View Full Version : Recent inspirations?
I get motivated and inspired by really creative, original work, especially if its nothing like what I do. What have you seen recently that got your juices flowing?
I'll start. The feature photos above have shown work of Harriet Caldwell. I finally looked her up. Rocked my day big time.www.harrietcaldwell.com/gallery/current_work/index.php
09-22-2007, 10:37 AM
yeah, I love her work.
I saw a hunk of tread by the side of the freeway that was blown off a truck tire. It inspired me because the haphazard position looked like a huge bird turning, flying overhead, wingtips ruffled by the wind, no longer crud by the polluted roadside.
09-22-2007, 07:13 PM
Can't say Harriet did anything for me, but I know what you mean. I am absolutely a huge fan of Francis Bacon's paintings, though I wouldn't paint that way myself...the differentness of his thought process has always given me a boost.
Jason, wouldn't expect anyone to react like I did. Part of it was my circumstances that day. I needed to be creative, but I ran out of welding wire and I broke my band saw blade. I would have be stuck unless I could come with another means for expressing myself. So I posted a lot that day. Pretty pathetic I know. But keeping the creative battery charged is a good thing so I'm always on the look out for other sources of visual stimulation.
09-22-2007, 07:50 PM
Today I was particularly inspired by the latest proposal rejection that came in the mail. Seems the panel did not find it "welcoming and approachable". So what else is new. So off I went, fired up the stick welder and worked a big abstraction - being extra certain that it was as forbidding and intimidating as I could make it - void of the lyrical, as well as unnecessarily jagged and awkward. It was the letter that set me going, influencing greatly a thousand pound thing that will likely see me take the dirtnap. Just a few unplanned hours of intensity on a Saturday afternoon...I limped away without looking back at the thing - so it'll be more fun to race out and look at it in the morning.
09-22-2007, 09:03 PM
I would have be stuck unless I could come with another means for expressing myself. So I posted a lot that day. Pretty pathetic I know.
I don't see that as pathetic...thinking about art is as important as making it. I learn so much from hearing other peoples' views here. It is another source of inspiration...and posting helps me crystalize my thoughts...and at times see how I'm off base.
Glad to hear you turned your frown upsidedown. A question arises though...do you ever do "welcoming and approachable"?
09-22-2007, 10:10 PM
Been there - done that. What a stress reliever that is to just knock hard on the work for the afternoon. Really gets the frustration out.
Also might be surprised, what it looks like tomorrow - in a good way. Could be an excellent new direction in your work. The most surprising part about the rejection letter is what you sublimate it into in the form of art.
One final thought for you. A couple of weeks ago I was mad as hell at the Whitney for their ungracious and injudicious refusal of my work. Could have knawed at the limestone like a rabid dog. Actually I did for awhile - got sore teeth now. Got over it and now good things are blooming for me. Same thing will happen for you. Not to have my head in the sky (nor the sand) but the refusal today is freeing up the space needed for a better, bigger, _______(you fill in the adjective) show/job/prospect that is already in process to you.
Tonight before you go to bed, thank those wonderful schmucks that sent you the rejection letter. They did you a favor and did not realize it. You are getting something better than their half-baked event.
The good things for me came all in a 7 day time span. A show with my wife (the world's best painter) at a DC gallery and two 600 lb sculptures and a stone pedestal are going to an Illinois Public Art Project. Now the terror begins - how do I make it all work? Great Fun!!
Life is good on the short and long haul. Just sucks this moment for you.
09-22-2007, 10:32 PM
Jason, who's to say whats actually "welcoming and approachable". My sculptures welcome me home everyday from their places on the grass...all 50 or so. and "approachable", well my kids climb all over them (risking tetnis).
but i'm no dummy, I realize that Public / corporate has never been my bag. I try anyhow...you never know (I've landed a few). I have done much work on the representational side that is much easier on the eyes, sold alot of it just fine. Many of the contemporary exhibits that I do at parks, galleries, and institutions (universities) decidedly do NOT do "welcoming and approachable", so they like me, but they don't usually buy the work...they kind of rent it. And It gets some of the behemoths off the lawn for awhile.
In all I have always found it necessary to make some things of function that have commercial value - makes the all-out-art-war pieces even better. And ensures the continuance of my self-exile to the studio, torch in hand day-in and day-out.
