Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Artist Chuck Close says

“…But I am always looking forward to more and more wrinkles and more and more stuff to paint. The stuff that I love is the stuff that other people hate. And, I think that the face is a road map to the sort of life you have led and embedded in it is the evidence of your life. So, if you have laughed your whole life you have laugh lines. If you frowned your whole life you have furrows in your brow. There is lots of evidence of who you are and what your life has been like.”

from a great interview of Chuck Close by John Anderson. It has me thinking about our different definitions of art and artists. Do we see exhibits and performances because we like to escape to a world where everything is smooth and harmonious? or do we prefer to uncover and examine the ambiguity of life? do we like to be shocked and confronted with grief, anger, aggression?

Some of my fascination with art and performance is in its range: the infinite sea of topics and situations that inspire us, and the creative ways artists present their ideas.

In the same interview, Close says: “In New York City, every time they have a budget cut, the first thing to go is art. Teaching for testing is ruining education, and it is certainly ruining alternative ways of learning because they are so intent on having you know the right facts and things to spit back that it has taken the creativity out of the hands of the teacher. It is terrible! I can’t imagine how depressing it is to get these people out of high school going into the college system who have had such a limited notion of what success can be.”

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