Tag Archives: student

Studying Art (20) – some loose thoughts…

Being ‘graduate’… I mean, how ridiculous it feels…

Being ‘graduate’ in Fine Art… I mean, one cannot get it more absurd… There is no ‘graduating’ from art, unless one can ‘graduate’ in ‘being a human being’…

Having first show, first chat with a journalist, first reviews from the public – at once one’s is able to see what art is really for – I met with those attentive eyes… hungry for any sort of a thoughtful, emotional expression from another human creature…. ‘C’mon – show me a bit of yourself, prove that there is still that thing called ‘a soul’ in us, let me witness your humanity here and now, whatever’…

Looking back at past months without a shadow of any sentiment – I mean, only my innate stubbornness kept me digging in that hell… Guess, that meant I really had started to ‘study’ and ‘make’ art… Only guessing…

Getting really cross with myself due to my perfect failure to prevent my private life from taking over my studio work during the last year. How it calls to be called – a lack of ‘professionalism’, or rather opposite – daring attempt to ‘master’ human condition despite of all odds, or maybe – just the natural event in one’s life?…

Naturally observing art-life around and having those ‘improper’ yet intense thoughts, that art is not and is never going to be for everyone, just forget all that ‘democratic’ rubbish and populists’ talks… Classical music is not for everyone, hard-rock is not for everyone, learning Chinese is not for everyone and even driving cannot be mastered or even tolerated by some people… Some are driven by irresistible forces, some only let to be guided, sometimes only by one’s vanity or greed. Ethos of an artist needs to be re-established, made clear to all and supported at all costs. Otherwise, we don’t have ‘art’, we don’t have ‘artists’ any more – we have ‘art-world’, ‘occupation’, ‘business’, ‘creativity’; we have ‘professionals’, ‘graduates’, ‘MFAs’ and all sorts of folks having no idea whatsoever, how bl…y serious game they involved themselves in…

One needs a break even, or – especially – from the things one puts no price on, simply cos there can’t be any price… things one would die for, if needed… A step back instead of grabbing and gaining even more control, just letting go… I excelled in making things more complex that they probably are, now – I have to learn, by ‘letting go’, how to make simple choices and obvious statements.

Having tendency to ‘over-intelectualize’ my work, and  that’s surprising considering that I’ve started as a completely intuitive painter. Now, I build an entire elaborated construction of theories in order to touch the canvas with a brush. I guess, it’s a protective mechanism (as a shrink would say) – use your head when using your heart and instincts feels like a torture…

Keeping on exploring links between science and art – funny, how the questions and problems of both echo each other, not to mention that it all seems to generate from the major philosophical systems of the past and present. Everything is so deliciously cross-feeding and inter-depending that it seems crazy to chop up human culture on so many ‘self-sufficient’ institutionally defined parts.

Preparing for a hot summer in the Middle and East-Europe. Wishing you all fruitful escapades for fun, meaning and maybe some inspiration as well!

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Studying Art (19) – Recent Work

On this Work (Artist’s Statement)

What do we know about the universe and how do we know it? How does nature maintain its order and beauty being a maze of random matter and forces? What is the origin of life and what is its essence?

This work bridges my theoretical interests in science and philosophy with the practical challenge of the visual studies. The paintings have evolved in a long process of a natural selection by obliterating ‘weaker’ expressions in order to form integrated entities.
These ‘survivors’ are endowed with a definite, yet fragile presence of organic creatures.

Structured complexity and ordered randomness of nature becomes an epitome of the creative process. Art is asked to take a part in the universal quest to address the questions, which everything starts with…

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Creature (Ego), oil/mixed media on board

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Creature (Ego),  details

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Creature (Albus), oil/mixed media on canvas

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Creature (Albus), details

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Creature (Silva phallum), acrylic/oil/mixed media on paper

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Creature (Digitus), acrylic/oil/mixed media on paper

More images: My Work – May 2009

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This work is a challenge in itself – challenge to be accepted just as it enfolds for its own ‘maker’… The paintings are, at the same time, a sort of a pleasant surprise and a disappointment for me (don’t ask how is it possible, don’t know). They are like shadows of those images, that I didn’t manage to extract from my mind, my imagination and my experience in order to ‘write them down’ on the canvas. Yet, they also have an expanding quality – as a concept/intent they may possess just enough energy and potential to act against the contracting forces, to survive and – time will tell – to develop in the future…

I like their frail and complex tissue of appearance, I dislike their  elaborateness, which I’m tempted to name as ‘redundant’… I cannot help thinking that nature would make ten perfectly functioning organisms out of one of mine, nature doesn’t know what the indulgent expression is… Do I make things more complicated that they actually are… or – perhaps – it’s a valid approach, when one has the very first date with those puzzling scientific and philosophical questions from above?…


Studying art (16) -Humility

It will sound like a pure didacticism, yet – this appears to be the new discovery of mine: art is one of the best teachers of humility one can find.

I’ve been going through stages of naive, dreamy escapism, of unconditional passion, of playing tricks and games; I’ve used artistic means to express how much I care about and adore human world and how deeply negative, even nihilistic  about it I may become… I’ve got mesmerizing and intimate moments of a discovery, metamorphosis and truly painful bits of going astray…

And I’ve experienced months passing like weeks and those weeks making me older like one would got in years; childlike and often purely vain self-importance has been interweaving with the periods of self-abuse and self-denial…I made great plans and watched them going to pieces in one small push of fate; I hoped and got disappointed; I gave hope and let others down… My entire worldview and personal identity has been challenged dozens of times and I’ve never felt so powerful and so meaningless in my whole life…

And that’s all because of one decision made over three years ago – to study/make art – decision being continuously and not without a struggle refreshed almost each day…

Yes, art can be and is a severe yet quite compelling mentor and a guide – it knows no masters, truths, rules or logic beyond its own ones; it crowns with immortality and it devours without a blink of an eye.