Thanks for the words Ton, but the rejects don't really bum me out anymore - matter of fact they fire me up. I live by the presupposition that civilization is running well behind me - like it does behind many creative people (ego). You're part of it but you're not. You got to eat their Whoppers and drink their beer but you don't need them for your fulfillment and your progress.
09-22-2007, 11:33 PM
Harriet Caldwell's work creeps me out a little, but I can see some inspiration looking at just about anything. I go batty when a tool breaks and blubber like a spoiled rotten brat until I get a new one. Problem is I work 9-5 and that's the same as the one decent rock tool store in town. Since my visits there are few and far between, I have to keep two or three or ten of everything so I don't freak.
ED, rejection sucks, but its the norm and not the exception and these guys are obviously morons anyway so just keep your head held high and make the stuff that makes you, you. If they want welcoming or approachable they're not looking for sculpture, they're looking for a free dinner at mom's house with apple pie for desert.
Jason, just when you think those thoughts are crystal clear something will come along and shatter them a little. The only thing I know for certain is my own uncertainty and its a tremendous resource when you don't let it paralyze you. I question everything, but don't often stop or wait for answers, when a rock is finished, good or bad, the answers are all right there. I too learn a lot from reading people's posts and feel grateful for each and every one I read.
09-23-2007, 12:37 AM
You are right of course. An arbitrary distinction made by a few individuals. The artists who are really making art will ultimately refuse to conform to the current paradigm.
The problem, to me at least, seems to be, as critic Irving Howe put it, we are seeing the "decline of the new". Noted critic Suzy Gablik, in her book, Has Modernism Failed? observed that it is, "harder and harder to believe in the possibility of yet another stylistic breakthrough, yet another leap into radical form"....and that Post-Modernism is an environment where, "the limits of art seem to have been reached, and overturning conventions routine." She further observes, "with art and artists breeding like bacteria under favorable conditions, we are having to put up with an overload of stimuli and contradictory values, together with an absence of order and coherent purpose. This rise in quanity has in no way led to a rise in quality, though few have had the courage to say so".
If this is true, and I concur with her analysis, then the arbitrariness of our current paradigm is a result of a degraded ideal...and the artist who is selected as an "acceptable avant gardist" is in truth worshipping at the altar of conformity. Our educatonal system, by and large, is in agreement with this current paradigm and therefore does not send out real revolutionaries to shake the foundations of art..instead they send more well trained troops to man the bastions of the Post-Modern monolith.
Part of this can be chalked up to opportunity and....money. Calvin Tomkins, a writer for the New Yorker, observed in the 70's, "most artists would prefer to live in a time when art is in demand even if for the wrong reason". The true radicals of the past, who may have become successful but had no reasonable expectation of it happening, have given way to those who hope to become commercially profitable because they fulfill certain contemporary criteria. Of course those who hold the purse strings, the companies/institutions who have a vested interest in keeping this floating pokergame going, are going to make sure those who they pick are those who will play ball by their rules.
Waddaya going to do?
09-23-2007, 05:42 AM
Gosh Jason, that last post wasn't very inspiring! ;) I was thinking about your question jOe, while driving to the big city yesterday, for me it's nature. The grasses are blooming and to see a vast landscape of them waving in the wind gets my juices going, my heart pounding, and then I want to sculpt it, create it, share it. It's when i catch just a glimpse of something nature does all the time, and when i am blessed to see that one flash of instant art. Like when the roadrunner cocks his head briefly, but is full of attitude, or the silly armadillos jumping high in the air,(who knew they could jump?), or the bobcat pouncing on a rabbit. There is something about seeing a moment in time, flash by, and knowing that was the pose, that was the thought, that was the feeling that i want to put in my art. Doesn't always get put in successfully, but I am inspired almost to the point of shouting for joy. Sometimes people will do and say things that affect me like that, but not as often as nature. And I have to say it is very spiritual for me also, I find the inspiring and the spiritual go hand in hand for me.
So a damn mouse wakes me up at this unreasonable hour. The point of this post I thought, was to find other artist's work to look at. Harriet's work besides being very cool, said to me, "sheesh, look at what she does with coffee filters. If you're really creative you can make great work out of anything. So why do I fear being stuck in a rut for a couple days just because my plans fell through?"
