Sunday, December 11, 2005

Gary Petersen


Dig it! Are you the most optimistic painter on the planet? I was just reading Peter Schjeldahl's article on Gerhard Richter and the end of the following quote made me think of Gary:

"American painting by such artists as Pollock and Warhol showed [Richter's] generation how to begin again, though in a void of meaning. The German response to Pop art, Capital Realism...was brilliant but sepulchral, about loss...You don't have to agree with his pessimism. (To be an American, even in disastrous times, is to be hardwired against such an attitude, I think.)"

I agree. I was thinking about this yesterday - that there is so much joyous, inspired, colorful, dreamy, twisted, ridiculous painting being made - that it struck me that it can function as a respite from all the shit on the news, the harsh horrendous reality of the times we live in. Artists are allowed to react in whatever way they want. Escapism, the sanctuary of mental space, the satisfaction taken in color and shapes are just as valid a response to contemporary life as the most conceptual political art. FREE TO BE YOU AND ME. That is my motto for the day.

12 comments:

fairy butler said...

Art that sets out to be about contemporary life or a response to the war in Iraq is really setting itself up for failure. That kind of didacticism usually doesn't spawn something artful - it can i suppose - but it smacks of undergraduate multi-media class. An artist's work is always a response to the world he or she is living in regardless of what form it takes. Artist should be free to react in any way they want, YES. Escapism is a funny term. I think it gets attached to a certain kind of work - but does any artist set up a project where escapism is the ultimate goal? Doubtful. I think artists work on the problems out there in the world internally - making the work may feel like a sanctuary at times, but the work is inside, subsumed and then transformed.

Rereading this i wonder where the viewer fits into this picture....

fairy butler said...

I think absurdity and the rejection of pictorial space (in painting) are still very powerful choices. Color and form. Mark-making and the individual hand. Small stuff can combine to be monumental. {cornball moment coming} bringing beauty and joy to the world - sharing a unique vision - this is the shit.

postmoderndebunker said...

yes, FB--well said. I especially agree about escapism not being the ultimate goal. I think art sometimes feels like an escape to me, but it is not a concious effort or wish for me to make it so.

fairy butler said...

it may feel like an escape, yes, but i think essentially (at least for me) it is a way of making sense of the world. and often it does not feel like an escape - it ranges from the dark spiral of hell to confusion to joy to escape to boredom. etc. what i try to escape from is the judging voice in the back of my head.

fairy butler said...

i really like gary petersen's paintings.

just a girl said...

''what i try to escape from is the judging voice in the back of my head. ''
I hear you, but HOW to do that? I had a one person show recently that had a great review, and tons of feedback. I did not sell a single piece. I did not make the work with the intention of selling, although reality is, I have bills to pay so that I can go to the studio to make more work to try and sell to pay the bills to make more work.... but now I feel crestfallen and am for the first time in my life questioning what the hell I am doing. I am singing an old tune, I know.
I know that I am compelled to regurgitate all of the information that I am spoonfed on a daily basis, that is what all artists do; take the world in, refilter and sift, and spit it back out. The product redefines the world for the viewer. I never think about this when I am in the studio, when that horrid troll creeps in trouble begins.
Anyhow, thanks for the forum.

fairy butler said...

JAG -
hey, i also had a 1 person show recently but NO reviews, only a few sales, badness with dealer getting the money from him and then leaving gallery, general all-pervasive anxiety, more confusion about the point of it all. I hear you! but we must keep on fighting the good fight. it takes a while after a show to get back in the right mindset (3 months or so?) so give yourself some time.

just a girl said...

You know what? Your comments perked me up FButler, thank you. Besides, I sort of liked being called JAG..it sounds tough and sorta exotic.

fairy butler said...

You will rule the sahara JAG. eye of the tiger!

pd said...

yes, FB-my art is a way of making sense of the world and feeling like there is a place for me in it.

eva said...

I enjoyed this post so much and then, all of the comments. So here I am, another artist who had a show recently, with a similar story (not getting the results that they would have liked).
- But it's been more than 3 months and I'm still not over it! Ah well. There's no turning back, not at this point.
It's interesting to read this take on things, because after all the various news of art fairs selling everything, including the sink, you wonder...

Mountain Man said...

Well everyone knows my dumb story. Some sales. No pay-pay. One review badly written in pamphlet, especially galling due to the fact that MM was publishing art reviews at the time. So. It's all sad and not what you thought it would be but better than nothing, I suppose. And fuckers to the Miami!!!! No sales. But must press on and be in pleasant denial with succulent candies beneath the tongue. I am so grateful to have forums within which to reveal these disappointments. Although I wish success to all of the nice ones, I am happy to learn I am not the only one to feel like poo in a bucket.

There are thousands more like us. FORGE ONWARD like FB says. Thank you for commenting on my blog.