Show entry, new statement
26 January 2009 Leave a comment
So I’ve bought a ticket New York for the IAM Encounter gathering, and since I still had a day I thought I’d submit a couple of works for the adjacent show. As part of the application, I wrote a new artist statement. I think it’s pretty good for me, but it is — undoubtedly — written for the two works I chose to submit. I’m posting the statement here, followed by the two works they refer to.
“We don’t want merely to see beauty . . . We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”
The sentiment Lewis expresses in the above quote, a burning but enigmatic desire to become a part of what is beautiful, could spawn a thousand interpretations. If I were to elaborate on the quote, I might suggest that — whether we’re aware of it or not as humans — we innately pursue a Divine aesthetic.
This pursuit of a Divine aesthetic underpins my own artistic endeavors. Carving from a block of wood, modeling a lump of clay or assembling found objects I reflect on the original beauty of the materials in my hand. My hope, however futile, is to create something that speaks towards an unfettered beauty, beauty with a capital B.
Beauty with a capital B isn’t always what we expect. Something I pick up in the road — a rusted piece of sheet metal, a tangle of wire flattened by so many cars, half a shake shingle — generally elicits eyes and groans of disgust. A menacing thunderstorm on the edge of a prairie, with it’s potential to ruin a crop with hail or drop a tornado that aims to flatten a community, can levy fear upon a crowd.
However, there is also incredible beauty in a billowing storm. There is incredible beauty in the patina of crumpled, rusted steel lying in a roadway. Meditative poetry and contemplative metaphor hide in such entropy. I hope to extract just a little of this poetry and metaphor from my own intentional observations, infuse it into my work and share it with a viewer.
So there is hope.