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Monthly Archives: October 2010

“Looking at one of my works can, I hope, be like watching a flame or a running river. I want people to forget for a second what they are looking at and inhabit a parallel world, where abstract things make perfect sense as long as you are willing to take the time to look.”

Zilvinas Kempinas interview


“I can’t help but perceive images and language as inherently material, but also as material that is sensed in cognition, that only exists in concept, and that is also entirely real. Maybe it is paradoxical to make a claim for something abstract and defined as concept to also be real. Yet with the flood (and accessibility) of more and more information in recent years, I perceive this deluge as something palpable, if only in a space as seemingly de-materialized as the realm of cognition. (Which, in fact, seen through the lens of science, is entirely material).”

Carter Mull interview

“To me, the visual experience is the most important thing ultimately. Maybe my definition of beauty is different, but I’m most excited about discovery as part of the visual experience and things changing over the course of that experience or the course of an exhibition. That’s what I prioritize the most. Right now, I’m really excited about this idea that you could never see the same thing twice in an exhibition. I know that may be an impossibly tall order, but I think discovery and change are the most beautiful things.”

Phoebe Washburn interview.

“Alfred H. Barr Jr., the Modern’s visionary founding director, drew a well-known outline of Modern art movements and famously likened the museum’s collection to a torpedo moving through time. The implication was that the collection’s involvement with the present is broad, but its back end is increasingly narrow, as superfluous, minor art falls away. But art is not so amenable to outlining, and art movements are really messy, edgeless things that should only become more so with age. Maybe it is time for a new, less militant metaphor. One possibility is a perpetually expanding umbrella, where everything — a historical moment, a museum’s reach and our consciousness — only increases.”

Roberta Smith (NY Times article)

RW: Intuitively, it seems to me that among artists there’s some form of the wish—if not always consciously—to find what truly comes from one’s self. The need to find my own thought, my own step, my own perception. It’s a profoundly difficult thing to do, but when one has that experience does that not, in itself, give meaning to one’s life?

EMC: To find one’s self in a gesture or in an artwork, even if vaguely, becomes a hint of our possibilities, which invigorates life with the sense of purpose. Of course, these discoveries don’t happen everyday, but struggling against one’s limitations is often good enough to give meaning to one’s life.

Enrique Martinez Celaya (Works & Conversations interview)

RW: Well, Wittgenstein pretty much reduced what we can say to language games, right? No deep questions need apply, I guess. But with Wittgenstein, there’s this category of “that of which we can not speak.” And he also said, “that which can not be said, sometimes can be shown.” This is pretty interesting, don’t you think?

EMC: Yes. And life, like art, is one way “to show.” Wittgenstein wrote about logic, mathematics, language, color, but the concerns that seemed most important to him—ethics, belief, spirit—he lived. And as a moral man facing the contradictions that I spoke about, he struggled with himself and judged his actions by standards that he often failed.

Maybe this goes back to the beginning of our conversation. To talk about ethics, to talk about what is good or bad is interesting, but somewhat useless and academic. To live life with integrity is the thing.

And the purpose of art is to support and clarify that endeavor.

Enrique Martinez Celaya (works and conversations interview)

works: I think there is a hunger for anything that can return us to such elemental truths. Some art has been able to do that, but now the situation is in question. There is also the meaning that comes from the making of it, if there can be a place for it.

RB: Fundamentally, there is something relevant to the statement, “Some people need to do this” It’s like this group of people down in Georgia—they call them “clay eaters”. They actually eat red clay because there is no other source around them for a certain mineral they need. None of them are dieticians, but something tells them.

There’s a rational articulation of what the drive is, but the drive itself is something more fundamental. I think that’s what artists are sensing. Something down there tells you there is a lack of nourishment, or balance. It’s biological. There is something about mind over matter, and transformation, which is deeply sustaining to some people. I think most of the time people are separated not only from nature, but from their own natures, which is to find some avenue where you can transform something. Maybe it’s just a little microcosm where you have control, and you usher this passage of material into form, and have the artifact of that passage to help you do it again.

Richard Berger (works & conversations interview)

“It’s about getting so deep into your work that it starts to tell you what to do. And then it’s about building on this conversation… I think it’s interesting that the work is in some ways like a mirror. It’s a mirror to you. If you recognize and identify, for example, obsession-compulsion, there’s some level of self-recognition in this observation. The two of us are the subject of this observation. Ultimately, it’s a conversation between you and me.”
Sarah Sze (Brooklyn Rail interview)

Prospective artists need to develop a portfolio of their best work—and then they need to sell it. Most artwork is sold through art galleries and dealers. The best-known galleries in the United States are located in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Artists compete to have their work shown in those galleries, but many fine artists also sell their work through local galleries across the country.

Read more: Artist Job Description, Career as an Artist, Salary, Employment – Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Job Description