Archive for month: May, 2014

Forum des Artistes

Please join us for the Opening of a Group Exhibition: Forum des Artistes

Opening    Wednesday June 4th from 6 pm

Vernissage    mercredi 4 juin 2014 à 18:00

Presented by the AFFAIRES CULTURELLES DE MONACO

Exhibition  June 5th -15th 2014      Hours 2 pm – 6 pm Daily

Exposition  5 – 15 Juin 2014  14:00 – 19:00

Auditorium Rainier III –  Monaco

 

The Universe Leading

Where do artists find their art?
Is the universe leading us or might we, as mere mortal beings, humbly have something to do with it?
Passion must be involved, as well as our obstinacy to continue when all seems lost.
I believe that while our creativity can come from many different sources one of the most important among these is experience and observation of the world we live in.
If we observe our lives and are aware of our feelings and emotions we find myriad of choices.
The stories we have lived and starred in teach us and through careful observation we will understand things that might have escaped us before.

When I am working I often wonder how much is an accident and how much is choice.
For instance, when I am doing what I call “reverse engineering” where I remove some of the wax layers of the sculpture I am working on, I am engaging in a huge leap of faith that requires me to let go.
Chance and happenstance is now controlling the process.
Is that me or is it the universe creating?
Undeniably, the result could never have come about without letting go of that control, at whatever risk!

Who was it that said that the most talented people are those most aware of their deficiencies and the most willing to overcome them?
Sometimes it takes accepting that which we can’t do.
Richard Serra is a great example of this. [1]
After finishing grad school in Florence he went to view Velázquez’ Las Meninas at the Prado in Madrid.
Serra’s life changed that day.
Convinced he was no Velázquez he went back to Florence and threw all his paintings, easel and paint into the river.
He faced, admitted and even embraced a reality that was nothing less than horrible!

Yet, it was what happened next that matters.
He began an exploration using a list of verbs: to hold, to fold….etc and actually did these things to many different types of materials.
When he got to: ‘To Lift’ (now at MOMA) he did this to a large piece of rubber and this was the start of the rest of his life as an artist.
Serra had found his voice.
With his monumental pieces he has done what he realized he could not do with painting and in embracing that reality his genius had a chance.
Standing between what we dream of and what we hoped for is hard.
Yet, if we can somehow embrace that place and call it home, we may find that sometimes things brake for a reason and we might be surprised with what happens next.

The stories of our lives, experience, limitations and losses, in essence, the challenges of life will mysteriously change our lives.
It is just like with my reverse engineering, if we are listening creativity can get the chance to resound far beyond our dreams.

By Boky and Blake

 

[1] https://www.ted.com/talks/julie_burstein_4_lessons_in_creativity#t-1016885

Anarchy of Silence

Sometimes we just don’t know what to say…..There are simply too many choices!

Like John Cage’s silent piece 4’33’’ or the empty room at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona during the exhibition John Cage and Experimental Art: The Anarchy of Silence.
I wonder if anything should be said at all?

The idea of the empty room for the exhibition was very subversive at the time.
It would have been clear to anyone going to see this Cage exhibition that this was the center of the exhibition, the empty room.

Like the silent piece, 4’33’’, where virtuoso pianist David Tudor got on stage, sat at the piano, opened the keyboard for thirty seconds, then closed and re-opened it for two minutes twenty-three seconds and again closed and re-opened it for one minute forty seconds before leaving the stage. [1]

Confronted with ourselves and nothing other than the emptiness of that room (or the silence in a note-less piece of music) we have only our memory to guide us and help us negotiate these concepts that point to the excesses of the post-war avant-garde.

Is this merely a reaction to the early abstraction of the 1920’s where the external world was constantly referenced?
Was the pendulum swinging as it does, eternally taking us from one thing to the extreme and then swinging back?
The compounding of artistic knowledge builds on the last idea, leading us away from the accepted norms, towards transgression.

Everything changes over time and my Angels today are clearly existing in a world of conceptual abstraction yet contrary to early abstraction, they reference our interior world.

This internal abstraction solicits our memory in much the same way as John Cage’s 4’33’ does.
With the suggestions of the body, they depict the beauty and the complexity of men and women.
Not everything is explained but rather left for the viewer’s instinct to take in and understand.

Yes! There are too many choices, yet it is in looking deep within that we access our memory and find a voice to tell that untold story….
The Angels invite us to evolve, to let go of the outside world and turn toward the inside….

‘Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside, awakes’
Carl Gustav Jung

By Boky and Blake

[1] http://rosewhitemusic.com/piano/writings/silence-taught-john-cage/

Art and Metaphor

Both a metaphor and a work of art are things representing something else.

A work of art can be analogous to our conceptual imagination.

Concrete and physical, a work of art can express something that our minds or hearts understand so completely that we not only accept it but we embrace it.

While paradoxically metaphors can be said to stretch truths regarding our physical world, they trigger emotions that run deep within.

Is this type of identification at the heart of art appreciation?

Certainly we can quantify elements, technique and quality, but is that why we fall in love with a particular piece of art?

I would suggest that technical analysis or observation cannot explain this phenomenon.

Art, like a metaphor, has the power of grabbing the heart and blasting past the logical mind, enticing us to see within the artwork images of our own lives, or perhaps a moment within history that we see is lived over and over again.

This allows us to identify in some way with the work of art in question.

Why is it that Rembrandt’s Lucretia had such an effect on me when I first saw it?

I froze and couldn’t take my eyes off it.

Even now, when I think of that moment the words of Emily Dickens ring out: “I saw no way, the heavens were stitched…”

Was this pseudo-Stendhal effect due to my love for poetry?

What caused these two images to converge at that very moment and why can I not forget it?

Is it that the events told of in Lucretia have been repeated so recently in our world and are in some ways analogous to the events that have occurred in the Arab Spring?

Is this why this work of art remains close in my memory?

The images in my dreams often defy the logical mind yet when I awake I can still continue to live within that reality, for a little while, especially when creating.

I wonder if in creating a piece I am providing a world for someone else’s heart, like Rembrandt did for mine.

Life is full of mysteries….

By Boky and Blake

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