But it seems I'm fly paper for art debates. Couldn't be the fault of forum participants. That said, I'll fling some out there. They said rock'n roll was going to die--not gonna happen. Yeah classical music is great and beautiful, but its classical because its being played essentially the same way over and over and over. Its fun hearing 10 interpretations of Beethoven's 5th, but lets move on or I'll need a 5th. Is there really a point to intellectual discussions about rock'n roll? The ears win over the writing. Bigger audience. I think the visual wins over the written too. And new trumps old in my book. I like surprises, what I've never seen before--hence this thread???
dilda, I'm surrounded by nature and observe it everyday. Its a daily topic around the dinner table--"what did you see today?". But that gives me a non art peace of mind. I'm looking for expressive stuff made by people.
09-23-2007, 09:07 AM
Augustus Saint-Gauden's General Sherman monument, The Winged Victory
( Nike ) in the Louvre, and the Parthenon friezes and pediment sculptures never fail to inspire me artistically.
I have not seen anything totally new and different that can compete with these. Since my consciousness is renewed daily, I can look at them with fresh eyes and mind and find something refreshingly deep and sincere and inspiring every time I look at them. They contain an incredible infusion of the wisdom of the ages. Unlike other works that may lose their freshness and appeal after repetative viewings, these reward with greater insight the more one studies them.
09-23-2007, 10:50 AM
jOe, I thought artwork was what you were after, but your question was on my mind as I made a long drive, and the beauty of the countryside was a bit overwhelming. There are so many artists, as it's been pointed out, it feels like overload to pin down a few. Balcier's "Canyon Princess" never fails to inspire me, move me. It's a good thing there is always a gentleman in a coat there to make sure no one pets the kittycat, because the urge to do so is a battle everytime. And I like Sandy Scott's work alot, as well as Richard Greeves, these are styles i wish to pursue, though I know what you mean about someone very different than what you do. I'm simply not a fan of contemporary, modern art, but some abstracts are powerful, and it would be wild to try a big one someday.
Winged Victory: It is pretty amazing that a significantly damaged(missing head and arm) statue can have so much power.
09-23-2007, 12:39 PM
But it seems I'm fly paper for art debates.
My guess, it is the fault of the participants.:) An easy thing I find is to ignore the posts that deal with thoughts I don't feel like thinking about. Selective reading..that's the ticket.
new trumps old in my book
"New" is a tricky word. Most artists who are doing "new" are riffing off of someone else. A connective tissue hangs between most of us and very few artists I run across really bust out and create something that isn't somehow a derivation of either other work or some preexisting object/shape/form,etc. Harriet Caldwell is using an American Indian medicine shield motif in much of her work...a regurgitaton of an old idea with different materials.
I should have attached a caveat that I was not so much lamenting the state of things (though for the purpose of what evaldart said I wrote it as such) as I was speaking of change being brought on by the stagnation of a system.
Being present at the moment of an artistic movement's transition from ascendancy to decline and being able to step in and fill the vacuum that is always left in such a situation...is to me inspiring...and challenging. Better to live at the beginning of the Renaissance than the middle of the Gothic. I imagine Manet and Rodin found it inspiring to help the tired old artistic edifice of their own time, a debauched and degraded classicism, shuffle off its coil and themselves take up the reins of deciding where art would go next.
(To me that isn't intellectualizing rock n' roll, that's planning for the future.)
I've been thinking about the addition of materials into my work. Through my searches for materials and looking at how others are using them, I found John Grade. John Grade (http://www.johngrade.com/)
for some reason, resin has been on my mind for the past month or so. After finding Grade's site, I am enamored with his work. I am now dreaming about resins, thumb nails are starting to flow and I'm obsessively processing ideas as I walk through my day. I guess that's what you were asking, ay jOe?
09-23-2007, 01:31 PM
Please permit a ramble:
"New" is indeed a tricky word. And "deriviative" is obvious. Everything has its predecessor whether arrived at by independent invention or intense trubutary study or by simple "ripping off". Any of these might yet yield something new. And not all eyes are privy to the "newness" of a work. Critics want to be the ones to decide whats new but I can't imagine a less qualified group. Howe, Greenberg, Kramer and their ilk sufficed to provide some encouragement but were barred from experiencing art properly by a conflict of interest: their own views and assessments were actually themselves creative acts - sometimes of greater merit than the work they were aimed at.
