Where does Art come from?

art, artforum, artist, artreview, contemporary artist

2014-10-31 18.01.25

Where do paintings come from? Where does art come, the singular piece?

The above painting, Genesis, is not a painting I would have conceived or, once conceived, wanted to paint. Dark, disquieting, open to a variety of intetpretations I might find interesting, intriguing,  right or wrong though they may be.

Compared to the previous most recent work, Genesis would not be the first to hang on my walls. A woman, moribund, on  a table; a woman very near tears. No use describing it; the picture is posted for you to see, judge, dismiss, revile.

In fact, on the back of this painting, is another piece I had started sketching, near completed, a wholly different painting, one that would have been much less exhausting, and aesthetically pleasing, conceptually gratifying, the literal expression of a profoundly felt sentiment, but not one I plan on acting upon for the time being.

But Genesis, too, was a vision, not one that appeared in a dream, but in my waking hours – at that twilight zone of time of 3 am when I first awake, only to resume my journey towards the dawn.

From the initial vision, the picture expanded as I stared at the unprimed board.

Curled fingers, fingers, eyes, heads and legs generated themselves from nothing, or to be honest, the natural tones of pressed unsand-papered wood.

So where does Genesis, or more generally, art come from?

Not being a neuroscientist, nor a psychotherapist, I have no idea, but I do prescribe to the idea of Muses and visitations and divine intervention; that is often exactly how it feels, a curtain pulled aside, a tap on the shoulder, a word whispered, and everything is suddenly clear, not for nothing are they called illuminations, epiphanies, inspiration – to inspire, breathe in – what? The universe, human history, tragedy, comedy, melodrama, all of it, the human very personal condition.

Enthusiasm follows fast on the heels of inspiration, enthusiasm, being one with the gods, hence creation, Genesis.

Of course, there are electro-chemical actions, flux and reactions, a neural primordial soup, more like a swamp, full of life, one that would have remained a swamp breeding pestilence, no doubt, but for a new and external agent, an accidental spark, a freak bolt of lightning, and the given normal state is upset, disturbed, altered, the elements now in motion, reacting, twisting and gyrating, transforming and reshaping itself into a new body, new stuff, an entirely new thing, but not being gods, all we can do is create art.

Art, humankind’s imitation of Divinity, creating art, man’s mimicking the Divine Act.

I have not answered my initial question; maybe you can.

Me, I am just happy my beautiful muses come knocking; a slap to the head, a shout to the ear, a French kiss to the mouth, however they wish to spark life in this primordial mud of bone, gut and blood held together by pale sack, I welcome and take what comes.

Until the time prophesied by my next painting.

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