Sunday, November 25, 2007

BUT, IS IT ART?

French visionary Yves Klein was once quoted as saying, "An artist creates one masterpiece...himself constantly." I have always taken that quote to heart. It frees one up from the stagnation and drudgery of being labeled a painter, or musician, or photographer, etc. Art becomes lifestyle. What does an artist do? Basically anything he or she damn well pleases. Contexualization becomes the key. The banality of everyday existence can become fodder for the artist's body of work, or what I find is even more fun and rewarding is to change that banality to include unusual and sometimes exotic activities. So instead of being a producer of art objects, one becomes a collector of activities. Art objects may or may not occur. But in the end the marketplace plays a small, if not nonexistent, role in this type of artist's life. Sure, maybe it could be fun to be the type of artist who travels around the world, creating work for galleries and museums. But, as we all know, that lifestyle is reserved for a very few at the top, or the constantly changing "flavor of the season". In lieu of that, most artists toil at the day job and and create whatever, for themselves and a small community of friends and family.
Choosing to take a path that has led me further and further away from the so called art world initially caused me great concern and not a little amount of soul searching. Was I a quitter? A failure? Lazy? Not good enough? Not smart enough? Not talented enough? Why could I not get a show or a teaching job? Why did my more successful friends dismiss me and my work? Well, as the years ticked by, I was able to answer all these questions and come to a great sense of calm and satisfaction in defining myself as an artist. Why only a couple days ago I was hunting with a long legged Victoria Secret model huddled next to me on a tree, hunched up like a dog shitting razor blades. "I can't feel my feet.' she whispered in her cute French accent, between clenched teeth. "Do you see anything?" she asked, a shiver running down her lithe frame. I shook my head. Ah, the artist's life.