When an artist connects properly with a work - like Glenn does to the winged victory or like I do to Autumn Rythm - the individual is quite aware , as Glenn said, of the continuing newness of that piece. These kinds of relationships between artist and art is rare and differs from one artist to another. And this connection can be drawn upon for inspirtion which may or may not bring about more "newness". It has nothing to do with what a collector collects or a designer would include or what a museum goer hesitates in front of for 8.5 seconds (as opposed to the usual 3.5).
And Newness abounds by virtue of the quantity of art that is occurring not in spite of it. Quality is difficult to discuss seriously because of terminally individual tastes and preferences (Of course issues of quality in craft and craftmanship is very easy to discuss). Human beings in advancing cultures are less likely than ever to believe in ghosts (as their leadership would have them do) and more likely to give parts of thier being over to superfulous intellectual adventure - which is actually man's only chance at salvation.
And as Joe mentioned, in the hands of the properly motivated creative wriggling jelly blob ANYTHING can end up being new...Anything
ramble concluded...my apologies (until the next one).
09-23-2007, 01:34 PM
As far as your question as to something that inspires -- a few hours ago I was looking at another stonecarver's website that his wife (SWMBO) had just updated, a fact that he had mentioned in passing. I enjoyed looking at his work, but the thing that inspired me the most was seeing his carving stand. Here is a picture:
Inspiration comes from other artists, sure (Jason, a long-time admirer of his work in reproduction and small drawings, the first time I saw Bacon's paintings in the flesh was an orgasmic experience due to the surprisingly 'sculptural' range of his work -- from bare unprimed surfaces to four-inch thick globs of paint on the same canvas) -- but for me it is just as often from a chunk of material like this carving stand. The intended function plus the design and the process(s) I employ all combine to make me 'feel' the nature of carving on this massive table.
The feeling of how the mass of the wood would swallow the vibrations of the hammer blows traveling through the chisels into the stone resting atop the surface. Imagining the rough-hewn but worn surfaces felt through my jeans as I lean against the table for better leverages and angles of attack on the workpiece. The knowledge that any carving done on this hunk of walnut would push me to push myself/the work to its limits in response to the dusty magnificence of that table.
Anyhow, that's today's inspiration -- away from the computer, out to the studio!
Thanks for the links folks. This is starting to work. "New" for me is simple . It can be forms,shapes, uses,solutions, materials, meanings, whatever, just something I like that I haven't seen before. In other words, new to me, is innovative, fun, a treat, a surprise! Its a fix for a visual junkie. Its a short cut to motivating me to approach my ruts in a different way.
I've been disappointed by the paucity of "new" on this forum...too many words and not enough visuals. Hope other junkies will share their finds.
09-23-2007, 04:23 PM
Nice ramble...looking forward to the next installment.
Though I disagree with the idea that newness is an automatic by-product of quantity (this is the monkey typing up Shakespeare's plays premise) or quality is elusive as a topic for contemporary discussion (just people unwilling to sound/be perceived as unkind...a qualitative cowardice that has somehow taken root in the country's collective psyche).....I think you are spot on that newness, outside the larger arena of artistic innovation, is an individual experience.
Most of my comments have been in relation to the larger artistic sphere, however....where the idea of "new" takes on the macro sense of being inherently innovative. I'm guessing in this thread, where individual tastes are being sought, it is irrelevant what the larger meaning is so I am just blathering on.
Bacon's work is truly a marvel...he captured the third dimension well in the figurative illusions he painted. Corporeal and ephemeral and textural.....really someone who was NEW....coming out of left field. For some reason the presence of his work reminds me of El Greco's byzantine spirituality?!
For those who care...a great link for Bacon's work: http://www.francis-bacon.cx/
That stand is pretty nice....I'd take it over the carving sitting on it.
Too many words in a forum?
Too many words in a forum? Nah, you gotta have your fun too! Its a pot luck. Bring what you can. The Bacon link is great.
I know the day isn't over but I declare that today's winner by a land slide is John Grade (/www.johngrade.com/index.html) . A big thank you to Will.
your master of ceremonies, jOe~
09-23-2007, 07:56 PM
Yes indeed. I'm a fan of Bacon as well (and not only on my cheeseburgers). Heres a hell of an Art Twilite Zone week for ya: A day in the life of each - Francis Bacon, George Tooker, Alberto Giacometti, D G Rosetti, Carravagio, Ivan Albright, Mark Rothko. All artists who saw things quite differently than everyone else. I'd come out a little twisted but certainly inspired.
