Recently in Artist statements: research Category

Kevin O, Week 3, Artist Statements: Research

| No Comments

Béla Tarr

Right at the center of a seemingly incomprehensible world, at the age of 32, the question "why do I make films" seems unanswerable. I don't know.

All I know is that I can't make films if people don't let me. If I don't receive trust and funding I feel like I don't exist. The last one-and-a-half to two years of my life went by in just such a state of apparent futility - I was given no opportunities to realize my plans through the official channels. Two courses of action were left open to me: to gradually suffocate or search for some alternative. Then followed a terrible year of begging for money and trying to discover whether it's even possible to make a different type of film in Hungary, one that doesn't depend on the official and traditional sources of funding. And once the money's finally all there and I've managed to create some small opportunity, kidding myself that I'm "independent," that's when it hits me that there's no such thing as independence or freedom, only money and politics. You can never escape anything. Those who give you money also threaten you. All that remains is obligation. The film has to be made. Then you desperately clutch onto the camera, as if it were the last custodian of the truth that you had supposed existed. But what to film if everything is a lie? All I can be is an apologist for lies, treachery and dishonor.

But in that case, why make films?

This also leads to internal conflicts, as my self-confidence wanes, the crew start to leave because the venture appears uncertain and I can't pay them enough. And I am left with a general feeling of anxiety. So I flee from this form of desperation into another - the film.

Probably, I make films in order to tempt fate, to simultaneously be the most humiliated and, if only for a few moments, the freest person in the world. Because I despise stories, as they mislead people into believing that something has happened. In fact, nothing really happens as we flee from one condition to another. Because today there are only states of being - all stories have become obsolete and cliched, and have resolved themselves. All that remains is time. This is probably the only thing that's still genuine - time itself: the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds. And film time has also ceased to exist, since the film itself has ceased to exist. Luckily there is no authentic form or current fashion. Some kind of massive introversion, a searching of our own souls can help ease the situation.

Or kill us.

We could die of not being able to make films, or we could die from making films.

But there's no escape.

Because films are our only means of authenticating our lives. Eventually nothing remains of us except our films - strips of celluloid on which our shadows wander in search of truth and humanity until the end of time.

I really don't know why I make films.

Perhaps to survive, because I'd still like to live, at least just a little longer....

ANALYSIS

This rings true for me on several levels, and I like it because it was written early in his career, at age 32 - I saw the Regis Dialogue with Bela Tarr a few years ago and I think that his character comes through quite eloquently in his films, and that I can see both the continuity of his attitude over the course of 30+ years, and also some universal truths about the frustrated young(-ish) art filmmaker.


Albert Maysles

Why

As a documentarian I happily place my fate and faith in reality. It is my caretaker, the provider of subjects, themes, experiences--all endowed with the power of truth and the romance of discovery. And the closer I adhere to reality the more honest and authentic my tales. After all, knowledge of the real world is exactly what we need to better understand and therefore possibly to love one another. It's my way of making the world a better place.

How

1. Distance oneself from a point of view.
2. Love your subjects.
3. Film events, scenes, sequences; avoid interviews, narration, a host.
4. Work with the best talent.
5. Make it experiential, film experience directly, unstaged, uncontrolled.
6.There is a connection between reality and truth. Remain faithful to both.

Some Do's and Dont's

• Hold it steady.
• Use manual zoom, not the electronic.
• Read as much of the PD 170 manual as you can.
• Read book or chapter in a photography book on how to compose shots.
• Use the steady device that's in the camera.
• Never use a tripod (exception: filming photographs, for example).
• You'll get a steadier picture the more wide-angle the shot. In a walking shot go very wide angle.
• Hold the beginning and end of each shot. The editor will need that.
• Use no lights. The available light is more authentic.
• Learn the technique but equally important keep your eye open to watch the significant moment. Orson Welles: "The cameraman's camera should have behind its lens the eye of a poet."
• Remember, as a documentarian you are an observer, an author but not a director, a discoverer, not a controller.
• Don't worry that your presence with the camera will change things. Not if you're confident you belong there and understand that in your favor is that of the two instincts, to disclose or to keep a secret, the stronger is to disclose.
• It's not "fly-on-the-wall". That would be mindless. You need to establish rapport even without saying so but through eye contact and empathy.

ANALYSIS

This no-nonsense, stripped-down, matter-of-fact approach absolutely matches, in my experience, the aesthetics and the priorities of the Maysles Brothers in their documentaries.


Lars Von Trier


I CONFESS

Seemingly all is well: Film director Lars von Trier is a scientist, artist, and human being. And yet I say: I am a human being. But I'm an artist. But I'm a film director.

I cry as I write these lines, for how sham was my attitude. Who am I to lecture and chastise? Who am I to scornfully brush aside other people's lives and work? My shame is only compounded by my apology that I had been seduced by the arrogance of science falling to the ground as a lie! For it is true that I have been trying to intoxicate myself in a cloud of sophistries about the purpose of art and the artist's obligations, that I have thought up ingenious theories on the anatomy and the nature of film, but--and I confess this openly--I have never come close to disguising my innermost passion with this pathetic smoke screen: MY CARNAL DESIRE.

Our relationship with film can be described and explained in many ways. We should make films with the intention to educate, we may want to use film as a ship that will take us on a journey to unknown lands, or we can claim that the goal of our films is to make the audience laugh or cry, and pay. This may all sound plausible, but I do not believe in it.

There is only one excuse for living through--and forcing others to live through--the hell of the filmmaking process: the carnal satisfaction in that fraction of a second when the cinema's loudspeakers and projector in unison and inexplicably give rise to the illusion of motion and sound like an electron leaving its orbit and thus creating light, in order to create ONLY ONE THING--a miraculous breath of life! This is the filmmaker's only reward, hope, and craving. This carnal experience when movie magic really works, rushing through the body like a quivering orgasm . . . It is my quest for this experience that has always been and always will be behind all my work and efforts . . . NOTHING ELSE! There, I've written it, and it felt good. And forget all the bogus explanations about "childlike fascination" and "all-encompassing humility." For here is my confession: LARS VON TRIER, A SIMPLE MASTURBATOR OF THE SILVER SCREEN.

Still, in part three of the trilogy, Europa, I have not made even the slightest attempt at a diversion. Purity and clarity have been achieved at last! Here nothing conceals reality under a sickly layer of "art" . . . No trick is too tacky, no device too cheap, no effect too tasteless.

JUST GIVE ME A SINGLE TEAR OR ONE DROP OF SWEAT; I WILL GLADLY GIVE YOU ALL THE WORLD'S "ART" IN RETURN.

One final word. Let only God judge my alchemic attempts at creating life on celluloid. One thing is certain. Life outside the cinema can never be equaled, for it is his creation and therefore divine.

ANALYSIS

This is utterly lovely - it was written pre-Dogme 95, also relatively early in Von Trier's career and on the brink of his international reputation as a filmmaker. It's totally overwrought and melodramatic and repressed, reflecting his directorial sensibilities quite accurately.

