Painting: “Peering Into The Future”
Recently, I was reading the “World Street Journal” dated Saturday/Sunday, January 2-3, 2010. As I continue to read, I decided to peruse through the section “Leisure & Arts”. In that section, I was struck by the title, under exhibitions entitled “Art That Defies That Definition” The sets of articles tend to review different museum and gallery shows. Without reading any of the articles, it was intriguing and baffling in its implication. It almost felt like a paradox to me. This is a statement that provokes the truth. If I can stretch my reasoning a little further, it provokes human conscience in academia and art. What is Art? & What can be considered Art? The article written by Lance Esplund about the show “Gabriel Orozco” at the Museum of Modern Art running through March 1, 2010 borders on a controversy encompassing the art world. “Orozco” organized by MoMA’s chief curator of painting and sculptures; Lance said, seems to focus on the “transformation of the concept of sculpture-via innumerable mediums and methods”. The part of the article that touches the most sensitive artistic fiber of my creative soul was the fact that a two year old girl pounce on one of the artworks, “Recaptured Nature”(1990) comprising of two inflated inner tubes fashioned into a sphere, and looks like a big black rubber ball. The little girl reached out to probably to play with one of the pieces and was scolded by her mother, and museum guards. The screaming girl was carried out of the show Lance said. Wow!! While I do not want to jump to any conclusion based on her action, because a 2 year old would do that with any piece. On the contrary, I’ve heard my 14-year-old son question certain work that is considered art as well. What I question is the curatorial decision to consider such a work as art against the ones they deemed unfit or reject. What is the paradigm that they use to arrive at such decisions? As an artist, I am open-minded and try to look at every art within its “TRUE JUSTIFICATION”. But at the same time, a piece of that nature provokes dialogue in-terms of curatorial decision as they write their philosophy and approach to defining the playing field in art. I search for reasoning & explanation relating to their judgment between what they chose to consider or accept into such shows, as they question another piece or artist work that carries a more technical and artistic approach. This brings me to my painting “Peering Into The Future”
Peering Into The Future is a painting that resulted from my painful consciousness and conscience as an affected, symbiotically connected “War Artist”. This painting does not provide the root for escapism or fantasy. It examines a stricter dialogue with human rights, ethics, and confronts the viewer face to face with such issues in the painting. The painting becomes a mirror for their reflections whether personal or psychological. Well, who cares about such a topic when it does not affect them? Why do some of us want to engage in deliberate negation or denial anyway? The curator in a museum that I exhibited refused to show this painting because she felt it was too strong. But in that same museum, works by two of my influences “Sheeba Sharrow and Leon Golub have been exhibited. Sheeba Sharrow had a major exposition there. We have all experienced an innumerable amount of art works of such nature ranging from the crucifixion, Goya and Lucian Freud’s tormented pieces etc. These artists progressed and emerge as the influential figures in art. Such decisions of what is art or what they want to show in museums or galleries is becoming more personal, preferential based on their own appreciation, sense, reasoning and the artistic dialogue that they seem to embrace and propagate. Should the artists continue to play into the philosophy pretentiously while engaging in such a creative process? In my role as an artist, this is a responsibility I handle with serious intent and inner soul-searching dialogue. Duchamp for instance was accepted and a clever spin was placed on the appreciation of his work. He was celebrated as an Avant-Guarde artist. While if it was not for Dr Barnes, who decided to develop his own approach how to look at art, Chaim Soutine’s paintings would have been rejected. Dr Barnes "promote the advancement of education and the appreciation of the fine arts." from a different perspective. Who would have even thought a toilet would make it into a Museum? Therefore, Critical judgment of art is more political and preferential than such institutions would want to accept.
As a result, I am determined to continue to explore my inner true soul and practice this discipline with a safe conscience. One that looks into my soul as an artist, but seem to put the basic approach of its premise first to provide the vehicle for my creativity. This is the reason why this painting reflects my inner thoughts and emotions through the didactic and emotional nature of the brush strokes. My style is characterized by thick, convulsive brushwork, through which I can express my frustration, tenderness, as well as turbulent psychological states. It looks at pain, anger, in-humanity, injustice, and provide a dialogue within the sancrosanct temple of painting. It combines the technical approach of painting and sculpture with such physicality in the process. This I hope conveys my feelings as an artist, which I hope would affect or touch my viewers. Therefore, my viewer’s reactions are much more rewarding and fulfilling than a decision from an intellectual that would engage in a bias decision.