Excellence removes some doubt...
Yesterday I entered the studio with doubts about the painting "Four at the Table." I entered the studio in the afternoon, after I spending the morning watching the 3+ hour movie "The Seven Samurai" by Akira Kurosawa. Wow. The movie reminded me that great art is profound because the subject is elegantly displayed, and not because the subject itself is profound. There is nothing incredibly new and revelatory in "The Seven Samurai," yet one leaves it with great satisfaction. It is about love, camaraderie, combatting evil, the community being more important than the individual, and the triumph of those who understand the common mistake of the combative and competitive to allow emotions to dominate intelligence. The subject of "The Seven Samurai" is often repeated in novels and movies, as is the nude in drawing and painting (witness Edgar Degas' Nudes as displayed in this blog on 10/27/2011). However, "The Seven Samurai," and the best Nudes by Degas, speak more profoundly than most of the rest of similarly themed art. Yesterday I dispelled some of my doubts about my own direction. Can I make a painting of four people at a table and satisfy myself and the viewer? Yes I can. The excellence of yesterday's two drawings prove this. Their quality separates them from my normal work. They are profound because of the manner in which they are made, not because of the subject matter.
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