This is a shout out to all you young artists going through the hoops, attending the university, the art academy, the graduate program. You’ve spent A LOT of time attempting a marriage between images of your work and descriptive phrases. In an original way that is still academic, intelligible, and poetic. With references to your inspirations, a bow to your art heroes, and a quick nod to where you see your art in the pantheon of art historical and critical theory. If, like me, it ends in tears and feeling trite, unoriginal, and deflated, all I can say is this.
At this point, if you can’t write well about what you make, it’s okay. If writing about your work is an absolute painful struggle, but it’s necessary to write about it to keep making it; do it anyway.
And if you’re making things that look like souvenirs, you’ll get over it after a while. The absolute, most important thing of all, above words, above popularity, above intellectual opinion of others, is that you simply keep making. Just keep those hands and that brain and heart all moving together, and everything will be okay. It really, really will.
Besides. Art is visual communication. It says what words alone can’t. The image above is proof of that. To me, the total, heartbreaking irony of this scenario is visual image and object makers MUST write about what they’re doing. Yes, we are responsible for understanding why we make what we do, and for whom. But putting pen to paper about it, as the maker, is difficult.
Difficult, like asking a writer to draw a good self-portrait.
Carry on, you superhuman, you.