Tag Archives: study

Studying Art (18) – Getting over it…

What a year it was… I mean – not easy one… In fact – bl…y difficult…

Studying art is a bit like diving in Le Grand Bleu… further down, the less light and more dense matter… Waters around get less inviting, more frightening and yet – strangely captivating, with that pulsating, magnetic force, which commands you to continue, in moments against your self-preservation instincts and despite of all…

It became a sort of my habit to use this web-space to express my gratitude to everyone involved (voluntary or by an accident) into my studying and ‘getting over’ it… It’s been always my ambition to present this site – its research and its ethos as a natural extension of everything, what had happened to preoccupy me in my ‘actual’ studio. I wanted it to be a virtual companion of my ‘real’ studies in ‘real’ life – yet, it came out as a sort of a separate project, fairly independent and inspiring – must say… What I only regret is that a real, stimulating link between ‘Terra Incognita’ online and the ‘unknown land’ in my studio has failed to be established… I mean, my work was either behind or ahead of my writing here, often pulling in directions, I couldn’t find the words for; or (even worse) – trying to ‘show’ the abstract thoughts and complex ideas expressed here. Also, I’ve chosen a low-key profile sharing this site with few… well, not very generous of me…

Generally, in this very moment, when my time as an ‘undergraduate’ is heading quickly to the end, I would strongly recommend to any art student to have his/her ‘grassroots movement’ online – to establish and take time in developing a site, a club, a gallery… a space, which is infinite and incredibly enriching, which gives freedom of expression and a great training in responsibility/persistence… Besides, where else you could tease your tutors publicly or discuss your view on art with visitors from the US, Trinidad/Tobago or Tbilisi at the same time?

Yes, that was a confusing year… I can’t remember the last time, when I was that intensely and unsettlingly aware, that carrying on the way I’d chosen would have cost me much more than the lost appetite or the minor melancholic headache… Omnipresent futility and fragility of life in its countless scenes unfolded with its cruel arbitrariness. An admirer of Shakespeare couldn’t help to tease his master: ‘where – on Earth – did you get your sense of drama from?… You’re a great charmer and a liar, nothing more… There is nothing truly dramatic or spectacular in one’s world going to pieces… Just a quiet surprise, being repeated as a mantra: ‘was it really so frail?… I used to think it will go on for ever…'”

Anyway… getting over it, emerging, transcending…

My traditionally big and sincere THANKS to you all guys – online and offline, accidental and doomed to meet me everyday – for your presence, your patience, your time, your support… it’s been simply priceless and won’t be forgotten, not easily anyway…

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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.


Studying Art – Diary (12)

There is never enough of them – do you know this feeling? Books. Books. Books. You would spent your life in the libraries and your savings on purchasing yet another title with a delight, that an art collector enriches his ‘stable’ with yet another beautiful, desirable piece of an artwork. It usually starts very early in a childhood – once being firmly and passionately ‘hooked’, one can sense it over time, that there is hardly any w07ay/chance of escaping (and rarely one is attempting it either) from this quite unique, vast world of words, stories, concepts, titles, authors.

I remember time of a pure addiction when I had to have my room filled in tightly with the piles of books and I would never read one at the time, but four or five of different titles enjoying the interweaving of the themes, stories and styles the way the cocktails aficionado marvels at the minute transformations in taste/smell/colour of a drink once the one or another ingredient contributing takes over the rest. But there was also a rebellion time when all the questioning of the written word (or ‘word’ at all), its sense and purpose took place – I believed that one casual conversation is worth more than a dozen of invented stories. That was obviously a passion-boosting fight between two lovers and quite quickly I found myself simply unable to keep my hands of the printed pages and my mind of that very strong, existential need to devour their contents feverishly and with a wild enjoyment.

