Monday, July 28, 2008

i was reading some writing by the artist, christopher rico and he asked where the heroic painting was... good question. the answer is that it's in the studios of inspired artists of strength and vigor, in studios with stains of paint on the floor and slashing brushstrokes across  some walls. there may be drawings scattered about the space, perhaps old coffee cans of brushes and turp, paint spattered newsprint and  masking tape are strewn about... yeah, the heroic paintings... the epic, profound painting, and indeed, art is out there. we just have to look a bit harder to find it. perhaps we just have to make it. as barnett newman admonished us (i paraphrase), sometimes a painter has to paint something to have something to look at-- sometimes he must write so as to have something to read. great art is not easy. it can be difficult to look at and it is for sure difficult, if not nearly impossible to create. fine. we continue... i've been thinking a lot about this lately. there are untold numbers of unknown artists who may have shared beers with the great of their generation, but did their own work in utter obscurity. but the work was done. perhaps they sold a few over the years, perhaps not. you look at joan mitchells work and see it's not much, for the most part. think about how many stronger artists were out there working hard  that never made it. but i digress...

at the action/abastraction show at the jewish museum, i got (once again) what it was all about-- the act; the act and the  values that the artists before pushed forward...  what i'm talking about here is intent and emotional content, perhaps spiritualism and yes, heroism-- the epic utterance of creation. 

late this afternoon i drove out to the brooklyn studio. digging the natural light flooding in, i worked 3 or 4 canvases, went into a large drawing (acrylic and charcoal) and sat back and checked it all out... then i drove down the street to steiner studios and picked up my woman from her tv gig and drove over the bridge to manhattan. after parking, we stopped into an opening at the 2/20 gallery on 16th street, curated by the dealer larry sobribski. it was good work-- late 60's modernism-- works on paper and some sculptural works... some good names in there as well, michel steiner, pozzi and moss. some others that escape me now... but i'll get back to it in the next day or so. and then we kept walking home a few blocks to a hot bath and glass of cold vodka.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

ok, yeah... it has been a heavy few months. but that just  means you're living life. the day back i fucked my knee up in aikido, training with (6th dan) gary snyder. the next night gary and i work on the Pinan katas and then went out to the brooklyn studio and looked at paintings. First of all, i must say, gary is one of the most talented martial artists i've been  in contact with. Having said that, i will go on to say that his understanding, in regards to painting, is an understanding of the finest connoisseur. he said he saw 20% weakness and 80% strength in the work. fair enough. of particular note, he mentioned his  criteria for looking art... a fascinating evening. and much appreciated.

 a few weeks later the dealer, bjorn ressle came out. we shared a bottle of cote du rhone and looked at the work. we'll see what happens... bjorn wants to get some of the big critics out for lunch and to the studio. both lilly wei and bob morgan were mentioned. as usual, we'll see what happens...

the openings of chelsea have been pretty pathetic. not only is it summer (when nyc closes shop) but it's just an uninspired mix of student art and general crap. enough said... having said that, the  action/abstraction show at the jewish museum is truely incredible. i mean that-- truely incredible. i met the artist/author marjorie welish there 2 weeks ago. marjorie is a true new york intellectual, old school, hard core intellect. but as for the exhibit-- major works by major artists... the single greatest rothko i've seen in the flesh-- an incredible piece (untitled, 1961), a dark, brooding piece, of strong painterly notion and intent. fine minor works by newman and a singularly sublime piece by reinhardt. yeah, beautiful...

and now i'm coming off several really good days in the studio. 

right now, i can't complain...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

ok, i'm back on this... life throws many difficulties your way, as an artist, or as anybody... so, you deal with it and then get back in the studio and do your work. 

it's been a heavy couple of months... more to  come.