09-24-2007, 03:54 AM
observed that it is, "harder and harder to believe in the possibility of yet another stylistic breakthrough, yet another leap into radical form...
Waddaya going to do?
I'd quote the whole thing, but I found it looks tacky to do those big quote things on the forum page and don't want to have bad manners.. This post has been bouncing around in my head for the last day or so because it's familiar in similar ways to me.. I've tossed around the idea that Art is perhaps just another science in the end, or language as they share the same ingredients; ability and creativity.
English professors will tell you that out of the thousands of languages on Earth that English itself is the only "living" language remaining.
All other languages are "dead". Virtually all new words being created today are in fact in English and then borrowed or assimilated by others. There is no new word for "computer" in any language for instance, every language on Earth uses the word "computer". Likewise, many arts are dead and or dying... Perhaps a better way to say it is they have run their course, I'm not so sure really what the difference is..
There are dozens of chess openings with over 1300 variations, yet there hasn't been a new major opening discovered for over a century because they are mathematically exhausted, yet Chess, at least to me is very much an Art. Likewise, the familiar language of poetry and Shakespeare is also quite dead and buried although poetry thrived for many centuries. People do not say thee and thou and so forth and today's poetry is rather weak and I myself don't even consider it poetry in the way I came to understand it. Music is another medium and (sorry Joe, I know you like new songs) as far as I'm concerned there hasn't been any new music written for over a hundred years, although an endless stream of "new songs" continue to flood the Ipod download data streams.
Perhaps this is the quantity vs quality idea and the degradation of an ideal in action or perhaps something else.. Some other examples of the decline of the "new" include dining and food; Escoffier, virtually single handed elevated the task of cooking to a profession with a brigade system. A Chef being at the top followed by various lower ranks, sous chef, pastry, 1st cook, 2nd cook etc.. Yet in less than a century we have declined to Taco Bell and Subway. In Europe, the Chef is still very much the boss of any restaurant and what he says goes, here in the states it is the food and beverage manager who is in charge and he or she is largely a bean counter with plenty of beverage experience and little more. I'm reminded by this everywhere, by rejections of people I admire and think make great art and the ubiquitous dream catchers that suceed only in their dust catching... So is art really just a science and will it eventually run it's course with nothing new to contribute in the near or far future? Humph..
Joe, sorry and I know you wre looking for links and inspirations, but I couldn't help myself after Jason's post, I was just fascinated by it..
FWIW, I am mostly inspired by dumb stuff and I like dumb art, give me a twenty thousand year old Venus figurine, plain old stick person with boobs or a pregnant belly and I'm in heaven. Cave paintings, Mayan, Aztec, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, you name it..
But then recently when I as researching trees I discovered something pretty light hearted from a guy I had almost forgotten and whom I loved back in the day, David Byrne of the Talking Heads and when I saw this I felt pretty good inside:
Check some of those out for a good morale booster or at least some kind of bizarre inspiration.
Joe, sorry and Its ok. Happens all the time we get off topic when someone's cherished whatever's get nudged. But here is a mild rebuttal. Science has to do with experimental results that any be reproduced by anyone under the same conditions. In other words like Donald Knuth says "Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do." You can't have unique results in science. Some people want/need to be bound by tradition. Science and art want neither.
thanks to Cantab: Emily Young (http://www.emilyyoung.com/words/words2007.htm). Inspiration of the day and the day is young(no pun intended).
09-26-2007, 12:19 PM
saw a bunch of Goldsworthy stuff that got me thinking. I wouldn't say that
I'm a huge Goldsworthy fan, but the way he uses the scenery and surroundings as part of the experience is intriguing. the whole world is a sculpture to that guy.
I've got a big poster of winged victory in my dorm...freakin' sweet.
01-25-2008, 10:56 PM
tim hawkinson lately
Giant realistic heads made from cardboard and sheetrock screws by Scott Fife-
(Watch the timelapse of him building Lionel Hampton- its very cool)
The entire lifestory of Panamarenko-
an artist who created things totally outside of the artworld, driven by his own dreams, and who periodically is noticed by the artworld, as a glimpse thru the woods.