Mara: Artist's Statement Research

| No Comments

Erin Paradis, Week 3, Artist Statements: research

| No Comments

butter-houses.jpgorange-house-2011.jpg

Brian Jones

"My current work lies in my interest in the investigation of the transformative character of memories. In particular, I am thinking of pots that belonged to my grandmother. A remembrance of a jar, cup, and plate serves as the point of departure for contemplation of form, color, and tone. The nature of how a pot reveals itself over time to an audience is the long echo of that initial reverie. The pot is both a reservoir and an initiator of memories.

The convention that a pot is "complete" after it has been fired is something that I am working to subvert by the addition of other materials following the glaze firing. Ways of questioning a pot's function, both as an object and a narrative element, naturally arise as different materials are composed to create new layers. This juxtaposition complicates the reading of the work, slowing the comprehension and experience of what may appear to be a simple object. The pot's domestic surroundings, the casual way in which it is constructed, and its surface against that of another material give the work a constructed and contemplative significance that will divulge its identity over time."

Analysis:
In Brian Jones' artist statement, he is very direct and too the point when he explains the motives of his work. He sets the stage for where his interest in functional ceramics comes from, the ideas behind his pots, and the importance he thinks pots have in the world. He doesn't leave much room for you to question what kind of functional work he makes and for what reasons.

I think he could go into more detail about the other materials he uses and to what function they have with his pots. Without seeing his work, I don't think you would know what he is discussing when he talks about the "juxtaposition of the new layers" in his work. It is unclear how his concepts are translated to this other form without seeing his work.

Knowing his work though, you can understand and more clearly see the function of his wall pieces. You can tell why he seems to be so abstract and simplified with his shapes and colors.

In any case, even though his ideas are not too involved, he explains the reasons for the concepts and the way his work supports them.


Castorama_resized.jpg

Nina Rizzo

" 'Rizzo's paintings are equal part fact and fiction. Using her direct experience with a place, event or object as a catalyst, she abstracts, invents and explores new realities in painted space and form. Rizzo imagines places unseen or hybrid spaces, creating a world that is full of wonder and possibility. Her use of exaggerated color, fluid brush strokes, and spatial ambiguities reveal sensual environments where interiors and exteriors collide and our notion of reality is questioned.' -Stephanie McMahon"

Analysis:
The description of Rizzo's paintings is very accurate and demonstrates the effect she desires from her paintings. The wording is ideal when matched with her work as well. The statement starts to create a visual of her pieces and where she is getting her inspiration.

As well as her work is described, I think it would work better if it was from her perspective and give a clue into her own thoughts and inspirations. I think personal artist statements are more successful. You get a clue into the thoughts of the artist and it is where you see their excitement about their medium and their art. I appreciate her work and how it has changed and evolved over time, but her statement would be much more successful if she explained her ideas and interests in her own words,.

jar_white2_2012_low.jpg
(I apologize about the centering of the image. I tried every position choice and it still wouldn't come up centered! -Erin)

Emily Schroeder

Elements of touch, intimacy and mark making are extremely important to the work that I make. I create subtle forms on which I draw imagery that is sensitive to how each pot was touched and formed. An aspect unique to my work is that every movement and gesture is marked and recorded on the surface of my pots. I have chosen this rather slow and tedious process of pinching because I believe that pinching pots instead of throwing them on a wheel or building them with slabs creates a different type of intimacy. I see my fingerprints as a sort of brush stroke. In the way that a painter paints a canvas and creates a certain sensibility in the image, I create an intimacy in my work by the way that my fingers touch the clay. Human presence and the mark of the hand are important to my work, which steps back to a time where work isn't about production, but the touch of a fingertip.

Analysis:

Emily Schroeder's artist statement is clear and to the point. She explains the reasons she makes her pots the way she does, why she is intrigued by that way of working, and the importance these ideas hold in her eyes. She sets the tone for what the work looks like and must feel like. I appreciate her ability to talk about why her work stands out and is special. The way she presents it isn't presumptuous or boastful. If there's a way an artist can talk about their art and explain why it is important to the world in a humble way, I think it is important to present this in an artist statement.

I think out of all three artists I chose, she clearly states every aspect of her process and her ideas clearly and concisely. There is no room for wonder or misunderstanding in her statement.

Lorena Molina: Artist Research

| No Comments

Elinor Carucci:

Website

23_ec1.jpg

elinorcarucci01.jpg

Elinor Carucci4.jpg

Statement

This is the only statement I could find about Carucci talking about her work. This is of the series Closer. Sorry this is long.

My mother was the first person I ever photographed and I still take pictures of her obsessively. Quite literally, in more than one way, she was - she is - my natural point of origin. My connection to the world. I used to think that the struggles with her, as well as the sense of closeness, security and warmth, the whole way I related to her during childhood, would somehow naturally end with the end of childhood. Perhaps they were transformed, elevated to other levels. But in many ways, they never lost their power over me.

I started taking pictures of her when I was fifteen. I used my father's old Canon camera. Gradually, in concentric circles, the subjects of my work expanded. From my mother, to my father and brother, to the extended family, until, in recent years, the center shifted, at least partially, to my husband, Eran. I no longer see my mother only as a strong person, she is no longer my only source of security, of power, of beauty, but I do measure my own femininity, my own self, as a distance from her. When she prepared me for the world, she showed me the world through her eyes. It was, or is, a long process. When I was twenty-two she put lipstick on my lips, her lipstick. This was one of many things that were both, somehow, continuity and separation. My own femininity, yet always drawing on hers. Oddly I still felt her lipstick would somehow protect me. But this closeness was, in a way, also what enabled me to move away, to enlarge the circles of both life and work, and finally to shift much of the focus to Eran, even to myself. The camera was, in this sense, both a way to get close, and to

break free. It was a testimony to independence as well as a new way to relate. A boundary, a distance, as well as the documentation of closeness. I could see my mother, my husband, my father, at once in a detached and a related way. In the first few years I was mostly intuitive, even impulsive, in the way I shot. After a while, however, I tried to turn to what I thought of then as more professional photography. I began shooting series of black and white pictures, my mother and myself as their subjects. They were structured, posed: Mother looked too ready to be in a photograph, well prepared, presenting herself to me. It's not that we weren't candid or open. We were, and we did try to recreate real scenes, actual situations. But something was missing. I didn't like what came out. I stopped, took a break for a few months.

When I returned to photography -- I was about twenty-one years old then -- I took one step back. I stopped trying to recreate, stage, things that happened, in a controlled way. Rather, I tried to do what I did when I first started: shoot things as they were happening. I began to work in color too which is, for me, warmer, more vivid. I gave no advance warning, required no cooperation, shot in quantity. Snapped, developed, looked at the results, and over again. For the most part it was still my mother and myself, but working intensively, and instinctively, everyone who was intertwined in our lives - my father, my brother Pinni, Eran, my grandparents, my cousins - all were drawn in. The frame became flexible and hospitable. Things I had previously considered marginal drifted to the center and often became themes in their own right. Ironically, the closer I got to the details, the more I zoomed in the more universal the themes turned out to be. Moving in turned out to be moving out. Work on minute details - a mark on the skin, a stitch, a hair, an eye, a kiss - carried the work beyond the boundaries of my family.

