Friday, January 19, 2007

Fictionalized Artist Statement

Fictionalized Artist Statement

This artist statement is a work of fiction, any resemblance between characters, situations, or authors is purely coincidental. No artists were harmed in the recording of this statement.

My studio is a door.
I, the self that is now writing, enters it and a different I, the I who paints steps out the other side. Sometimes he watches me as I peer out of the mirror, studiously watching him work. Sometimes he paints me watching him. The artifacts of this phenomena I title "self-portraits," frequently appending a subtitle that I think is witty or seems insightful at the time. Sadly it is often this linguistic framing that the viewers most heed. My audience, for his audience is dead and unborn.

Once he was my servant. His brush did my bidding. Indeed, I have phantom memories of the feel of thick colors being caressed into blending, like a dream about a nearly forgotten lover. He is silent, speaking only with his brush, only when behind the podium of the easel. This, I was prepared for and could handle. The strange speech of value and space, hue and illumination, I was fluent in, as long as I had my normal language of thought available the rest of the time. The daily chatter of words, analyzing reality in terms of thesaurus and dictionary.

Soon however, I was slipping into his strange spatial awareness elsewhere, obsessing, reading, and researching this craft that so defines him. He took that data of the greatest interest to him as his own, and mocked me as a dilettante. I now believe him to be perversely enamored with immortality. There is little I can do to frame his work as marketable, and he will not capitulate concerning his art. He is only interested in that which extends the longevity of the body and soul of his work.

I fight him.
I have tried to placate him with other dialects of visual speech, photography, the glistening newness of digital media. It is no use. They only incite him, make him mope, pout, and rage for the studio all the more.

I am his mask.
He is the will.
He makes his grandiloquent philosophical treatises in pigment. He knows what he is doing. I know, I watch him constantly, as he slaves for hours with canvas and oils. It is my job to tell the world what he is doing. I am horrible at it. We don't really talk, just the small talk of workers passing each other at the changing of the shifts. I try to guide him, as one might guide oneself in a dream, leaving notes and suggestions for him on the work table and mirror, post-its on palette and easel.
It doesn't matter; there is no talking to him. He doesn't care for theory, unless it can be used as a weapon against me, against words.

How can I represent him? I speak the language of words and grammar, lines placed according to oh, so many rules, on the page. He abhors line, like some artist's abhor black, Line to him is one of the most heinous abominations of human thought. He blends and smudges line to soften it's harshness. There is no line in his world, only densely compacted mists flowing into one another. He wants me to believe that there can be a world of humans with out line.
It is a madness he proves to me with every new painting. A madness I can no longer resist.

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