Thursday, June 22, 2006

Words to Paint By


Above my computer at suitable staring-into-space-eye-level, are excerpts from Idiosyncratic Identities by Donald Kuspit that create a kind of touchstone for my artmaking, a concentrated reminder of what I aspire to in my work. I copied it into my sketchboook many years ago, and felt that I opened the sketchbook so much to read it that it needed to be accessible.

"Create a new myth that reflects the directness and originality- true primordiality- the image seems to have when stripped of secondary consciousness or odd elaborations of it."

" 'Sensibility' implies an inclination towards or search for a hitherto unrevealed basic image... an uncanny experience of an unknown image as URGENTLY IMPORTANT."

"Imagery, even strong imagery, is not worth the bother unless it has a special point... a VISIONARY point.... imagery that issues from the PRIMARY IMAGINATION... the living power and prime agent of all human perception."

and the kicker,

"Fanciful images are easily accessible - easily taken in, subsumed and comprehended by the viewer... they do not AROUSE ANY RESISTANCE in him or her. They never get the better of him or her, as do truly imaginative-visionary images, which remain SIMULTANEOUSLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE AND HAUNTING. Visionary images TAKE POSSESSION OF THE VIEWER... THEY CAN'T EASILY BE SHAKEN OFF. Visionary images seem to EPITOMIZE CONSCIOUSNESS, TO CONCENTRATE IT AGAINST THE VIEWER'S WILL to give him or her a singular sense of his or her concrete being, whereas fanciful images DIFFUSE BEING in facile communication. They are easily summed up and have an easy continuity with the everyday imagery from which they derive. It is for this reason that the fanciful image can easily degenerate into a "boutique image" one that achieves an abstract autonomy that just by its empty difference signals its conformity. In contrast, the visionary image can become "baroque", that is, a kind of publicly credible and convincing inner voice DEVOTIONAL IN IMPACT. Fanciful imagery is based on the association of familiar sources. Visionary imagery is based on THE CONFLICT OF FORCES THAT ARE NOT CONVENTIONALLY COMMUNICABLE... THAT SEEM TO NECESSITATE THE REINVENTION OF LANGUAGE."

capitalization mine.

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