Yes, I'm an absolute dork when it comes to art - I love viewing the manifestations of what's inside people, and I love taking part in that process also. Growing up, I wasn't the most talkative person and I still have trouble verbally expressing myself. For me, art is the way that I talk. This past Wednesday evening, my magazine boss Tulsa took me to an event at the Getty Museum: a panel discussion between avant-garde black artists from the 60s and 70s who collaborated often in producing work.
I'm so glad she invited me, it was so informative because when it comes to the art history that is taught in universities, the only black artists you'll ever hear of are probably Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, and maybe Kara Walker (whom I love and want to stalk). For instance, when it comes to video being used as an art form, because of the way that history has been written on the discipline, I've been led to believe that Bill Viola and Andy Warhol were the ones on the forefront of that medium. However, we in the audience were able to view excerpts of some of the video work that the panel members and others collaboratively produced, and because of the strength of the concepts presented in the works, they were very powerful. I really enjoyed myself because they spoke about their strong work ethic, about the bond that they shared, and about how that upon realizing that the white art world at general wouldn't know how to write about what they were doing even if they knew of it, they had to document for themselves and write for themselves. THAT'S what I'm talkin' about. All in all, it was like a shot in the arm for me.
Sometimes, I feel discouraged because I have many ideas inside of me, and occasionally they form into something concrete, but for lack of money I can't execute them. I think that I may start working collaboratively in the near future. It's also irritating when I know how much time I've put into making quality photographs and making solid conceptual art that is nevertheless accessible, and then I see trust-fund art grads making huge careers out of crap art. There are soooooooooooooooo many galleries in LA now, and a good 40% of what is represented out there is really bad. That will probably never change, though.
Kind of on the same subject but not really: something that I've been thinking about is artists and drug use. Sometimes I hear people say something along the lines of "It was alcohol/pot/acid/mushrooms/LSD/opium/absinthe/whatever that gave the great artists through the ages their greatest inspirations."
WRONG! Either you have it in you or you don't. True artists don't have to go outside of themselves to be inspired, or to influence them to make the best art ever. In fact, it's the other way around. Many artists go outside of themselves because they're crazy. I'm serious. I'm crazy. That's why I don't date artists and musicians: there's gotta be one person in the pair with a firm grip on the concrete, and it ain't gonna be me, thank you very much. Most of the artists that I admire are constantly pushing themselves because they can see farther than most people, and they allow their imaginations to run wild. I guess the substance use comes in when imaginations get too wild - sometimes you need something to temper it.
I ate a special brownie once. That's it. I laughed so hard I was hysterical, and then I saw the face of Jesus in a tree. It wasn't a bad trip, but I'll never do it again. I felt that anything could fall into me, and if something had fallen into me, who knows what would have happened? I was with a super good friend at the time, but still... I slept super good, though. I feel that there's enough inside me to make great art without relying on "experiences" to "enhance" and "expand" my mind. Most of the dreams that I remember upon waking up are enough for me.