The most elegant and succinct art statement I have read, was provided by a student/artist I worked with in the First Street Gallery and Art Center, a program meeting the needs of disabled adult artists. Her work had been selected for presentation in a group showing of Southern California artists. Of the artists chosen, three were asked to provide statements to be included in the program. The first two were somewhat long and very much steeped in philosophy and explanation. Helen’s was simple: “I like to paint.” Succinct and to the point: mirroring my own feelings I have developed with advancing years.
For those wishing more elucidation, I deal with the concepts of time and of barriers. I play with various philosophical concepts through the use of symbols I equate with the idea moving me at the moment. Like a computer dump, I play with all the symbols that relate to an idea, placing them in design relationships.
Rather than provide a one to one explanation of the meanings of a particular work, it is preferable for each viewer to bring his or her own experience to a work using it as a vehicle to create a more intimate experience. Like meeting a person, the more time spent learning about the individual, you become richer: the same is true of a work of art. Visit it often and your understanding and perceptions about both the work and of yourself will increase.
There are two artists who have had a major impact on the direction of my work in the last ten to fifteen years.
One is John Egan, an artist, print maker and teacher. He taught me to enjoy and celebrate the materials: not to try to force the materials into conformity, but to celebrate the reaction of the material to the environment.
The other artist is Danny Keller, a student of mine at First Street. It was Danny who reintroduced me to the joy of just pushing paint around: celebrating the ritual of creating a work of art.