3 artist talks: Nick Cave, Taro Hasano, Northrop Artist Panel
I want to start with Nick Cave. I saw an exhibit of his in Denver last summer. Not knowing what exactly he did, but hearing his name before hand I paid to see his show. I was amazed at his culmination of craft, dance, and fine art. I think that his sound suits are amazing. I also think his sculptures involving dogs are amazing. His show was an unexpected benefit of a visit to Denver so I jumped at the chance to hear him speak about it.
At the M.I.A nick cave spoke about process and how he came to be where he is today. His process seemed simple but intuitive and natural. At the talk he explained that although he was involved in dance he wanted more; to say more. That is when he decided to take a leap and decided to mix dance, sound, and art. Great story! One thing he mentioned during Q&A was that he didn't sketch which was surprising but comforting to some extent because I don't. Another aspect of his work that he touched on was the fact that he works in a studio where he is the master and his apprentices do the labor. I found this rare but a good thing to hear that it has not totally dead, especially since he teaches in Chicago.
Taro Hasano was a product of an environment that Nick Cave uses to create his artwork. As an apprentice for over 6 years Taro learned and mastered his trade. I hate to use the term "trade" but it is for lack of a better term because it is associated with craft. I do feel, however, that his trade is so specific it falls into an artisan craft. Taro was so humble during his talk. At one point during the Q&A he said, "I think my sword will cut." in response to a question. It was funny but so familiar in the pottery making sense regarding the Mingei pottery tradition and the humble potter. Very inspiring man though. I had the pleasure of working beside him during the Tatara steel firing and it was anything but kitsch. Like I said artisan craft at it's highest level. Put it this way; whomever would purchase a sword with his expertise involved better have a 1% income.
The "Three Artists Talk" was probably the most interesting of all. It was not because of an argument on craft or high art. I was most impressed by the debate atmosphere that developed during the talk. There was an obvious exclusiveness during some of the responses to the moderator, which was egotistical from an audience member's point of view. I am glad there was someone there to bring up the question of how we teach our youth to learn about art. It started the fireworks. And although the "Buyer" that stood up and gave his opinion on his soap box has money and explained to us about his grand notion of art, I still say fuck him and get over yourself. Art is for beauty and interpretation. Money or monetary value is not a way to devise what is good art and bad art.