The presence of the camera too became more familiar, more relaxed. Still, it generated, not just documented, situations. Not because it had a personality, but because it aroused an attitude. By the very fact of documenting, the image competed with its object, showed it in a different, yet not at all false, light. It's like facing a mirror: when you look into it, you tighten your face muscles slightly, change your expression. I found myself and my family discovering more about ourselves, or at least, discovering nuances we couldn't otherwise see. Sometimes, the photographs came before I could articulate what it was that triggered them, giving form to some unformed feeling. More than that, the camera sometimes dares say what I don't dare think. These lines, between what I thought I saw in life, what I saw in the photographs, what I thought I saw in the photographs, became confusing in many ways. Like a permanent double take, I was not always sure if something - a mood, a sigh, a frown - captured an actual event, or if I was imposing on my memory a fraction the camera had caught. It often feels like I have two, parallel sets of memory. And yet, as complicated as the relations between representation and life may be, I do trust the camera, and what it captured is,

in many ways, real. The camera is, in fact, often less biased than my eyes. And since it preserves something from life - It would not otherwise be valuable for me - it is also a record. When I have something in a photograph, I feel like it is safe from time, I feel like I can also part with it. It gives me the illusion of having the actual past for safekeeping.

The work was never a burden for my family. As revealing as it might be, I never subscribed to the idea of art over life. Certainly in my relationship with them. That is not to say there are never any temptations. I caught myself once, when my father was ill, in bed with high temperature, running for the camera. I stopped. These would be too alienated. Too alienating. Both in terms of human relations, and in terms of art. It is the temptation of the provocative and the vulgar and I try to resist it. Then there is also the relationship between art and life that can't be preserved, as I see it, if my photographs become too intruding. They thrive on intimacy and can't afford to undermine it. I can't show intimacy in any general way, if there is such a thing as general intimacy. I can only say something universal about intimacy through actual intimacy. Mine. The actual real relationships I have with specific people. With these people that I love. The deepest I can reach is within what is most familiar and close. And so I set limits. I don't pounce on my mother when she's waking up. Don't get the camera when I have a fight with Eran. Don't stand aside to document when someone is crying. In many ways, they not only helped me. They became part of the work to such an extent that I can't consider it only as my own. It is, truly, also theirs.

Elinor Carucci

My analysis:

The first time I saw Carucci's work. The work resonated with me, and stuck around like a splinter. I knew the work too well. This is the work that if I was brave enough, I would make. Enforcing some sort of intimacy comes easy to me when it comes to strangers. Everybody wants to be listened to, everybody wants somebody to notice them, to pay attention and to care. I care for them and know how to ask the right kind of questions and share the right amount of myself. Our intimacy although enforced, it is true for the short time being. For some hours, for a night; the safety that we probably won't see each other again is too comforting. They can open up to me and tell me everything, because they know I'm safe, I don't know their friends, girlfriends, boyfriends and family. Yet, intimacy with the people close to you, especially family can be arduous, problematic, complicated; especially when the relationships carry a baggage of their own. Unresolved feelings photograph too well. Carucci's work to me brings the vulnerability, closeness, chaos, rawness, beauty, ugliness, softness, hardness, and everything else that comes with intimate relationships. Her images are the punctum that Barthes describes in Camera Lucida; The photos prick me.

As silly as it may sound, her photos make me envious of her photographic relationship with her mother. In her website's statement about the series Closer, Carucci mentions her relationship with her mother from her first paragraph. "My mother was the first person I ever photographed and I still take pictures of her obsessively. Quite literally, in more than one way, she was - she is - my natural point of origin. My connection to the world. I used to think that the struggles with her, as well as the sense of closeness, security and warmth, the whole way I related to her during childhood, would somehow naturally end with the end of childhood. Perhaps they were transformed, elevated to other levels. But
in many ways, they never lost their power over me." She continues to write about her relationship with her mother, quite sentimentally, and not as straight to the point or academically, as the artist statements I am used to reading. However, I think the artist statements are to serve the purpose that the artist wants it to serve. What I mean by this is that if her photographs are about human relationships and aim to photograph some kind of sentimentality, why would her artist statement be overly rigid and emotionless? She is the only one to decide which kind of writing suits her images best.

She questions the veracity of her photos like semiotics would do or the deconstructionists or Susan Sontag would do. She yet defends the trueness of the photographs and claims that the camera might see more than she's capable of understanding. "By the very fact of documenting, the image competed with its object, showed it in a different, yet not at all false, light. It's like facing a mirror: when you look into it, you tighten your face muscles slightly, change your expression. I found myself and my family discovering more about ourselves, or at least, discovering nuances we couldn't otherwise see...as complicated as the relations between representation and life may be, I do trust the camera, and what it captured is, in many ways, real. The camera is, in fact, often less biased than my eyes. And since it preserves something from life - It would not otherwise be valuable for me - it is also a record. When I have something in a photograph, I feel like it is safe from time." I might disagree with her stance on photography photographing the real, yet true and honesty are not the same. Her photographs seem honest to me, and so does her writing about them.

My favorite part about her statement is when she states " They (the photographs) thrive on intimacy and can't afford to undermine it. I can't show intimacy in any general way, if there is such a thing as general intimacy. I can only say something universal about intimacy through actual intimacy. Mine. The actual real relationships I have with specific people. With these people that I love. The deepest I can reach is within what is most familiar and close" -Is it intimacy if you're not truly risking something about yourself? I think this portrayed really well in her photographs.

Duane Michals

It was difficult to find an artist statement for Duane Michals. Everything written about him since to be written in biography form such as that states accomplishments and backgrounds. I found a good paragrah at the Pace/McGill Gallery summery about his work.

artwork_images_969_125447_duane-michals.jpg

duanemichals.jpg

duane michals.jpg

Pace McGill gallery.jpg

Analysis

Duane Michals was the first photographer to create a permanent influence in the way I see photography. His work questioned the medium of photography and it's ability to photograph any kind of truth. He did this in a time that photographers were getting recognition from their photo essays in Time Magazine. He is interested in photographing the things that he thinks photography lacks the capacity to photograph, such as human emotions, metaphysics, philosophical questions about life and death, desire, and relationships. One of his famous quotes that he likes to repeat in lectures states, "The best part of us is not what we see, it's what we feel. We are what we feel. We are not what we look at . . .. We're not our eyeballs, we're our mind. People believe their eyeballs and they're totally wrong . . .. That's why I consider most photographs extremely boring--just like Muzak, inoffensive, charming, another waterfall, another sunset. This time, colors have been added to protect the innocent. It's just boring. But that whole arena of one's experience--grief, loneliness--how do you photograph lust? I mean, how do you deal with these things? This is what you are, not what you see. It's all sitting up here. I could do all my work sitting in my room. I don't have to go anywhere"
Michals' work sometimes in sequence, using narrative and texts written to provide other layer of complicity to the images is usually either poetic, humorous or tends to ask complex questions. I agree with the statement given by the gallery that the text is not there to provide an explanation, rather to further complicate things. "Rather than serving a didactic or explanatory function, his handwritten text adds another dimension to his images' meaning and gives voice to Michal's singular musings" I think the small paragraph provided by the gallery sums up very well his work in such short words. It's precise and to the point.