What is more important in terms of a self-discovery and my artistic research  is that I’m becoming increasingly aware of a strong link between my condition of being a still-born writer (or – never truly born yet, from different reasons) and my ambition of pursuing an artist’s path. It seems that I’m trying to approach and master that beloved universe of the human spirit – described, analyzed, transformed, invented anew and ‘written down’ in all the books I read (and tried to write in vain) from another – the visual aids-based angle. In this sense I share that struggle with many other artists/painters, who chose (or have been destined to) the liminal/boundary and cross-disciplinary spaces to function and work in, rather than to focus mainly/predominantly on the purely aesthetic, fine-art based exploration and display.

When I look at paints/art materials I see ideas to be embodied, when I listen to my work on its way of a development and a metamorphosis I sense its intense desire to become, to come to existence, to get the ‘face’ and a very distinctive, believable story – just the way, the would-be characters of my fiction have had… “Give birth to me”! “Help me to be!” – they would haunt me in a sweetly-sour manner, the same is true to my paintings now… the blessed curse, the cursed blessing of the life-giver, a creator – to be a midwife, a womb, a medium and to be entirely and for ever responsible for what has been helped to happen…

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Studying Art (11) – Studio Work or Chaos…

Please note:

Photos presented feature the below-mentioned efforts in my studio from September-December 2008. For my statement, concept, more images/descriptions – please visit “My Work” and my Flickr page.

It had started during the summer months – a sort of a rather noxious fermentation darkening slowly over time. On coming back to the college in September it has been intensified to an explosive degree 04by some rather complex personal troubles – one small trigger has freed all the anger, doubt, confusion and a sorrow. And I launched this academic year in a rather audacious manner (my big sorry to all of you there), by sending a clear message to my tutors and my friends: Do keep away.

Then I took off with a ceaseless frenzy of attacking my studio and corridor walls with a flood of images and all sorts of artifacts I managed to drag on a spot. Paint (oil) was used merely as an excuse to stick even more random pieces on it. And I took a pleasure in questioning and destroying all the artistic attempts I regarded as ‘successful’ to some extent, mocking and wasting away my ‘capital’ I managed to gain through the last year of study. To my surprise – the more anarchistic battles I provoked with art and with my surroundings, the more rudely I attempted to annihilate the commonly-accepted boundaries – the less and less opposition I felt, and more and more excited, positive response I got.05

Some of my viewers refused to stay at bay, where I put them, and I heard “Rauschenberg”, “DaDa”, “extravagance” – I shrugged my arms – So what? That my work was similar to that of one of the artistic idols (actually, I adore Rauschenberg’s myself) was of the least importance to me at that time – I was trying hard to make sense of the world around, of my entire life; and there was something really sad about that, that what my great audience had read as an exciting, artistic effort was, in a fact – a confused expression of a personal despair.

It took me weeks to gain some theoretical, sensible insight into my activities – and it all,  luckily for me, has ended in a self-assurance. Thanks to my background – the classical education and still respected values it proved to be impossible for me to ‘lose my mind’ – even if I would have made a lucid decision to do so (for a 06self-protection); so – there was always a clear method in that  ‘madness’, and even from the longest, the most scary and lonely spiritual journey I made I was able to come back on my own – stronger and smarter than before, or so I choose to think…

Though, it all would be much more difficult to achieve without the loyal, so understanding and wise support of my friends – manifested in various ways (so, do accept my gratitude, all of you, who know, what I’m writing here about – I’m indebted to your noble patience and the above-average openness of mind…) By the way , I must make this point – for an artist, especially the beginner or the one in a crisis – there can be nothing more precious and desirable than the intelligent audience ready to take on and even – to acclaim – all sorts of oddities, provocations, anti-art behaviours and silly games, the individual is pervertedly happy to display…

Those were truly stimulating months – and even if there were things I regret now and wouldn’t do having a chance to move the clock back – in general, I would have been disappointed with myself choosing any easier option. Through struggle and a passionate building up of a negative language I’ve reached to some of the ideas and ways of expression, which are well able to nourish my studies for some time. And the work that finally emerged showed me the art once again – in its most universal and glorious epitome – as a primordial force able to initiate, control and tame chaos of the both – the physical and the inner reality…

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