Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who ARE you People?

so I'm wondering to what extent does your work reflect your generation, its values, its struggles, its perceptions? Tough question, because for some of you there may not yet be enough work that you had the freedom to direct yet, but even school projects are opportunities for your values to be expressed.
In other words, how and why is your work of today, how was work differently fuelled in the 80's or the 50's or the 1850's. Who ARE you people?


  1. I need time to think about this, but right now I can say my art shows the free-spiritedness of our generation, in that non-Jerry Garcia kind of way, and the overall attitude and struggles. Aside from style and the subjects of my works, the way I work, and many other artists, says a lot about our time. Switching from digital to traditional, having an abundance of pieces, working on small scales more often than large, filling up sketchbooks to go on a sketchbook tour, creating street art... We're fast-paced, all over the place, emotional, poor, trying to bridge gaps between technology, fine art, design, fashion, graffiti. We're constantly trying to make a statement because our generation (at least in the States) is deprived of so much, yet most of us HAVE EVERYTHING... We are in the midst of values and mind-sets changing, and I know my work is constantly changing because of it, faster than it would have had the economy stayed decent.

    I'll probably change my mind about some of this, but thought I'd ramble off some 3am thoughts.

  2. Excellent thoughts. I talked about thislong and deeply with Cindy and Sarah at school yesterday too. I'm convinced that if you ask 1000 art students in the USA what drives their work you will get a different set of answers and a different set of commonalities than if you asked 1000 students in the 80s when I was a student, and in the 50s and in any generation. Surely we are speaking of and to our generation. And I am not of your generation.

  3. I am a member of Generation X: the generation of complainers. The generation that kicked hair metal to the curb with the battle axe of "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The generation of 30-somethings that are still in the middle of defining themselves as what they oppose as to what they actually stand for. The quitters. The rebellious. The loud mouths. The self-obsessed.

    It is impossible for me to define my work apart from my generation. While my work may not be the photo-realistic fine art type, I believe that my work strives to indicate to the rest of my generation that we need not always fight against something, that it can be much more powerful to actually stand for something; to work positively for something. It's the subtle twist of perspective that interests me. I'm not trying to re-invent anything, I'm just trying to be positive.

    Simultaneously, I think that my approach to the figure in particular, is more of a spiritual practice. I have always found the human figure - male or female - very interesting and have always enjoyed sketching or observing in it's various ways. My attraction to the figure is completely undeniable. Whether it is being drawn for a stylized illustration, a life drawing session, a painting or whatever, the figure stands as an infinite mystery to me. I am never tired of interpreting it. Never tired of attempting to solve one of it's puzzles only to discover another set of puzzles underneath.

    I don't really know if I've answered the main theme of your question, but I feel I've been as honest and as open about my inner-workings and approaches (at least my conscious approaches....)

    As Popeye once so boldly put it.... "I am what I am."

  4. I like that "I'm not trying to reinvent anything, I'm just tying to be positive".

    I often feel that too.

  5. If you look at what I generally create and the topics I address, you would probably classify my work as pessimistic. Most of it is dealing with pain, or bad dreams, etc., but in what I see as a playful way. Our generation (Millenials or whatever they dubbed us now) are increasingly feeling the pinch of a recession that hit as we were supposed to launch from our nests into the great journey of life. The only problem is that we had to boomerang back to safety because there is so little out there right now. one of my favorite quotes that I feel describes my outlook on life right now is this: "We were born into Spielbergian dreams and all-you-can-eat promises of prosperity, but now we’ll be lucky if we can scrape together a scrap of the half-eaten capital pop tart."

    I agree with Diana that we are spastic and used to grabbing onto the newest thing and quickly discarding it for the upgrade (a la Apple). I think that our generation will be one that will have to have so many projects going on that we will be simultaneously working a 'real job' while have 6 other side projects just so we can pay rent.

    So, I guess with all that said, it is impossible for me to create a Thomas Kinkade painting of 'light and perfection' in a world that I can only see fire and brimstone.

  6. I don't think I necessarily want to say anything about my generation.

    I think I may spend too much time wishing I had something really important to say instead of rejoicing in why I love to paint.

    Yesterday I was laying down the first wash and the paint did something lovely, as it is want to do. Looking at that spot on the paper I felt at home. I felt more connected to life than I do when thinking about my generation or trying to force a profound idea onto the page.

    At least for now, my generation can talk for itself. If it needs me, I will be in my room, coloring. :D