Sophie Calle

Take care of Yourself

lettersfw.jpg

sophie-calle1-1024x768.jpg

take-care-of-yourself.jpg

Statement:

I received an email telling me it was over.
I didn't know how to respond.
It was almost as if it hadn't been meant for me.
It ended with the words, "Take care of yourself."
And so I did.
I asked 107 women (including two made from wood and one with feathers),
chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter.
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it.
Dissect it.  Exhaust it.  Understand it for me.
Answer for me.
It was a way of taking the time to break up.
A way of taking care of myself.

Analysis

Sophie Calle's work to me plays between the lines of curiosity, admiration, longing and voyeurism. The use of her personal life, intimate moments, and honest curiosity about the subjects she chooses to investigate show in the text she writes along her photographs. I find her curiosity for closeness genuine. Sometimes, there seems to be no distinction where her life and her investigation for art begins. This is the case for, Take care of Yourself, where she asked 107 women to help her understand her break up letter that she received through email. Her statement for the series is short and explains the reason of the project and how it was done. It is short and poetic in explaining the viewer what he/she is about to see. The statement doesn't seem to need that much explanation because of the amount of writing and video that happens at the exhibition. This is all the viewer needs to know to understand. It answers the questions to, "This is what I'm doing" and "This is how I'm doing it."

Emily, Week 3: Research Statements

| No Comments

Will Lakey - week three - Research Statement

| No Comments

Peter Doig

Peter Doig 1.jpg

Peter Doig 2.jpg

Statement:
I sometimes wish I had never had to sell a painting. Every painting you make represents the time it was made and how you were feeling and what your influences were. It represents a stage in your development and in that sense, it is unique. You are never going to feel that way again, so you can never repeat it. Because the paintings represent so much, I do sometimes wish I still had them.

I started painting this idea of landscape in London via my memories of Canada, but that didn't happen for a long time, not until I'd been in London for almost ten years. And they were filtered through found images. It was an escape to make these paintings in London, because what was outside the door was so different. The work became a different world. I guess that's always the case, but this was the excitement, trying to find this other place in my head. In Trinidad, the landscape is so present and powerful; it's everywhere, even in Port of Spain. I'd experienced this growing up in Canada, and here it hit me again.

Response:
Although he doesn't offer any formal descriptions of his work, these statements express well his underlying ideas and feelings(at least at this point in his life). It is successful at creating a sense of his movements, and nostalgia for past lives, and I believe would enable someone who was about to look at his work from this time to get a better engagement. I like the way he describes his relationship to the work, it creates a sense of a very personal artistic experience. It fails to offer any theoretical context which would be useful for understanding him contextually, but that also makes it more accessible. I would appreciate more information on his process.

-----------------------

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas 3.jpg

Statement:

Woman and Painting
1
I paint because I am a woman.
(It's a logical necessity.)
If painting is female and insanity is a female malady, then all women painters are mad and all male painters are women.
2
I paint because I am an artificial blonde woman.
(Brunettes have no excuse.)
If all good painting is about colour then bad painting is about having the wrong colour. But bad things can be good excuses. As Sharon Stone said: 'Being blonde is a great excuse. When you're having a bad day you can say, I can't help it, I'm just feeling blonde today.'
3
I paint because I am a country girl.
(Clever, talented big-city girls don't paint.)
I grew up on a wine farm in southern Africa. When I was a child I drew bikini girls for male guests on the back of their cigarette packs. Now I am a mother and I live in another place that reminds me a lot of a farm - Amsterdam. (It's a good place for painters.) Come to think about it, I'm still busy with those types of images and imagination.
4
I paint because I am a religious woman.
(I believe in eternity.)
Painting doesn't freeze time. It circulates and recycles time like a wheel that turns. Those who were first might be last. Painting is a very slow art. It doesn't travel with the speed of light.
That's why dead painters shine so bright.
It's ok to be the second sex.
It's ok to be second best.
Painting is not a progressive activity.
5
I paint because I am an old-fashioned woman.
(I believe in witchcraft.)
I don't have Freudian hang-ups. A brush does not remind me of a phallic symbol.
If anything, the domestic aspect of a painter's studio (being 'locked up' in a room) reminds me a bit of a housewife with her broom. If you're a witch you still know how to use it. Otherwise it's obvious that you'll prefer the vacuum cleaner.
6
I paint because I am a dirty woman.
(Painting is messy business.)
It cannot ever be a pure conceptual medium, The more 'conceptual' or cleaner the art, the more the head can be separated from the body, and the more labour can be done by others. Painting is the only manual labour I do.
7
I paint because I like to be bought and sold.
Painting is about the human touch. It is about the skin of a surface. A painting is not a postcard. The content of a painting cannot be separated from the feel of its surface. Therefore, in spite of everything, Cezanne is more than vegetation and Picasso more than an anus and Matisse is not a pimp.

Response:
This statement reads more like a manifesto than a statement. Although it fails to give any formal description I like the way it is written and feel it embodies a lot of the character of her work. It could almost be a textual version of one of her paintings, with humour and hints at deeper narratives and double meanings. It touches on issues of gender, appearance, class, faith, fashion, and commodity, all recurring subjects in her paintings. Her style is light like her paintings, not over burdened with heavy words or paint it could be described as casual, but the weight is hidden under the surface. This is one of the more interesting and poetic artists statements I have read and it stands apart.

---------------------------


Rydal Hanbury

Rydal Hanbury 1.jpg

Rydal Hanbury 3.jpg

Statement:

For seven years, Rydal has been captivated by the almost magical process of Drawing. She prefers to draw in an area with a defined boundary, where she can pick up it's daily rhythms, patterns and narration. Her favourite 'draw' is standing in front of the Mansion House, London's Square Mile at 7.00-9.30 am trying to catch the forms and nuances, of the focused early morning commuters as they 'explode' from the many entrances and exits of Bank Station. She enjoys translating this visual feast, from the smallest piece of paper and stubby pencil, to the largest roll of paper, with chunks of charcoal. She hopes to enthuse her students to do similar exploits.

Response:
This statement describes well the energy and movement apparent in her drawings of London commuters, but fails to reflect the elegance of line and form she manifests in her work. This statement also doesn't account for her other drawings from different projects that can also be seen on her website. These drawings have a calmer tone that separates them from her hectic commuter studies. She also doesn't offer any contextual information or background which might help to place her among her contemporaries. It seems too brief, more like an elevator pitch.