Barry McGee- he always keeps it real.
As archie bell and the drells used to say, "we dont always sing, but we dance just as good as we want".
Well, McGee can draw, just as good as he wants- but he also does a lot of uncategorizable stuff that is about making art for himself, not for preconceived audiences, and, in my sure to be contested opinion, it rocks.
01-26-2008, 10:43 AM
Hi, LIFE inspires me!
I work in my studio 7 days a week and as one piece begets another a rhythm develops that has become my life.
Acceptances, rejections, great art made by others and various other events such as big sales or inclusions into museum shows all pump up the creative juices but the important thing is going into that studio EVERY DAY, regardless of inspirations, however arrived at.
Real artists work, dilettantes wait for inspiration!
Have a great day,
01-26-2008, 10:56 AM
That's the ticket... I do something every day too, even if it's just thinking about a rock and looking at it for an hour or two while I clean the place up.
Sculpture/art to me is a bit of a celebration of doing vs. sitting around some stupid T.V. box and watching your life drive on by you.. :)
Thanks for the fun links Ries. Thoroughly enjoyed them.
01-26-2008, 02:12 PM
Yet in less than a century we have declined to Taco Bell and Subway.
you mean we have risen to taco bell and subway? mmmmmm...subway.
I enjoyed seeing some Kandinsky paintings earlier this week.
01-26-2008, 11:58 PM
you mean we have risen to taco bell and subway? mmmmmm...subway.
I enjoyed seeing some Kandinsky paintings earlier this week.
Okay, okay... Next time I'm up in the Fort (go there a couple times a year) I'll take you out to a real resteraunt.
Don't get too inspired by flat stuff! ;)
01-27-2008, 04:17 AM
I recently visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and viewed the Modern Masters exhibition. I was inspired by a Calder Mobile.......but was really blown away by a piece made by Red Grooms which wasn't even part of the exhibit.
Red grooms........made/makes awesome art.......is he still alive ?
01-27-2008, 09:59 AM
Hi Aaron, Not trying to change the subject here but, yes, Red Grooms is a fantastic artist and I think he's still alive. I saw a show of his dioramas (don't know what else to call them) in St. Petersburg, FL a few years ago. His humor and understanding of the human condition just shines through in the work.
Have a great day,
01-29-2008, 10:17 PM
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.pacewildenstein.com/Uploads/Exhibitions/Works/Images/TYSON_inst_v1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pacewildenstein.com/Exhibitions/ViewExhibitionWork.aspx%3Fartist%3DKeithTyson%26ti tle%3DLargeFieldArray%26type%3DWork%26guid%3D98f03 317-6c2e-4bfd-8993-21315f590d49&h=383&w=510&sz=135&hl=en&start=9&um=1&tbnid=CNyQsPVBBWRpSM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=131&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dkeith%2Btyson%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%2 6hl%3Den%26sa%3DX
01-31-2008, 07:45 PM
I only had the patience to read the first 12 posts before I wanted to have a say. Other artists, inspiration, the death of modernism, nature, classicism. I't s all good to read.
I have been thinking about some of these subjects lately. I don't get excited by discoveries of other artist's work nearly as often as I once did. When I was young I was constantly being wowed by someone's work. Now that feeling is pretty rare. I don't get to the big city much though. Plus my own thing has become entrenched. I call my work evolutionary, meaning that it has changed glacially for many years. I also call it mining a deep seam. I don't think the seam has run out yet.
The comments about inspiration from nature, classicism or surprising art reminds me of what we do. I see art as part of the group mind of which we are a part as analogous to the workings of the individual brain. Our thinking is non-linear and many layered. Everything is stimulus for someone. I also think of those big flocks of blackbirds swirling around in the sky in the fall.
Who is leading that thing? What stimulus is controlling that flock of thousands? It swoops and soars as a graceful being. It doesn't seem to go by the most efficient line; yet it progresses without a clear leader.
Its interesting to think of ideas moving through time too. Watching the ideas of a Serra or Rauschenberg developing. By the time the artist has matured, their ideas are no longer cutting edge, but have depth and gravity. Meanwhile a couple generations of artists who were influenced, perhaps not visibly, by their work and a world that was not the starting point of older artists is bubbling along in parallel. Its such a rich stew.
