I feel the need to address the discontent growing in the world. While much of it is beyond my control, the anxiety from it is starting to keep me up at night. This is why I’m in my studio at two in the morning working myself into exhaustion so I can sleep. I mention this because it’s the energy from all the political and economic stress that’s inspiring my work.
Which leads me to the point of this blog. I’m feeling an incredible responsibility to create art that addresses these feelings. As I feed off the energy of an upcoming political season and the disassociation of the middle class, it’s fueled the air with an energy worth tapping into. I believe this is an important time for artists to be in their studios creating. Historians will document this time with the facts, but the artist will document the emotional climate, which I see as a huge responsibility.
In the 1980’s my photorealistic paintings of the city were well received. At the time I thought they were making this important statement on realism, since the art world had been all about the abstract expressionists for so many years. Artists like Richard Estes, Chuck Close and Audrey Flack emerged as stars. It was a time when people started spending large amounts for art work. However, like all things art, tastes change and trends move on to something new. The last decade saw a select group of artists warehoused as investments, yet much of it lacked an emotional sincerity. I, for one, want to see something new evolve past this pop culture mentality.
So I say, this is a really good time to dig in, use what’s going on in the world and make good art from it. Artists have a unique ability to influence what comes next, and if a change is on the way, let the artist ferret out its meaning.