Jim, Week 3, Researched Statements

| No Comments

Zachary Thornton

Pool2.jpg

The paintings of my night series are set in the midst of anonymous, silent streets, and illuminated by the isolated lights of the nocturnal world that turn otherwise ordinary moments into mysterious and provocative tableaux. 
I have been investigating the unique effects of this charged atmosphere, and try to create images that are ambiguous in narrative and evoke complex emotional responses. 
I wish for the paintings to go beyond (or beneath) the surface drama of the scenes to reveal, in half-lit moments, a private realm of experience. Surrounded by sheltering trees and glowing houses, against the looming darkness and a silence at once ominous and reassuring, the solitary figures of young women encounter the promises and hazards of the night, as the viewer in turn encounters them.

Analysis:
I think this is a great artist statement. It gets straight to the point in simple, concise language. It is descriptive of the formal qualities of his work while also addressing its conceptual content. Many artist statements I have read focus too much on one or the other of those things.

Brett Amory

Waiting128.jpg

The painting series entitled "Waiting" depicts the urban individual's yearning for presence and the seeming impossibility of attaining it. The paintings portray commuters in transit immersed in either a quiet, even hopeful state or, alternately, an anguish of unfulfilled anticipation.
At first, the series, begun in 2001, depicted travelers waiting underground. But as the paintings evolved, the people ceased to be exclusively travelers, and began to emphasize figures selected from anonymous snapshots of city streets. Although the experience of waiting remains, the perception of it has changed from one of mundane task to one leavened with transcendence.
The series has also charted the evolution of an artist--the reductive elements of the compositions provide an outward echo of the inner states of the figures. By reducing the elements of the painting as far as possible, a frozen moment is extended.
Lastly, I have developed favored motifs in the series, a kind of visual music, such as repetition of a human image, to show not only the passage of time but of the human being through it.

Analysis:
This statement also summarizes well the formal and conceptual aspects of the work. I don't think the part about the chronology of his work and "evolution of an artist" is necessary. There may be a place to talk about those things, but it doesn't inform the reader about the work right in front of them which the statement is supposed to be about.


Adrian Hatfield

03_1.jpg

My art takes its cues from visual languages developed in various scientific arenas and which are used, in part, to make huge amounts of information digestible. These include scientific illustration, museum presentation and diorama. I am interested in exploring how the reductive nature of these languages creates the comforting illusion of a more complete understanding of their subjects. Simultaneously, I borrow from the language of nineteenth-century Romantic landscape paintings and religious iconography, which also attempt to distill vast and mysterious subject matter into comprehensible portrayals.
Recently, I have begun to include pop culture references such as Godzilla and Freddie Mercury in my work. I use this imagery alongside the scientific, religious and romantic elements in an attempt to further question the accepted hierarchy of visual culture. I position the pop-culture references parallel to the philosophical, scientific and spiritual to consider both their disparities and their similarities. Additionally, I hope to examine the way lowbrow figures are imbued with meaning. This can happen in obvious ways, such as the hero worship of entertainers, or in more complex ways, such as how Godzilla, a man in an unconvincing rubber monster costume, can simultaneously exist as an enduringly popular B-movie icon, a complex symbol of the U.S./Japan political relationship, and as a metaphor for the destructive potential of nuclear power specifically, and humanity's tampering with nature in general.
I am not implying that science, religion, fine art and pop culture are equivalent. I am, however, interested in how our yearning for meaning, comprehension and control affects the development and function of all of these disciplines. This sometimes causes an interesting blurring and overlap, where one or more of these areas begin to operate in a way traditionally reserved for another.

Analysis:
This statement not only describes very well what his work looks like, but also helps to establish context for the work. The artist gives insight into the logic behind combining seemingly disparate elements in his imagery. This is not to say that the work does not stand on its own without his explanation, because I think it does. Rather than act as a defense of or excuse for the work in question, the statement serves to deepen my appreciation for what I am seeing.

Chris, Week 3, Statement Research

| No Comments

Felix Hess is a trained physicist who wrote his doctor's thesis on the flight of the boomerang. Much of his work now involves automatons which make/react to sound. Below is a statement from Hess titled "THREE WAYS OF LISTENING" from his book "LIGHT AS AIR".

There are three ways of listening, or so it seems to me. The first way is listening to MEANING. This is the most common way of listening, and also the most useful. It belongs to the life of human beings and to the lives of other animals with ears as well. Listening to meaning is done with intelligence with discrimination. We do it all the time, in particular when we listen to spoken words. When we hear a motorcar approaching as we cross the street. When a bird lover notices the call of a certain bird. This way of listening has been perfected through a lot of experience, a lot of training; it can be very refined indeed. It is also heavily dependent on habits. We can do wonderful things with it, like picking out one particular conversation in the midst of very many people talking in a crowded restaurant. It involves ignoring, throwing away, all sounds that are deemed to be irrelevant, as having no meaning, turning them into mere noise, making them unnoticed. This way of listening works quickly and acts almost automatically. Although it is highly active, we seem to be unaware of it, unless it is hampered by resistance, an apparent unwillingness of a meaning to become evident. Once a meaning has been determined, immediately this listening stops, then starts again, focusing on the next possibility. Even when we are not engaged in this kind of listening it can be aroused at any moment; unless we are asleep, we are ready for it.

The second way of listening is to TIME. This we do when we listen to music, or when we enjoy the sounds of nature. Our hearing follows the sounds in time, is led by the succession of sounds. Listening is receptive, it goes with the flow, it seems to come naturally, without effort. It is as if our hearing is taking a bath in the sounds of the world. We sense how things are proceeding, we feel rhythms, we taste the textures and colours of sounds. When given this way of listening, our struggles are over, at least for a while. (This is how music, or nature, can free us from our compulsive listening to meaning.)

The third way is listening to SPACE. This is being sensitive to where the sounds come from. Taking shelter from a summer rain shower underneath a large tree, we listen to the sounds of rain drops on thousands of tree leaves coming from everywhere above our heads. Or at the end of a concert, when the audience applauds, we hear the clapping of hands all around us. The size of a room, the nearest wall, the vastness of an open plain in the evening, they may be revealed to our ears by the reflections of sounds. Mostly we tend to forget that we are hearing space, overwhelmed as we are by our visual impressions. It is simply a matter of attention. Just listen to the singing of insects on a warm summer night: how finely spread out, how spatially rich and delicate, this chorus of insect voices!

August 1999

Felix Hess. It's In The Air. 1996

Felix Hess. It's In The Air. 1996

This Statement or essay by Hess is not particularly descriptive of his practice of making or specific works. He does however, reveal his theory and logic behind the way in which his mind interprets vibrations in air. It cues the reader to the mental or internal syntax in which Hess relates to the content of his work. It provides simple, relatable, rudimentary experiences one gifted with the sense of hearing can relate to. Nowhere in the essay does Hess clearly relate these experiences directly to his work.

--------------------------------------------

Another artist I reviewed is Michael Joo. This is a course on writing and an exercise in analysis of writing artist statements, but we are also faced with talking about our work as well as writing and so I have included a video.


