“Superstorm” Sandy passes through and I am without power for four days. My wife has been out of town and I have the flu. I feel sorry for myself.
Awake at 1am, my thoughts turn to those I love and those I miss and those to whom I have much to say but never for whom I find words or time or the right moment to speak how much I admire and care
I ache all over.
Where does art come from? Why do we make it? Why do we seek it?
Larry Shiner argues that art is an invention, absent as a concept from some cultures and understood numerous ways by others. It is more a product of our imagination and reason than a pure, true thing. We made it up.
Some quotations on art:
“Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.” (Agnes Martin)
“Even the act of peeling a potato can be a work of art if it is a conscious act.” (Joseph Beuys)
“The art in it is the forever mute part you can talk about forever.” (Willem De Kooning)
At 1am, I am so alone.
I believe in art, but I also believe it is an invention. (I embrace the magical thinking it takes to hold on to these seemingly contradictory positions.)
My faith in art does not always work (one of my failings), but I believe art is always at the ready: not to deny our solitude our mortality our frailty, but to offer a buttress against feeling overwhelmed by everything. Art is balm.
“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” (Maya Angelou)
My paintings and drawings are love letters. We all have love letters to share with one another. It helps.