Thursday, December 21, 2006

letter to an art friend

saint somebody getting crucifiedYou realized, I hope, in some past correspondence, that while I wish you well, I care not a whit about the details and soul-plundering. Unfortunately, for people like us, and i think, for all great artists, our chore is to wring out the worst in us so that in the end, we are clear open sources for new information to move through. Our challenge is to understand that we don't control the filters in which get bottled up our emotional crises and our failings, but we have to sympathize with ourselves for having such filters, even as we examine the detritus that so confounds them. That is to say, you call them exorcisms as if you are casting demons out, and I am saying, look at those demons. Take what pity you can, but more important, respect that you are in a position to be enjoying the company of demons. In fact you see then they were never so threatening as was the act of containing them. I have a distinct love for alcoholics and even junkies, and i try to model my practice after theirs, though I hope mine is not so self-destructive. In the end, I fear my fix is equally un-attainable.

I suspect yours is also, but then lets not look at it as an exorcism but just as what we do. I applaud the almost total lack of formalism in the work you showed. How about something just wetter, with a bit less precision, showing the same things, tackling the same issues. There are a thousand places to go and still your demons will accompany you. But please, get your hands dirty. This isn't insurance we're doing.

Good Luck and Good Work,

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