The following is from an interview with artist Michael Joo in which he is asked to address a cyclical process inherent in his work.


MJ: My work has always dealt directly with an overload of information as a way to access the intuitive in the art-making (and receiving) process. In the video works, seemingly unorganised and shapeless content is given structure by time and actions.

This structure has elements of the linear and cyclical; it is present in some way in all of my work. Just as information implies a truth, so do the contradictions in this content; they inform our choices, and therefore our individual identities imply a balance point.

The moment of balance defies choice and could be seen as both eternal and ephemeral. Perhaps one idea of faith and spiritual renewal could be seen as the human drive to repeat that moment of balance combined with the fear of losing one's identity.

I imagine the diagrammatic shape of this process to be like a spiral from above and spring-like from the side. This relates to an optimism in the work, as the form is both two and three dimensional, real and imagined, and therefore perfect and something to aspire to.

The idea of the cyclical reflects the nature of the work as well. I am not interested in producing identifiable groups of art along a linear timeline. I guess there is "spiritual renewal" through "re-incarnation" of themes within the work (to twist your words), with their significance to the larger project of the whole body of work existing as an evolving proposition.

video statement- FLAWS IN DESIGN

joo.jpg

Michael Joo. The Saltiness Of Greatness. 1992.

I chose these statements because of the way in which Joo addresses themes present throughout his work. Addressing, noticing, and analyzing themes in my own work can be a limiting and troublesome way of defining what I do. At the same time it is helpful and vital to the process of understanding what I do. In the video Joo gives specific examples of how a theme of flawed design is present in a specific piece. The coyotes are made in plasticine to address their artificial and unnatural display. As he elaborates on this connection/motive, he is providing a specific lense for a viewer to look through. Much of his work is very information rich but most of this information is not expressly provided in writing with the exception of a sometimes telling title.

--------------------

Tara Donovan

"My investigations into the properties of different media each address a specific trait that is unique to a given mass-produced material. By experimenting with the more phenomenological aspects of a material, my process develops through a kind of dialogue that leads to a specific repetitive action (e.g. stacking, bundling, heaping, etc.) that builds the work. The breadth and diversity of the consumer landscape has expanded to such a degree that the supply of materials that can be adapted to an artistic context seems limitless. The idea that art can be manufactured or that it can radically complicate the standard notions of value attached to mass-produced objects is no longer a point of serious contention in contemporary debates. I think the new fertile territory, for myself at least, encompasses a range of practices that capitalize on the iconic identities of commercial and industrial materials by pressing them further into the realm of abstract seduction. I prefer the phrase "site-responsive" to describe the affiliation of my works to the spaces they inhabit. While this term makes a convenient allusion to the chameleonic visuals I prefer to exploit, it also suggests a dependence on the architectural particulars and lighting conditions of a given space that environmentally impact the growth of my work in terms of scale, direction, and orientation. This reliance on spatial conditions is primarily responsible for forming the understanding of my works as "fields" of visual activity, which have been compared to everything from landscapes to biomorphic forms and even cellular structures."

donovan.jpg

Tara Donovan. Toothpicks. 2001

Donovan points out very clear themes within her methods of making. She addresses the materials, means, and concepts of her practice in a very straightforward way. She also establishes the context in which she is working and displaying. Donovan references how her work and materials relate historically and culturally. There are no specific references to pieces and no biographical tidbits. However, she does say "I think" and "I prefer" highlighting the presence of her personal decisiveness and artistic voice while developing a piece.

Beth, Week 3, Artist Statements: Research

| No Comments

I had the frustrating problem of choosing three artists who appear to not have simple first-person narrative statements. In the case of Richard Wentworth, he is the frequent subject of print and broadcast interviews, but has never followed the simple form that has become the conventional artist's statement. I have located small extracts where he summarized his basic approach, and I hope these will work here. I have also included links to longer interviews where he attempts to summarize his practice.

Tacita Dean is another artist I admire, and another who seems to not have ever had to summarize her work in nutshell. I have included information supplied by her London gallery, Frith Street, with the assumption that this was written with Ms Dean's approval. Likewise in the case of John Stezaker, I have used the third-person information provided by the Whitechapel Gallery, again under the assumption that this was approved by the artist.

---

Wentworth.jpg


ARTIST: RICHARD WENTWORTH
from Art Photography Now, by Susan Bright, Aperture, 2005

". . . I have always been very puzzled about the raw and the cooked. Am I sitting on a tree or is this assemblage of wood a chair? What draws me in is how things are convertible and how humans give meaning. There is something about mutability that I have always been attracted to. I mean, what is a television that is sitting on the roadside miles away from the electricity supply? Is it still a television? It's something to do with being dead yet alive. It's the small human acts that reach out to my way of seeing. Without someone being able to raise a brick and deposit the right amount of mortar then there would be no walls. That's all a wall is really - a lot of brick raising. A little human act multiplied. A half brick raised, though, can be a murder weapon.

My work is also attached to the limits of purposefulness. If something is discarded you can read that and see that it's been rejected. To me, there is something terribly beautiful in that. Formal things are incredibly important to me. I always see the crack in the glass before I see the window. I have always had this "sickness". I am interested in the aberrant."

from The White Review

". . . I become more and more interested in organisational imagery, which is a kind of text. Everything can be read. Floorboards can be 'read'. The fact that you're sitting comfortably in this room suggests that you've 'read' from the surroundings that the ceiling is unlikely to cave in. A lot of these things you can test by reversing them, by finding those times when you read things wrong. You can become alert to misperception. You have to work hard at it though because the whole point of misperception is that you correct it. So, just as you start to trip or misjudge the height of a step, you correct yourself. What I've enjoyed doing is trying to collect up those moments, those milliseconds."

In this interview, Wentworth offers insight into his work by way of metaphors, which is an apt entry point. He is a generous, gregarious thinker, and the many interviews available online get me thinking not only about his work, but about the machinations of the universe. He has an addicting charm which makes me love his work and adore him as a person. The wit he spills while discussing art reflects the context in which his work is made, and I can see art and artist are of a piece.

from the Nicoletta Rusconi Gallery

"Richard Wentworth has played a leading role in New British Sculpture since the end of the 70s. His work, encircling the notion of objects and their use as part of our day-to-day experiences, has altered the traditional definition of sculpture as well as photography. By transforming and manipulating industrial and/or found objects into works of art, Wentworth subverts their original function and extends our understanding of them by breaking the conventional system of classification. The sculptural arrangements play with the notion of ready-made and juxtaposition of objects that bear no relation to each other.  Whereas in photography, as in the ongoing series Making Do and Getting By, Wentworth documents the everyday, paying attention to objects, occasional and involuntary geometries as well as uncanny situations that often go unnoticed."

This aptly summarizes what Wentworth does and what motivates him, and I think this kind of narrative summary is tidy and succinct. It made me realize that an artist's statement perhaps works best when it is like a simple elevator speech. As novice writers are frequently told: show, don't tell. I took this approach to my (very brief) statement that I'm submitting here today. When I draft a statement about a specific body of work, I usually write something that is two or (many) more paragraphs long, depending on the situation. This brief summary of Wentworth's practice is simple yet descriptive.

