it is to make it their own. The study of art history nearly ruined me. With great intellectual sophistication, we put forth the devolution of art to demonstrate our increasing understanding of how we think art can be defined. A painting doesn’t have to be anything but exposed stretcher bars and bare canvas. Aesthetics play very little role. The rabid assemblage of objects and nonsensical smearing of paint are given a title and a price tag. During a time that exercises very little judgment or criterion, abstractions even though sensitively rendered, appear as sheer phenomenon. With or without subject matter, with or without content, not everything is art. Although
I sing my heart out, it is not necessarily song to the ears. A high degree of inclusivity leads to the compulsive gathering of ideas. We feel knowledgable, but place the ideas into an art basket woven with holes believing it to be burgeoning while all the while art is dropping out all over the place and us having no collective sense where it has gone.
What about the Avant-garde? Art can be art as long as it is new?
The Avant-garde marched art to the guillotine. In striving to be different and fresh on the scene, the body is found in one place the head in another.
I saw foam, the same type used for stuffing couches, encased in a lucite box and occupying the space of a gallery floor. What good is a concept when the idea is lost. Is that avant-garde? Could be, why otherwise assign an aesthetic value much less a profit motive to a piece of foam regardless of what the gallery owner says. More and more, it is harder and harder to contribute a work of art that is historically meaningful. No one is making anything new because everyone is. The Avant-garde, even if something new and socially and politically present were to emerge, would be appropriated and excreted into egalitarian form. We live in a media age that vaporizes the world in everyone's pocket.
As with my singing, I may grasp the concept, but it is no one’s idea of how a song should sound. I paint not knowing if it is or isn’t, not knowing what it is if it is and if it’s new, wouldn’t know it. Luckily, because art is presently more about deconstruction rather than development, it is a good place to remove women from the shadow and rewrite art history.
A woman's journal of art could be called: trouble with the past tense, difficulty with the future tense. A very good female painter said to me there is no place for women in art. I say to Eva, Rome was built from the rubble of the dark ages. Even with the debridement of patriarchal wounds, women have a hard time liking themselves once the scab is gone. The paucity of women in art museums, on library shelves, our income disparity, are the manifest result of sexual molestation wielded like a hammer to keep us in check.
I paint because I am a feminist, I paint because I cannot sing. Within the deluge of quantity, the doubt of quality, subjectivity becomes the most important aspect of a work of art and what is more interesting than the expression of one’s self. The making of art is creation and like nature, the meaning, the purpose, and future remain elusive. Creation is wondrous,
I paint because painting is wonderful. Making art is not about the finished product, it is about the pursuit. I suppose our lives are like that.