About: Again. Plus, a note about non-Non-objective Painting

Hi friends,

Sweetness and I were recently driving home from a studio visit. The artist whose studio we had visited is a friend and person whose work we have been buying for a decade. (We are fairly long-term collectors and often continue to support an artist’s work over many years.)

This is a person with whom I am interested in working on a writing project. (In fact I am very excited about this possibility and not simply “interested”) While driving through town I was fretting about some of the… moral implications of doing what I want to do. (I am not certain that “moral” is the correct term here, but perhaps you know what I mean?)

At any rate, casually and without seeming to think about it, the smartest person that I know threw this quote at me:

“Do you know, Geoff? This community journalism that you do is social and participatory in nature – rather than being only critical and discursive. What you are doing makes a valid space for subjectivity in the critical discourse. I think what you write partly has value to people because you are so invested. Emotionally, intellectually and financially.”

I have then, if you will, a certain hybridity.

I come to art as an enthusiast, as a supporter, as a former (and probably future) non-profit board member, as an artist, as a student and writer and, yes, as a collector. I have a rich and full life.

We all have this hybridity, to one degree or another. The artists I visit and talk with are equally faced with and challenged by the opportunities of life and wear many hats. More and more art practices, here in Los Angeles, have artists doing other than only making art objects. The world we are moving into is a socially-based world and we will all be called upon to do several things. The clean divisions of disinterest and objectivity are not so… clearly drawn anymore, and are less and less useful or interesting as time goes on. I refer you to the manner in which many people now trade news and opinion and editorial content.

It is an interesting and challenging time to be alive and working. I am so grateful that the internet allows me a voice in this world. This is a time when we can learn to give our trust based on experience – one-on-one experience with that source – rather than by assuming the objectivity of the medium through which it travels to us.

I think this post says what I want to say, thanks very much and please, as always, feel encouraged to add your thoughts.

A brief note about upcoming postings:

Lately I have been reading Caroline Jones “Bay Area Figurative Painting: 1950-1965.” What a fantastic book! The link I give you is to the Oakland Museum of California and you may purchase this wonderful tome for yourself at that site.

I read Jones’ book when David and I first started looking at art, California work has been my interest from the beginning and this was a very valuable thing to study then. Recently I have been thinking about – I guess I’ll call it an old fashioned way of painting for lack of an academic term. I posted in a Santa Barbara post about Lockwood de Forest’s paintings, then on view at Sullivan Goss. Continuing to look at those paintings made me remember Jones’ book. Off I went to read it again. I reiterate: Bay Area Figurative Painting: 1950-1965 is a wonderful book. The images have stopped me dead in my tracks on way more pages than usually happens to me.

I made a list of images that I wanted for a hoped-for post and at lunch today looked a number of them up. One in particular is dancing in my head right now, of Bruce McGaw’s 1956 painting “Pat’s Feet.” Look at it below, isn’t this a weird and beautiful painting? I want to know everything about this work (except perhaps any attempt at an explanation).

Are there others of Pat’s parts portraited somewhere? The paint looks thick and luscious – gosh I’d love to see the brushwork and the shadows cast across its surface! The painting is an intimate size, one could hold it in one’s lap – wow! Just like those delicious feet!

I find that McGaw is currently associate professor of painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Lucky them…:-)

The upshot of all this is: I could not wait to share this image with you. I am not done with the post yet, I promise many more images to come. And yes, when I do finally get this posted I shall upload again this painting for you to consider.

Until then, I dream with you painting dreams,


More on Bay Area Figurative Art:

Untitled, May 2011, May 20, 2011

Bay Area Figurative Art – Joan and the boys, May 9, 2011

Bay Area Figurative Art, April 13, 2011

About: Again. Plus, a note about non-Non-objective Painting, April 4, 2011

Bruce McGaw, "Pat's Feet" 11" x 12 3/4" 1956

Bruce McGaw, "Pat's Feet" 11" x 12 3/4" 1956

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