Monday, October 30, 2006

My vote.

"The Birches" 48 x 60" acrylic on canvas 2006

Dennis Hopper once once said in an interview on collecting painitngs "I don't care what the artist's intentions were. If I see something I like, I buy it." This from a man who has an extensive collection of contemporary work from artists known and unknown.

I love the honesty in his statement. It's absolutely true. People either feel something or they don't and no amount of convincing is really going to make a difference. So why do I worry about trying to explain myself here and elsewhere?

At the opening of my October show at Tag, I was asked several of those questions that artists hear frequently. One in particular keeps replaying in my mind, the dreaded "what is your favorite?". In this case, the couple was genuine and warm. I liked them. Only, how am I supposed to answer a question like that?

I spent nearly 4 months continuously working to create that show of 20 paintings. Everything was there for a reason. Nothing wasted. How am I supposed to pick one above the others? Any answer I give is going to be subjective. Any answer I give is a condemnation of the other 19 paintings. So what did I say?

I told the truth. "I can't say which is my favorite. It changes on different days. Somedays it's "The Birches" or "Hillside" get the idea. It's not as if I'm going to lie. I ended with a question of my own "does that help?"

It's funny that some people want and need an additional vote of assurance from me personally to buy one of my paintings. Even if I had a definitive answer, why would I want to rob them of the chance to make their own unique decision? How much should one say about what they do? I'm not, after all, a writer.

I've always loved to watch people work, using their hands, making things. I think we all want to see the process revealed. It's why reality television and blogs are so popular. I like to talk about what I'm doing and why. I don't mind trying to deconstruct the process. I'm passionate about what I do! .....but though it pains me to say so, it's not a sound basis for buying a specific work of art.

A painting should move you. If you feel that, don't ignore it. It's real enough without me or anyone else substantiating it. It's no more complicated than buying what you like.


1 comment:

PaMdora said...

It's interesting that people ask you that. No one ever asks me which is my favorite of my own work -- but sometimes I ask THEM which is their favorite, especially when I can't think of anything else to say. It often tells me something interesting about the person who is a stranger to me, maybe those people who ask that are struggling for something to say, or maybe they want you to ask them the same question. Who knows, people are funny...