As for artistic influences, we latch onto what we are ready for. If our thinking is not ready to see or hear, then we don't see or hear. Are we led to that which we need to move us along or is it just luck when we run into the transformative influence?
I am constantly dissatisfied and eager to see change in my work. It seems that just as I am about to yield to despair a new set of breakthroughs occur.
It's uncanny. Where do they come from? Why can't they happen more often ? I keep thinking they have dried up and yet that territory for exploration keeps opening up.
After reading Robert Pulley's thoughtful post I thought I'd revisit my original comments: I get motivated and inspired by really creative, original work, especially if its nothing like what I do. What have you seen recently that got your juices flowing?The underlined portion is what is key for me. I love surprises. They motivate me, not to imitate, but to make sure that my approach to whatever I'm working on is fresh and not rigid, to be alert in the present moment. Like Thoreau said, "Only that day dawns to which we are awake".
02-28-2008, 09:09 AM
Hit the MOMA this past week-end, focused on the standards this time, Pollock, Giacommetti, Chamberlain...BUT the most impressive room in the joint, downstairs main atrium, had three or four gigantic Cy Twombly's, a painter whom I had preveously not paid much attention to, that were mind boggling. They were like Kieffers without the topography...just as effective in their physicality, the scratching, splashing, and general torturing of the canvas...and once again, BIG and spontaneous enough to make a card-carrying Neo-Expressonist feel like a machine-bound little printmaker. I have another new hero.
02-29-2008, 10:23 AM
Most interested in the way the thread asking for "recent inspirations" has morphed into a discussion of the meaning of "new", and its value. I note in passing that some thread repliers seem to seek the new for inspiration; others return to the standards; and others find it wholly apart from the art of others.
I suppose at times I hanker for the old days--for a particular "new" direction to be held in place for a bit while it is studied, copied, used, and worked with, so that the good [or bad] within that direction could be fully realized. I see a lot of novel ideas out there that are impressive but also seem a troublingly half baked; I would still like to see them better worked through by a variety of different artists. It seems that the spring of artistic motivation these days is almost entirely innovation. I am not sure whether the artistic community feels that none of the innovations are worth following, and so no "schools" can be formed, or whether the feeling is that any valid creativity these days demands a new form.
Is innovation of form necessary for "art" at all? Artistry versus gimmickry?
03-01-2008, 09:50 AM
Hi, I don't think that innovation is necessarily gimmickry but it certainly can be. Personally, I don't worry about any of that shit. I go into my studio and just make sculpture that comes from or should I say reflects something of me. I don't see myself as doing innovative or ground breaking work, I just try to make good solid sculpture.
I think one of the problems with trying to do innovative work is caused by "trying", you can't "will" good work into existence, it has to come naturally and when it doesn't, gimmickry and dishonesty are the results.
Have a great day,
03-02-2008, 09:28 AM
I don't know if this is actually in the scope of "recent inspirations" as defined by the originator of this thread, but it fits my definition. I was watching Charlie Rose on TV a week or so ago and heard from a guy who talked about a group in Monterey, CA. that hosts annual conferences they call TED. They ask people to give 18 minute talks on subjects they are excited about. In 20 years of TED Conferences they have gathered nearly 200 lectures which they are putting on line for free at ted.com. Having recently gotten a broadband connection I have been sampling these talks. Most are interesting and some are truly inspirational.
I don't know if or how these bits of information might enter my art, but it sure helps to keep the brain alive. I think it is another one of those best uses of the internet. Which this forum is too, in my opinion.
06-02-2008, 11:01 PM
I am inspired by certain mixtures of emotions that happen throughout the day.
If I am happy it is usually because I successfully finished something which is always great to me. If I am upset or angry I rush out to make the most obserd work of art that ususally has me laughing within a little bit. I am always exploring. Today I tried to weld some big heavy chain together, but it would not weld. I use a stick welder, and Im wondering if the ground just would not take, how the heck does one weld chain to make it look like it is standing straight? It must be a trick.
06-02-2008, 11:25 PM
Ground first to one of the actual links that you are welding, strike your arc on THAT link and carry the weld to the very next one in line. Always stike on the link that has just been welded. If it is old chain it will have to be worked (grinded, filed, scraped) so that the ground is permitted. And your chain will be at attention in no time.
