Monday, February 6, 2012

Monthly Art: February 2012

Dinosaur Bird Rising. SOLD
Acrylic on Natural Clay. 5" high.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

While Translating an Art Catalog Essay...

...for my friend Arvid Boecker's current show "take your time" at the Staedtische Galerie Neunkirchen, Germany, I was doing some research on Concrete Art and stumbled upon this expression by Theo van Doesburg: "JEDES BILD IST EIN FARBGEDANKE."..."Every Picture is a Color Thought". Wonderful.

In this vein, below a watercolor by Hopper from a few days ago. Oh, to paint like a child again! (His watercolors remind me a lot of Kandinsky.) Btw, the double curved red shape in the upper right corner is a bridge, the blue shape in the bottom right corner is a train...

I recently made a 9-minute-video of Hopper painting 1 watercolor, from start to finish. Watching it later, it was absolutely STRIKING how much unhindered, encouraged art-making does for a can literally WATCH while his self-confidence grows with every brushstroke, every decision. You can see in his concentration his own consciousness that every flick of his wrist has consequences for the picture. You see the delight he takes in the artwork that is uniquely his OWN.

I see a toddler's frustrations with hearing "no" or "be careful" or "not now, later" every day. As normal as a toddler's frequent sense of powerlessness is, ART is where he can have total control and total power, in the very best sense.

I just watched part of a documentary, "I Remember Better When I Paint". It is about programs that help patients with Alzheimer's through involving them with art, be it making art, or looking at & talking about art at the Louvre and other high art institutions. One professional said something that made SO much sense to me: Art has nothing to do with short term memory, so when people with Alzheimer's talk about a piece of art, they get involved in a different way than their everyday life enables them to. Their whole person, with all their stored long-term memories, that whole person that usually seems in retreat, emerges.

Isn't this the best thing about good art, about any kind of culture? That it reflects us as humans, that we can reflect back on it, that it binds us together across all kinds of borders? I think art is especially important for the very young and the very old...