This period of my study – final months of going towards the first degree in fine art is the time of humility and humiliation – I’m being put down by my own work, simply because it reads me perfectly – that neither my head or my heart are in charge as they should have been… So I’m producing substitutes, broken cups – useless right from the beginning, still-born paintings which I desperately try to revive and the ‘display’ work – to convince myself (yet not my tutors) that I’m in a good shape… I’m not prepared for a defeat yet, I’m not prepared to paint bad paintings, to be rejected and to admit my impotency, the limits of my imagination and mental capability; I’m unable to accept any help and to give much more than is expected of me…

And that’s why I’m not ready to be an artist yet… I may become a graduate in art, I will not become a painter… Unless I will find a way to cease to be – me myself – the biggest obstacle and enemy of my own work.


Switching the world off… (Whilt 16)

Yep, it happens all the time. Don’t you believe me? How long can this article of mine hold your full attention? I mean the ‘full monty’ really; or – maybe, by any chance you’ve already started to ‘scan’ this very work of mine produced with an effort with the light speed (as most of us do with the most of web-stuff), thinking about a dozen of other sites you have to visit to ‘update’?

No, don’t mean to be grumpy, just enjoying my ‘come back’ after I’ ve switched my activity here off, with no reason other than my conscious choice to focus on the most important things in my ‘real’ life…

That makes us all feel a bit less significant, doesn’t it? Today – we sense the attention of … well – dozens?, hundreds? Maybe just a handful of you – my ‘caught fish’, so diversified and puzzling? Well, we make it so life-like; don’t we – we try, at least –  to turn clicking and editing, pasting and commenting into an intense, stimulating, interactive experience… Only ‘but’ is that one can switch the whole thing off in no time at all… No consequences, no buzzing phones or ‘meaningful’ looks, nothing… A bit scary and… refreshingly down to Earth; especially when one considers his art and artistic ‘biography’ existing sometimes only or predominantly online…

Nothing except the abstract sense of ‘belonging’ to a particular web-host, particular micro-virtual-culture and a web of contacts and revisited places shapes my identity here. At the same time, what I’ve gained through my blogging over the last year and a half wouldn’t possibly find any equivalent in the ‘real’. Hundreds of times I’ve considered my time here lost, but ‘lost’ in an invaluable way… Paradoxes – all the web-experience is based and shaped by those. The great and so accurate metaphor of our lives now – overloaded, too fast, to shallow, to easy to ‘switch off’ with little or no consequences at all…

Coming back then… Coming back by going away, and going away by slowly starting the same adventure again and anew at the same time…


Studying Art – Diary (13) – What now?

Perhaps it’s the more popular question to be asked by an artist than one can imagine – What now? I have got, indeed, a creative, exciting period of discoveries and found solutions – but – what now? I have been praised and supported, despite my oddities – but –  what now? I have been pushing the boundaries and challenging the rules, something of a new quality has begun to emerge – but – what now? What now? Have I learned my lessons, have I been as honest and rigorous with myself and others as it was possible to be, is it my work not a cul-de-sac? …

Studying art is a fantastic privilege and one-in-life adventure, yet – there is a high price-tag to be paid. Apart from the strong sense of competition and generally not very bright prospects for the future career, you are there to perform – and to perform your best not matter what, which requirement makes many to quilt before the finish line. You are expected to progress and to mature all the time, to gain and display the whole set of professional behaviours and skills like the concept and audience-focused thinking, full responsibility for your work and the its development, pursuing the ambitious, personal expression and an unique, visual language, theoretical and technical competency, etc… And there is no more than three years for all of that. Your tutors are ‘somewhere around’ (as they are likely to call their position) – you can seek an individual guidance, yet – the quicker you land on your own feet the better.

Above that, you are very likely to wake up your demons – the questions you would never have asked (or have never been challenged to ask) yourself before starting to study fine art. All your misery and tragic past may be there – awaken and for all to see; all your shallowness and limitations of your inflated ego may be there – exposed as in no other enterprise; all your beauty and strength of your character and talents may also be there – discovered and recognized – yet – what then, what now?

I feel it for the first time, all the gravity and the sublime quality of being a supported art student, who gets possibly more of the mentors’ sympathy and attention, than he/she deserves. Studying fine art is not a private playground for gifted kids, it is not a dreamy land for the real-life-escape-experts, but it is a study like no other study – it is, in a fact, a very serious and risky activity, you can get hurt if you don’t deal with it properly; you can hurt others, who are around you as well…

Starting the new, last semester of this degree year I cannot help to keep asking – what are going to do now? Will you continue your negative, chaos and provocation-based experiments, or will you perhaps choose to ‘calm down’, to densify your formlessness and vagueness into a truly meaningful statement? Will you stay somewhere at the crossroads balancing both of the mentioned options, ignoring the pressure of the ‘results’ (the one of the biggest disadvantages of studying art in an institution – to force oneself to get the ‘results’ on time)? Will you answer to the your work’s calling from yet another, unpredictable now angle? How well/badly will you deal with your audience’s expectations/likes/dislikes? These are not rethoric questions at all, they demand quick, clear answers… Hopefully, some of those will follow in the next post from the series…


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