Friday, April 22, 2016

Changing one's Desires

I went to the doctor today and we were discussing diet.  He used a phrase that stuck in my head all day. He said, "so that's good, you desired something more healthy to eat - you changed your desires." As he repeated the phrase it just echoed more and more in my head..."changed your desires"... an interesting thought beyond culinary choices, as-well-as an excellent metaphor for life choices, aesthetic choices, and art making choices...

For the purpose of this blog I will address it in terms of art making choices.

I think the urge to create art works that are derivative comes from the desire to re-create the energy from the object that originally draws our attention. Ancient small iron sculptures of discus throwers comes to mind and the incredible tactile quality of their skin, their shape, and their motion. The temptation is to replicate the small statue of a tight compact athletic shape to try to capture a similar satisfaction that fills the desire of proportion and surface.

There is a way to "use" the experience of viewing the athlete and to translate it's perfect energy into one's thoughts and formation of a work of completely different content, yet no less intensity. This is what we call  making good art. Thoughtful, well crafted, and created to stand it's ground and speak it's own voice.  That's a far cry from a seductive work, but never-the-less may require a "changing of one's desires".

Greek Diskus Thrower, bronze

Delicate Breathing, oil on canvas, 6' x 8'