Pitting myself against myself is difficult, but necessary. I suffer as I accept the pain that is acknowledgment of the crutches I have used to feel secure. Security comes from knowledge, but knowledge is mostly based upon the past; such as Art History. Easy instincts can be delusional. Becoming oneself requires acceptance of delusion. Delusion is based upon experience. Trueness is found internally. Experience is external interaction with the people and the places one encounters. Places are more pure than people. People are a confusing mess of bias. Bias is quick acceptance of perception. Perception is not always true; what one sees is not always actual circumstance. Ask a magician.
The drawings I show today are from 7/12/2020. In making them I tried to dispel instinct. Instinct calls for me to fill the page with marks and forms. Marks and forms come easy to me. Hard for me is to hunker down into personal judgement. If done well, judgmental decisions make possible immediate perception of truth. This is the suffering part. Eating ice cream is easy; ice cream is a known delight, one that never fails to reward with pleasure. Easy pleasure is ingrained in humans by millennia of evolutionary success. This is bias. I am here now. Easy pleasure is not expression. Easy pleasure is falling into evolutionary instincts. Eating ice cream corrupts the human body. Ice cream is filled with high cholesterol animal fat and pure white sugar, both of which slowly degrade the body when chronically consumed. Chronic consumption, based on instinctual bias, is an obvious corruption of reality. Drug addicts will tell you this; sugar addicts will tell you this.
I am on a quest to find truth, truth free of bias. I want my art to be lastingly true, for me and for those who observe my art. Being internally authentic is not free of pain, particular the pain that is deprivation of easily available pure pleasure.
Things must change! I am well educated; thus I am well tied to past knowledge. This restricts me because knowledge is the stuff that came before me. I am uncomfortable because the past does not adequately inform my present. I am not those who came before me. I am me. I am here, I am now. That which has happened is useful, like a good diving board, but it does not fully clarify who I am. Education is who and what there was, not who and what I am. I do not want to be redundant. I do not want to be repetitive. I want to be myself.
In yesterday's drawing I stopped myself before I overwhelmed it with past history. I require radical alteration. I accept my despair. I have made great art, but my art is in the books, my art is in this blog; my past art appeared like fungus on a log; it grew from art history and personal history. That is not good enough! It does not make me. It does not represent me. It represents acquisition of all that has come before.
Rules have been made because history has been made. I grew up with intense interest in visual arts, especially painting and drawing, I studied art history. I looked for models. I looked for information. I gathered it, assiduously and thoroughly. Here I am, playing differently than any model I have ever seen in art history, or in contemporary art. I am myself. Yet, I have not rid myself of the laws I learned from art history and from art school studies. Yesterday's drawing is amazing in its play with form, composition, mark-making, value-contrast, atmospheric and local effects; but it has a deep foundation in the stuff that came before. Is this good or bad? That is a question I continue to answer. This is the process! I have established myself as myself. Now I question the validity of my answers. I am wondering, "Is this drawing remarkable because it plays with rules I invented myself?" OR "Is this drawing just another variation on the rules I have been given by those who made art before me?" Question #2: "Does it matter?" I need to know. Thus I proceed.
I am re-visiting the entire history of Western Art. I am trying to move it forward. Is that grandiosity speaking, or is it reality? One thing is for sure: Nothing has been done that can't be done better.
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