First let me show you my work from the last couple of days—only a couple of drawings were made. I like the first one better. The second drawing flew away from me while working on the man's head. After I show my drawings I will tell you about an artist I consider an important influence, someone I have followed for many years, Jim Nutt. He works, and lives, in Chicago. An exhibit of Jim Nutt's paintings, entitled "Coming into Character," opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on January 29th and will continue until May 29, 2011. Jim Nutt is essentially interested in similar problems to those I have taken on—human physiognomy and relationships.
I also want to mention Ronald M. Shaich today. He is not an artist, but the founder, and Chairman of the Board, of "Panera Bread Corporation." Ronald Shaich was profiled in an article entitled "Etc. Hard Choices," in the February 7 - February 13, 2011 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek. In this article he was quoted: "My decisions are formed by where I want to go. You can see the sculpture you're trying to make. Then you have to iterate to get there." It is interesting that Mr. Shaich uses an art image in his speech ("see the sculpture..."), but more interesting is his means to problem solving, i.e. visualizing a goal, and then using an iterative process to obtain the solution. When I make art the goal is being formed as the art is being made. This occurs within individual pieces, and, on a larger scale, toward obtaining the overall goal of expressing my comprehension of existence through art. In other words, the main driving force in making art is the goal to comprehend one's observation of existence; fashioning the comprehension into substance is the act of making art. Shaich spells out a process that works well; the artist's first job is to identify the goal of each piece, then to problem solve through an iterative process. If this process occurs daily the artist will move, through his or her body of work, toward achieving an oeuvre which is self-rewarding in its expression of the artist's personal take on existence. This iterative process toward achieving a goal is similar to the process taught in engineering schools. To see how Dartmouth College's Thayer School of Engineering teaches the process select this link:
BTW: My visualization of the Engineering Problem Solving Cycle appears on page 2 of the Thayer School pdf document..
Let's take a quick look at Jim Nutt's work within the context of my reflexion on Ronald M. Shaich's view of problem solving. Jim Nutt has been making feminine portrait heads for over two decades. He is obsessed with this image. The image immediately below is dated 2010, and after it I post a cover from the February 1992 issue of "Art in America." There is change in his work; the 2010 work is better than that shown in 1992, but the leap, over two decades, does not appear drastic. The third work of Jim Nutt's is dated 1986. He does not seem to be making works with the couple theme any longer (I'll have to see his new show in Chicago to say this with authority).
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.