Bless Nicola Dale. She hit the nail on the head with her question: do you see your paintings as actual amalgams of other painters’ mark making down the ages onto the canvas in your here-and-now? Having read your cut and paste paragraph, I am wondering if this is the path you are trying to steer your viewer down…?
I have been working with these texts from my last post for the past several weeks trying to formulate and clarify my thoughts in regards to my latest work. I was going to use them to sort of help describe where I was going in my paintings, but I found as I continued to look at them, read them, consider them, they started to take on a life of their own. They, in effect, became a work of their own and it does parallel what I am attempting with my painting.
I think I must clarify something too. I responded partly in the negative to Nicola saying, “I’m not sure I would go as far as to say I’m trying to make an amalgam of other painter’s mark making just because I’m not trying to copy or imitate anyone’s mark making.” I can see that would perhaps produce some raised eyebrows because there is no denying that some of my marks look like other artist’s marks. What I mean is that I am not making a study of how an artist made a mark in order to mimic it. My drips are my drips, they are not copies of Jackson Pollock’s drips or Cy Twombly’s drips or any other artist who allows or allowed drips in their work. There is no denying that a drip is reminiscent of Abstract Expressionism or other Late Modern work and that is how I’m using a drip. I use a drip as a symbol of itself and of Late Modernism. My marks are my own and they are the things in this new work which reassert my identity as the artist. I focus my attention on how I make marks rather than how other artists made marks.
I am trying to amalgamate concepts, not just because it is what I’m seeing in regards to postconceptualism but also because amalgamation seems to be something that is true for me. Life has been a curious set of disparate realities all glued together by the very fact I have lived through them. I mean, life has not been a straight line of events for me. It has been more a series of events which have started & stopped, switched & changed, moved & shifted and the only continuity is my perception of the passage of time.
So once again the path I take artistically relates to what I know as a truth, personally.
Becky Hunter was kind enough to interview me recently and we talked about this point. She based her interview on a posting I did a while ago, #14, about what I feel are the responsibilities of an artist. She asked me “…when did I find out what I wanted to communicate?” Finding what I wanted to communicate wasn’t hard; the effort has been finding a way to express my personal experience in a way that is neither pedantic nor self-indulgent.
So where does the personal end and the art start? That is always a question, and it’s a question, I think, without an easy answer. We’re in a period where art is, or has dematerialized and those distinctions between art and life are perhaps blurrier than ever. Maybe it’s time to glue a few pieces back together and move forward.
Read Becky Hunter’s interview: http://www.beckyhunter.co.uk/2011/01/interview-artist-jane-lenore-boyer/#ixzz1ANQ7Mr7F
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