---

Dean.jpg

ARTIST: TACITA DEAN
from the Frith Street Gallery, London

"The films, drawings and other works by Tacita Dean are extremely original. Her recent film portraits express something that neither painting nor photography can capture. They are purely film. And while Dean can appreciate the past, her art avoids any kind of academic approach. Dean's art is carried by a sense of history, time and place, light quality and the essence of the film itself. The focus of her subtle but ambitious work is the truth of the moment, the film as a medium and the sensibilities of the individual."

This short blurb put out by the Frith Street Gallery is dull and annoying. When I'm told by a stakeholder that something or someone is "extremely original," I feel like I'm being sold something. I would rather read a list of things Dean has done that leads me to draw my own conclusion about her originality. In her case, this should be easy. While I was able to find examples of Dean addressing her own work, and an especially good one is the long essay she wrote in Film, the catalog to her recent large installation at Tate Modern, I think this short piece that appears later in the catalog is an impassioned declaration of intent:

from Film, exhibition catalog, Tate Modern, 2011

"This book and this film are not valedictory; they refuse to be. But they are, nonetheless, a call to arms. Culturally and socially, we are moving too fast and losing too much in our haste. We are also being deceived, silently and conspiratorially. Analogue, the word, means equivalent. Digital is not the analogue of analogue. At the moment we have both, so why deplete our world of this choice? But we must persuade a disheartened industry of film and photo manufacturers and those few remaining labs to persevere through this darkest of storms. Increasingly people are returning to non-digital film and photography, as they have been returning to vinyl, because they want the option of using both, despite what is being decided for them. We must fight to keep a foothold on Mount Analogue*, or risk a colossal depletion of irretrievable knowledge and skill, as well as the experience and history of over a hundred years of film and photographs made on film. If we do not, we are in danger of losing something of our humanity's heart."
* Dean refers to the book Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing by Rene Daumal (1952), which she discusses in her introductory essay

---

Stezaker.jpg

ARTIST: JOHN STEZAKER
from the Whitechapel Gallery, London

"The work of British artist John Stezaker (b. 1949) engages with the ceaseless flow of images that is the consequence of popular culture, the mass media and mechanical reproduction. Instead of creating new images from scratch, Stezaker uses existing material: classic movie stills, vintage postcards and book illustrations. By means of minimal intervention, such as cropping, excision, rotation or occlusion, the artist removes these images from their original context, and allows them to acquire new meaning. Stezaker's emphasis on the image itself reflects his fascination in the visual:

"I am dedicated to fascination - to image fascination, a fascination for the point at which the image becomes self-enclosed and autonomous. It does so through a series of processes of disjunction."

This exhibition presents a survey of Stezaker's work on paper from the 1970s to today. It focuses on 'processes of disjunction' in his use of collage, found images, and image fragments.

The artist's collages often add or take away visual elements. The unexpected encounter of diverse images create surprising new narratives; the precise cut-out opens up new interpretations. His found images and image fragments take such approach of re-contextualisation even further. Through simple rotation or mere cropping, the previously forgotten images acquire a renewed poetic resonance, and, in many cases, disquieting allure."

John Stezaker's work combines simple objects, in this case images, in simple ways that open new ways to understand the possibilities of the constituent components. These components are sourced and archived with the aim to pair them up later. By describing this process as providing "new narratives" and opening up "new interpretations," the artist is able to remain vague in his intent. "Renewed poetic resonance" and "disquieting allure" are also open-ended phrases used to describe open-ended photographs. I think this summary of the work perhaps needlessly spells out points we can easily glean on our own, but his collages are made with a simple process, and part of their magic is that everything is so obvious yet we still feel the quiet wonder that is borne of that simplicity.

Josh McGarvey, Week 3, Artist Statements

| No Comments

Monica Kulicka

In Monica Kulicka's piece, Reconstructions , over 90 gallons of grass and clover chlorophyll were ground by hand and refrigerated in a large container. Plastic tubes transfered the chlorophyll throughout the rooms of 1414 Monterey Street--the Mattress Factory's satellite building. Kulicka also rubbed the chlorophyll into the wooden structures of the floor over the course of a ten-day performance that followed the exhibition's opening.
Plants were gathered from throughout the neighborhood and liquefied into green "juice" with a hand-cranked meat grinder. After grinding pounds and pounds of plants, the liquid was poured into a clear, rectangular box. After pouring the liquefied green matter into the large container, she used refrigeration and added alcohol to keep the watery vegetation from going bad.
"Without the additive of alcohol and without refrigeration it would spoil and rot very quickly, just as any fresh fruit juice left on the kitchen counter for a couple of days," Monika explained during an interview. The liquid ran through the building to the exposed wood surfaces of doorframes, flooring, and window frames. Plastic tubes traveled from the main tank to the rest of the room's installation. The main room was kept darker to avoid killing the chlorophyll with harsh light.
After the opening evening, artists stayed to continue rubbing the chlorophyll into the floors. Rubbing old wooden floors all day without any protection gave the artist their fair share of splinters and cuts from rusty nails. Additionally, the chlorophyll stung the nicks and scratches, but luckily it actually helped to heal them. The type of clover used, melilot, has been used in medical practices to heal bad wounds, like the artist's beaten hands. "It was an experience that touched me, and taught me, very much" recalls Kulicka

"In Reconstructions I build my own machine to give an old, wooden building a (green) blood transfusion; I gently rub fresh chlorophyll into old planks of the floor. It's a mockery of technology, it's a mockery of good intentions. My aim is to stir our hidden appreciation of absurd, to startle minds set by the logic of cause and effect."

Analysis:
I think Monica Kulicka's statement gives an incredible description of intent behind the project. The last paragraph just really makes me fall in love with the installation. It is not highfalutin but simply put and still very interesting. I think it is accessible to a wide range of viewers and not just an art world regular.

kulicka.jpg


Kulicka1.png

Marcus Coates

"...My work is all about our relationship with animals and nature...There is humour in the work, but a serious side explores how we use our relationship with animals to define our humanness."

Coates often assumes the identity of an animal, such as a fox, goshawk or stoat, by simulating its appearance, enacting its habits and appropriating its language. In the film, 'Stoat' (1999), for example, Coates totters around on ramshackle platforms, learning to recreate the animal's bounding movements; in 'Goshawk' (1999), a telephoto lens captures the artist as a rare bird perched precariously at the top of a tree; while in 'Finfolk' (2003), the artist emerges from the North Sea spluttering a new dialect, as spoken by seals.

Coates has also trained as a shaman and the exhibition includes films of his rituals, where he achieves a trance-like state and communes with the animal kingdom to address social issues. Wearing an array of costumes such as a badger's hide, a stuffed horse's head, a blonde wig and a necklace of money (all of which will be on display), Coates has addressed issues including prostitution, regeneration and swine flu for communities worldwide and most recently in Israel, Japan and Switzerland.

