Aim of my work:
As the course is progressing, I am finally making the shift from subject matter to subject. I have been working on shifting from the objective to the non-objective (representational to the abstract) This has taken me a year, plus half this module to get to this point in my practice. It has been a very difficult shift. I have always been able to make/create representational as well as abstract images, however, in the past, they were a ‘one off’ and I was caught up in the image making process. (the technical side of it) Now, the image making is linked to my feelings and critical thoughts, in other words, I think about an image, then I go out and make it. (Spiritual side) It’s not a perfect system yet, I still land up with a decisive moment, a lucky or serendipitous flash, luck, as well as other spontaneous moments, however these have become secondary occurrences, or slightly retarded to what the process was a year ago. My critical image making process is now my primary way of working.
The intent of my work is to communicate “Being in the moment” whatever challenges, joys, or disasters come at you. It’s about enlightenment, and how to use it in a practical way in our lives. This concept is as old as the hills, “Be here now.” “Enjoy the journey” “All you have is now” I have lived with these abstracts my whole life, however, over the past year, the application of critical thinking has enabled me to align with my spiritual life with my physical life and to-gether they work synergistically. And I wish to use my series “Fences” as a celebration of this breakthrough. I became spiritually enlightened about six months ago, and critical thinking has been a part of the process to achieve it. Critical thinking is the white collar equivalent of Spiritual Enlightenment. To-gether they seem to re-inforce each other.
Aesthetics, Subject Matter, Technical Approach:
I love aesthetics it is a very powerful attractor. In the past, I liked to look at beautiful art, in all domains, but mainly in: painting, photography, film. Lately, my gaze has shifted. I am beginning to enjoy the making/creating process more. This module has made this shift possible. Up until this time, I have not had the balance between control and loss of control that I have now. I am quite happy to let go, or take charge and sometimes both at the same time. Before it was all take charge, and I felt I was losing 50% power in the creative process but never knew why. However when one learns to let go, it is replaced with something else. I always understood the concept of it, but was not able to put it into practice. Now, I put it into practice.
My subject matter was always contained something objective, something fully recognizable in the real world, transformed into the image. However this module a change has occurred. I am content with the subject matter of ‘Fences’ however, I had no subject, no theme, no connotation in image form, even though I had it as a concept in my mind. (For example the fence as a metaphor.) However the images were still too literal: A picture of a fence, is a picture of a fence, is a picture of a fence!
For the past two weeks, I have been working on a technical way to make abstractions of fence subject matter, and so far it working pretty well. I made 8×10 prints. I took about 30 prints and threw them out to the wind and rain. I went back a few hours later and much to my surprise the images became wonderfully destroyed, the ink began to run, the wind blew it across the pages, as they blew around the yard they become water logged and scratched, and the subject matter of “Fences” began to fade and dissolve into the background. I left some out for a few hours, some for a few days and the rest for the week.
I scooped them up, let them dry, scanned them, and put them through the rack of light-room, and extracted the abstractions of “Fences” that I liked, the images, like Paul Klee had the remembrances of the objective representation, but it was a stretch to see. I just “let go” and the images bounced back in a way I really like.
My practice as adhering to a particular ideology.
As I move through the MA, old ideologies are starting to fall away. Regarding novel, unique and one of a kind, as the only means of value is now starting to be questioned. I have always appreciated the unique, and the novel, especially in term of value and interns of dollar value in particular.
The fact that an Andreas Gursky or a Cindy Sherman can command prices of 3 million and up, has always lead me to believe the single great idea, the single great image is the way to go. This is particularly true with painters, more than phtographers. However with sea of images, and particularly the work of Andy Warhol, is bringing the question on “one of a kind” into the light for more examination. His image of ‘Thirty are better than One’ which commanded over 2 million dollars, shows that aesthetics, culture and society can raise the stakes of a work, even if it’s mass produced.
I am leaning that it good to shake up old ideas and systems of ideas every once in a while, and to open up to the complete opposite of what one believes, and their may lie the answer to many art and creative related problems.