|Ty the Yellow Lab ponders where to put this box.|
Yesterday afternoon the pieces from my NSA series that didn't sell (and yes, a bunch of them sold!) came back to me from Charles Krause Reporting Gallery, reminding me that I need to figure out how to store all the framing supplies that keep multiplying in my basement. My basement being damp, it's not an ideal place to store anything except the plexi and glass, but the living space in my house is only 1240 square feet, so I'm hard pressed just to store my prints, much less framing supplies. Fellow artists, your storage suggestions are welcome.
The return of the NSA work also reminded me that I've intended to blog some of my thoughts on political art. Charles Krause Gallery focuses on political art and, as my regular readers know, so do I. I don't often articulate why that's my focus, though. I'm not even sure if I know -- it feels more like a calling than a choice. But I'd like to make an attempt to define and articulate more clearly why it is that I'm drawn to socio-political work, what makes art political, and what constitutes 'good' political art. I'll blog about this occasionally in the new year, and I welcome your thoughts.
Today, an interview with artist Mark Bradford flickered across my computer screen and I enjoyed some of his words about socio-political work. He sounds a bit like me when he says "My art, I never could completely separate it from the social. I could never just have a hermetic studio life. It’s just part of me. I’ve always been so curious of everything that’s happening—social anthropology, social history.” Also like me, he does a lot of reading when he gets interested in a topic. Here, he studies sea monsters for a body of work of the same name:
“Another layer for me that I got really interested in is that we always have this thing about making the other dangerous. So I started reading these books. I read this book on sea monsters. The 16th and 17th century maps, they didn’t understand the ocean, so it was a deep, dark, mysterious place. In these books of these sea monsters, they were half dolphins and half walruses. They had names for them. They had categories. I just became so fascinated by this. I just thought: this is so cool. What they didn’t understand, they made terrifying.”
One thing that I personally gain from working with historic material is that I get to see that history does actually repeat itself. This is both reassuring and horrifying -- reassuring because it shows that the things that make us human are persistent, and we are not alone; horrifying because we seem to never learn some very basic lessons.
Check out the interview with Mark Bradford here.