A great one has left us. I probably can’t say more intelligent or touching things about him than already have been said. I think Easy Rider and the lifestyle of Hopper and his ilk had a deep and lasting influence on today’s culture and counterculture. What’s probably greater, he did what he felt like, and was good at it most of the time. Check out his paintings and photography if you haven’t.
In interviews he claimed that his drive behind painting and doing photography is that he wants to leave something behind that lasts. But while his art is good, he left the most lasting impressions on the world by just being himself. Of course, being driven was an impotant part of it.
My most poignant memory about him would be that saturday afternoon I watched The Last Movie and fiercely tried to enjoy it, while the rest of the family kept complaining about that “awful waste of two hours”. I think I was in my late teens and had seen Easy Rider recently. He was not even of my generation, I’ve been born 1972.
For a few moments I was contemplating doing some sort of commemorative art. But again, what could I do that hasn’t been done? Also, I can’t draw a harley. So I’m going to honour a wild one by being wild. I had an automatic drawing session today and post the results, which I wouldn’t normally do. And yes, I’m gonna drink more than one beer in his honour as soon as opportunity arises. When I do those I scribble or paint with closed eyes until it feels enough, then I paint over this what I feel like.
Some time ago I wanted to stop that separation between private and public art, seems I haven’t gone as far on this path as I told myself I did. It’s people like Dennis Hopper who remind me what joy there is in being wild, being myself. Probably we’d better not go as far in this as he did at times, but I know I could use some more of his spirit.
Two pics without title
Black ink and acrylics on watercolour paper, the first one raw the second one coated with white acrylic paint first.
Size: 17*24 cm
Two weeks ago I managed to sneak away from work early and go see Dijanne’s exhibition at Munich. Her work was breathtaking to look at. Her quilts look great on the website, but even better for real.
But there was one thing that caught my eye. She uses lots of surface treatments which are probably not washable, such as layers of silk tops or gold foiling, and that often on pieces which are too big to be easiely framed behind glass. In the exhibition, everything was hung without frames of course. I don’t really dare to question the work of someone like Dijanne, but I would try to avoid that. In fact I’m working on a sampler that will be like this,because I did not think that much before starting it, but I have good intentions for the future.
Sometimes I wonder how careless we fiber artists are about conservational issues. More often than not, we use happiely whatever strikes our fancy without giving a thought to thinks like lightfastness or manmade materials crumbling with age. I’m as guilty of this as any of you, but sometimes it makes me think twice. Because as a painter, I was taught to only use acid free paper and the best quality paints I can get. Even there I sometimes deviated from the rules for the joy of using fancy papers and other unusual things.
What makes this problem more difficult is that information about the lightfastness and lifetime of fabrics and other supplies is sparse and hard to find, especially when it is about things like polyester organza and fabrics meant for clothes or home decor (and that’s some of my favourite materials).
For me, it’s often the coice between maximum fun and common sense about conservational issues. Or is it hubris that makes me want to work for eternity, which isn’t going to happen anyway?
Do you think about such issues? What are your solutions? I would love to read oppinions on this.
(sorry for the ranty post, and the absence of eye candy)
Sometime this week I was surfing arround idly on wikipedia – and found Stuckism , an article about a group of artists who reject conceptual art and postmodernism in favour of paintings which are kind of understandable and done out of a need to express oneself, not just for attention and monetary gain.
I went on to read their manifesto and other stuff on their website. Some of it might be irelevant to a fiber artist. But on the whole, I agree to their manifesto enthusiastically. I guess I’m not going to become a stuckinst now, I’ too much of an amateur to be part of any -ism, I guess. Also, my painting teacher would probably foam at the mouth with wrath about some of their art (he is into fantastic realism, and able to paint photorealistically if he wants to).
What I especially enjoy is their quest for meaning. Just some days ago I had a discussion with someone who claimed that painting (in the widest sense, including pictorial fiber art) as a medium of art is utterly dead. I responded that there’s truth in that, but it doesn’t need to be that way. What is killing art is the snobbism and of the art scene, which make art look disgusting for ordinary people. What also kills it is the notion that something must be shocking or a novelty to be art. This on the one hand, and the strive for decorativeness on the other hand. Once my painting teacher said: ” Don’t paint decorative abstract stuff. leave that to interior designers, they are trained for it much better”. In my oppinion, art in any medium should be about expressing emotions, thoughts and experiences, if possible in a way that is effective in communicating them to others. And it shouldn’t be spelt with a big A. I certainly found some of this in the stuckist manifesto.
Oh well, I guess the fact that I didn’t know about them, and many other art movements I found on wikipedia, probably means I’m a bloody amateur who has no business ranting about such stuff.