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October 16, 2008

John Fleischer

Visiting Artist
John Fleischer
I have been waiting to write about John’s work until I could process it a bit more.

What struck me first was the intensity of his art, and the making of his art. My first impression of him I’d say he’s profound, walking the fine line--not his art making or “practice? as he calls it (he must be a Buddhist) but his obsessive compulsiveness about thinking and making. The rules he creates for himself are liberating. This may sound like an oxymoron but sometimes structure sets us free. The idea that art is not only a product but also a journey seems to be his companion or at least an element on his palette.

The video John made in Cheryl’s 1601 surfaced ideas of artist from the 60’s; the artists scrapping away at art, past minimalism, and into the realm of “idea, factures of idea, essences of idea.? By the end of John’s presentation (his word pieces) I felt I was sitting next to Lawrence Weiner, John Baldassari, and Vito Acconci (all who effected my education). I’m not saying John’s work is a derivative of these artist, I’m saying he seems to be channeling them. From his short presentation, I gathered that John had a breakdown (-through) after making self-portraits for over 10 years. My god, analyzing self for that length of time is in itself intense.

John’s work shines bright, gets under my skin, and feels like home.