I don't think that I am making art in any kind of Historical context, and at the same time I know I am not making it in a vacuum. So far the Great Oil Spill and our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have not entered my work. Maybe, anyway. Maybe I am not as free and independent as I think I am? I found a new Blog that discusses Art in the context of History (Shipwreckstudio.blogspot.com/) and it is getting me to think! Damn, I hate that! Not only have I discovered that I have been trying to climb a mountain all my life when I should have been going around it, I also discover that I may not be immune to forces around me!
My Art is in a response. I am just a welder, that is all I pretend to be. I am appalled when I see the mass import of iron work from China and Mexico. I shudder when I see it in the stores and cringe a bit when I see it in your yard. It is not well made. It is poorly welded. It is feeble at best and won't support itself, as art nor as a support for plants. I worry about our resources and that these were not worth the diesel it cost to get them to us. I think of 140 million steel panels all identical and scattered all over the world. Okay, I learned a lot from Miss Shipwreck's essay but it has left me feeling not more educated and smarter. I am a victim! I need a phsycotherapist who specializes is metal, understands what it is that I am trying to do.
I am a one man war in a battle against junk. When I am long gone and dead and if Art Historians ever find me (I can't really imagine them digging that deep!), I will be thrown into the era of mass importation. One warrior amongst many who battled it out against this world of importation. I know I do this that is why most of my Art is big. If it can fit into those horrible, poorly made brown cardboard boxes from "overseas"
I lose interest it making it. That is a response to History, isn't it? Sign of the times and maybe a futile battle at that.
I like to think my "other art" is different. I took up painting about a year ago and with great purpose I don't investigate anybody. I refuse to study any kind of painted art. I don't want to know what they do or how they do it or what historical markers made an impression on them. I am a virgin artist when it comes to paint. I have no clue as to what I am doing, whether it is good or bad or indifferent. I do it for fun only and it is not for sale. Most of it isn't even real in the sense that you could touch it or see it in another light. I paint away, happily, madly, carefree and without thought or obligation. When it is done I take a photo of it and put it into my computer. Sleeping maybe, like a virus. Then I paint over it. Some of my paintings are seven layers deep, quickly one after another. The last one standing gets to live. They are painted for my enjoyment
and maybe, by definition that means they are not art. Somewhere I read that art must be shared to be art.
My Other Blog is Here.