06-03-2008, 12:30 AM
Been too busy with teaching to worry about inspiration lately (an inspiration in itself) -- but couldn't resist commenting on the thread. Again.
Just came in from the studio (11:56 PM) and saw the latest post. Don't know about welding chain (a carver's view) but tonight the inspiration was simply a fragment of a model I worked-upon a year or two ago. Not the usual sort of fragment I am concerned-with (a bit of chest of a male model), but this one was simply too close to home. Hit me in the solar plexus, so-to-speak. [like the damn seat belts in that car accident that saved our lives but cracked the cartilage in both my wife's and my own plexus].
The inspiration is from anywhere.
Anything that makes me feel alive -- from 'spit' on the street (my wife says) to Magritte's "The Future of Statues" up about fifteen feet high on the wall (and NO, they DON'T tell you that in books!). Twombly is great, TED was the name of the cat that allowed us to live in his house, and Mueck, Goldsworthy, and a very large but very sweet cashier at Taco Bell all inspire me. So too does Jim Dine: Self Portrait on the Walls. (I'd love to diddle the walls of a museum for my art).
And today the asinine stupidity of the software engineers at that big Washington state company also inspires me in a perverse way. No telling where it comes from before it arrives. New, old, innovative, or just a stick-in-the-mud -- it is simply life, and knowing /affirming that one is alive and a member of the human race. You gotta laugh or cry - one's as good as the other.
06-03-2008, 08:47 PM
My inspiration is not to load my tools/studio in my truck,drive 80 miles each way ,and show up to fabricate a three story stainless railing for a business in Buckhead ga.You see as I was about to unload here comes the owner,oh his cousin is sending some guys down to do it,and up they pull.Now I am one guy in a little truck,and here comes three hispanics in a big truck,no way they beat my bid.As the contractor/friends jaw is dropping in shame,he lined me up,the dude hands me twenty bucks and trys to send me on my way.Fumming I was ,the hand went back out,at least I got fifty more bucks.The inspiration,stay in my damn studio and tell everybody to kiss butt that wants me on location,well almost everybody,never say never.Angry ant........................
06-03-2008, 09:44 PM
Ouch! IA. Heres how to handle the railing work, (which of course we do not want to do, yet we gotta stay busy, etc). Keep your designs unworldly, either they will hate your proposal or you will be the only one crazy enough to do it. Price it out of this world, too. If they end up giving you enough money, for something only YOU can and will execute - its worth it (buy yourself a new tool). Its full-on crafting and contracting, but if you jam enough Art into it, and bid it like a sculpture comission, it will be bearable. I got one of those this month. 70 miles away, I'll have to show up three times. I wasn't able to shake this one.
06-03-2008, 10:54 PM
Hi IA, Sorry to hear about that, my solution, get a design fee (copyright everything) and when that's agreed upon, 50% down BEFORE you even start the job.
Have a great day,
06-04-2008, 11:47 AM
How true you are,The last thing I really wanted to do is this freeking rail,but I look at is as revenue to run the machine,like you say go buy a new tool.I am lusting after an eagle rolller,but with dies ect it will cost 6 to 7 grand,but it will mwke a huge differnce in my studio.My goal is to have one on the floor by summers end,fate will see?...IA
06-04-2008, 04:11 PM
Hay Whispering angel yes i suspect you wernt geting a good enough earth, ither atach the earth clamp to the actual link your welding or use a metal toped welding bench, have you seen The late indian larrys chain of mystery bike?http://www.chain-reaktion.com/chain-of-mystery.jpg
the frame was made from welded chain, they stretched it taught before welding.
as for inspiration, love http://www.arthurganson.com/, or just seeing anything that matakes my intrest, today it was a agricultural sprayer!
also new techniques, for example the bonded sand thread has me inspired, and i re isnspired my self after getting a student on one of my courses to work direct into sand, something i havent done in years.
07-07-2008, 06:23 PM
It's a little while since I saw this but it has stayed with me.
The majority of the flag is made up of garments sewn together, the overwhelming emotion I found while in front of the flag was one of inclusion - that all the pieces connected here each had their own story that made up the greater narrative of the piece.
07-10-2008, 01:25 AM
Thanks for all the links! I liked the stimulation. I all gets me going. In fact I got stimulated by what everyone says too. I cant but want to go weld right now. Thanks
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