January 17, 2017 Repository 201: Gaining Wider Perspectives in 2017 Posted In: art practice, contemporary art, perspective

detail of the Velvet Silk Cafe at MOMA this weekend

detail of the Velvet Silk Cafe at MOMA this weekend

Gaining a wider perspective is like opening a window to a stuffy room – the whole atmosphere changes and the fresh breeze carries alternatives to our habitual ways of reacting.  – Tarthang Tulku

Whether it’s been to justify my spells away from the studio to work as a management consultant, business owner, museum associate, mother, etc, I always believe that my artwork, and artwork in general, benefits from the more I know about everything else besides art. I still believe that is what separates the best art from the worst. And yes, you can do this too – and we all need to get better at seeing properly what is good from bad – there is a way to see work that benefits from a whole perspective versus a flat one (in work, life and art). You can tell what kind of cheese tastes good, great and terrible right? You can do the same with art. Example at the bottom of this post*. And if you haven’t all ready, please join us over at Point + Line to start a dialog with an artist – take them to task, it’s what artists need most right now, and if you can talk about art, you can tackle any funky conversation about politics, race and religion.

Last year I dedicated myself to more critical thinking, which incidentally caused me to be quite uptight about what and why to post anything, and this year is the year I throw open the gates/doors/fences/curtains and let all the new experiences I’m having inform and in fact become my work. My mantra has always been “art is a verb”, and this year on no uncertain terms it is. Creating boundaries of what art is and is not is silly, I’m much more interested in the idea of making art out of what is precisely not found in the cannon. I’m giving myself full permission this year to try it all, not to hold back, and stop playing small. For better or worse I have barely any boundaries in my life and work – which is generally why I keep things private (it’s complicated), and slightly incoherent for the viewers of my artwork. I’m opening the perspectives this year and plan to leap before I look. And provide cliff notes to those I find near and dear (that includes you).

Numerologists call this a “1” year – we live in cycles of 9 years, and this is a 1, or a beginning time. I’m thrilled for new beginnings this year, and I look forward to learning new perspectives and applying them to my practice in 2017. And be in touch, would love to hear about your artful life this year.  xo

When asked what makes a good dancer, the master replied: “First to be a good dancer, one must know the music as well as the dance.” And what else? “To be a better dancer, one must understand the stories and be able to interpret the characters being portrayed.” Is there more? “The best dancer is the one who has all those things I have told you about and is a farmer.” – Javanese Proverb

*From my travels in NYC this weekend here are two examples of good and bad art. The one on the top is by Henri Matisse, the one on the bottom, from exactly 100 years later was a gallery show recommended by a magazine that rhymes with rogue, and a critic whose name rhymes with Joberta Myth called them “lush paintings”. Can you tell the difference? You might accuse me of nostalgia for liking the older work, still I see a sensibility that is different, more nuanced and less self conscious – this to me is obvious.

Henri Matisse, "The Piano Lesson", 1916

Henri Matisse, “The Piano Lesson”, 1916

Marcus Jahmal, "Global Reflection", 1916

Marcus Jahmal, “Global Reflection”, 1916

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