"...I feel that my imagination can be put to good use socially, even politically."

Analysis:
I think the strongest aspect of this statement is how he words it in a way that allows the viewer to access his content in a clear and concise manner. This last quote about the use of his imagination gives a clear glimpse into his intentions behind his rather absurd performances. He does not, though, describe well enough his performative antics that would highlight to the reader the humor that is very evident in his process.


Coates.png

David Hammons

1. I CAN'T STAND ART ACTUALLY. I'VE NEVER, EVER LIKED ART, EVER. I NEVER TOOK IT IN SCHOOL.
2. WHEN I WAS IN CALIFORNIA, ARTISTS WOULD WORK FOR YEARS AND NEVER HAVE A SHOW. SO SHOWING HAS NEVER BEEN THAT IMPORTANT TO ME. WE USED TO CUSS PEOPLE OUT: PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT OUR WORK, DEALERS, ETC., BECAUSE THAT PART OF BEING AN ARTIST WAS ALWAYS A JOKE TO US.
WHEN I CAME TO NEW YORK, I DIDN'T SEE ANY OF THAT. EVERYBODY WAS JUST GROVELING AND TOMMING, ANYTHING TO BE IN THE ROOM WITH SOMEBODY WITH SOME MONEY. THERE WERE NO BAD GUYS HERE; SO I SAID, "LET ME BE A BAD GUY," OR ATTEMPT TO BE A BAD GUY, OR PLAY WITH THE BAD AREAS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
3. I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY BLACK PEOPLE WERE CALLED SPADES, AS OPPOSED TO CLUBS. BECAUSE I REMEMBER BEING CALLED A SPADE ONCE, AND I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT; NIGGER I KNEW BUT SPADE I STILL DON'T. SO I TOOK THE SHAPE, AND STARTED PAINTING IT.
4. I JUST LOVE THE HOUSES IN THE SOUTH, THE WAY THEY BUILT THEM. THAT NEGRITUDE ARCHITECTURE. I REALLY LOVE TO WATCH THE WAY BLACK PEOPLE MAKE THINGS, HOUSES OR MAGAZINE STANDS IN HARLEM, FOR INSTANCE. JUST THE WAY WE USE CARPENTRY. NOTHING FITS, BUT EVERYTHING WORKS. THE DOOR CLOSES, IT KEEPS THINGS FROM COMING THROUGH. BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE THAT NEATNESS ABOUT IT, THE WAY WHITE PEOPLE PUT THINGS TOGETHER; EVERYTHING IS A THIRTY-SECOND OF AN INCH OFF.
5. THAT'S WHY I LIKE DOING STUFF BETTER ON THE STREET, BECAUSE THE ART BECOMES JUST ONE OF THE OBJECTS THAT'S IN THE PATH OF YOUR EVERYDAY EXISTENCE. IT'S WHAT YOU MOVE THROUGH, AND IT DOESN'T HAVE ANY SENIORITY OVER ANYTHING ELSE.
THOSE PIECES WERE ALL ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT THE BLACK VIEWER HAD A REFLECTION OF HIMSELF IN THE WORK. WHITE VIEWERS HAVE TO LOOK AT SOMEONE ELSE'S CULTURE IN THOSE PIECES AND SEE VERY LITTLE OF THEMSELVES IN IT.
6. ANYONE WHO DECIDES TO BE AN ARTIST SHOULD REALIZE THAT IT'S A POVERTY TRIP. TO GO INTO THIS PROFESSION IS LIKE GOING INTO THE MONASTERY OR SOMETHING; IT'S A VOW OF POVERTY I ALWAYS THOUGHT. TO BE AN ARTIST AND NOT EVEN TO DEAL WITH THAT POVERTY THING, THAT'S A WASTE OF TIME; OR TO BE AROUND PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT.
MY KEY IS TO TAKE AS MUCH MONEY HOME AS POSSIBLE. ABANDON ANY ART FORM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH. INSIST THAT IT'S AS CHEAP AS POSSIBLE IS NUMBER ONE AND ALSO THAT IT'S AESTHETICALLY CORRECT. AFTER THAT ANYTHING GOES. AND THAT KEEPS EVERYTHING INTERESTING FOR ME.
7. I DON'T KNOW WHAT MY WORK IS. I HAVE TO WAIT TO HEAR THAT FROM SOMEONE.
I WOULD LIKE TO BURN THE PIECE. I THINK THAT WOULD BE NICE VISUALLY. VIDEOTAPE THE BURNING OF IT. AND SHOOT SOME SLIDES. THE SLIDES WOULD THEN BE A PIECE IN ITSELF. I'M GETTING INTO THAT NOW: THE SLIDES ARE THE ART PIECES AND THE ART PIECES DON'T EXIST.
8. IF YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE THEN IT'S EASY TO MAKE ART. MOST PEOPLE ARE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THEIR IMAGE. ARTISTS HAVE ALLOWED THEMSELVES TO BE BOXED IN BY SAYING "YES" ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE SEEN, AND THEY SHOULD BE SAYING "NO." I DO MY STREET ART MAINLY TO KEEP ROOTED IN THAT "WHO I AM." BECAUSE THE ONLY THING THAT'S REALLY GOING ON IS IN THE STREET; THAT'S WHERE SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING. IT ISN'T HAPPENING IN THESE GALLERIES.
9. DOING THINGS IN THE STREET IS MORE POWERFUL THAN ART I THINK. BECAUSE ART HAS GOTTEN SO....I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK ART IS ABOUT NOW. IT DOESN'T DO ANYTHING. LIKE MALCOLM X SAID, IT'S LIKE NOVOCAINE. IT USED TO WAKE YOU UP BUT NOW IT PUTS YOU TO SLEEP. I THINK THAT ART NOW IS PUTTING PEOPLE TO SLEEP. THERE'S SO MUCH OF IT AROUND IN THIS TOWN THAT IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING. THAT'S WHY THE ARTIST HAS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WHAT HE SHOWS AND WHEN HE SHOWS NOW. BECAUSE THE PEOPLE AREN'T REALLY LOOKING AT ART, THEY'RE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND EACH OTHER'S CLOTHES AND EACH OTHER'S HAIRCUTS.
10. THE ART AUDIENCE IS THE WORST AUDIENCE IN THE WORLD. IT'S OVERLY EDUCATED, IT'S CONSERVATIVE, IT'S OUT TO CRITICIZE NOT TO UNDERSTAND, AND IT NEVER HAS ANY FUN. WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY TIME PLAYING TO THAT AUDIENCE?

Analysis:
I could not find any actual "artist statement" for David Hammons. This was a grouping of quotes I found in one location that seemed to work well as an "artist statement". This is very consistent with the content of his work, which to quote him, "doing things in the street is more powerful than art...". It could be seen as hypocritical for him to have an "artist statement", written in his private residence, paid for by his art sales, made in new york galleries.

Hammons.png