Thursday, February 25, 2010

“Why do I create this image, object or subject?”

When I was a young artist I was mostly concerned with the process of making art. How do I do this or that, what medium should I learn? There was less to choose from then. Today with the expansion of artistic mediums into technology and multimedia there is a plethora of meaningful artistic directions for young artist to choose from.

In some ways I was lucky that I lived in simpler times. I found myself in the painting studios and the sculpture labs of master artists. I was seduced by the romantic concepts of oil on canvas and sculpting clay, stone and wood. The smells and sounds of each media was all so tactile and tangible, so I immerse myself in the creative process of a narrower direction. I became a sponge, good at picking up techniques and paid little attention to any meaning or content other then basic design elements. This was when process ruled my art it was all about the tools, brushes and quality of materials. I worked on the perfection of execution I had no idea about style because I did not know much about myself as an artist. It would be years spent in a misguided focus on insignificant trivia before I would be concerned about any meaningful content. After all I was young and inexperienced and soon came to think that I knew more then my teachers. Youth is full of ego and puffiness, Looking bigger then you are, a paper tiger all roar and no bite.

As the years passed my experiences changed me, I matured with life's lessons which caused a critical evolution within the development of attitude and personal style. I formed opinions and learned how to express myself more clearly, communication skills improved and with it the meaning within my artwork.

Art is a strange career, you never know what will work or be embraced by the world. All I know is that with maturity comes a detachment from proving anything to anyone. I found a new freedom and confidence and with technique applied to style I express my master works. Now I don’t know if I will be remembered for these works or if anyone really cares. It may be that they will never make it to the museums of the world. What matters to me is that they are made. I care and I see the improvements and the progress within my own life and process. My work gives evidence to growth.

So here I am left with the question that I started with “Why do I create this image, object or subject?”
The only answer is I have to, I have no choice. It is all I know well, It is what I do best. It represents the best of me.


Paul C. said...

This last paragraph is the truest expression I have yet seen of what makes a great artist (...composer, writer etc.)

Don Goldberg said...

Great post, Barry. Technique and technology serve as master, mirror or muse for the impulse that that works its way through the soul of the artist, hands of the craftsman and vision of the patron toward the final appreciation as the expression of creation.
As muse is inspiration, technology is seductress, light and shadow, sound and silence producing a kind of tension that draws the artist nearer to the creation in a kind of dialog between the medium and the master to inform the message.
I can say, in my life that in my younger days, I was seduced by the technology in sound recording and often let it such experiments with tools of the trade lead me in my work. I always hit a wall when I found that the vision I heard in my imagination couldn't be reconciled with the lack of engineering skill in my brain.
As I got older, I allowed the tools of the trade mature and used them to ease the creation of my vision rather than try to feel the need to push their limits and see where it would lead me.
It's still a dance in the digital realm, but I'm content to lead most of the time and let the emerging generation be swept of their feet by their partner in technology.