This morning I am in a hotel in Columbia, SC. The show at the McMaster Gallery looks great. The panel discussion was fun, there were only three of us on the panel, mostly answering questions about beauty and social responsibility (the world is so f*cked up, don't you feel an obligation to make work about it?) in contemporary painting. At one point, they asked us to define the concept of beauty in relationship to our own work. I responded that, for me, beauty is vulnerability, that thing we all share that connects us as humans. Sara Frankel agreed, and then told this beautiful story about one night when her daughter was in the tub, while she was in another room. Sara kept calling out to her daughter, checking to see that she was ok, because her daughter was afraid of the water, and did not like getting her head wet. At one point, her daughter didn’t answer. She ran into the bathroom to find her young daughter asleep in the tub, floating on her back. She was overcome with the beauty of the image, and the simultaneous terror that she could have rolled over and drowned... that moment I have heard so many artist parents talk about, when they are frozen, and do not know whether to respond first as an artist or a parent. It inspired her new gorgeous body of work
It was great to meet Jim Barsness, we had lots to talk about since he has been at UGA (my alma mater) for the past 7 years. The work he showed here was overtly Anti-Bush, and I could have looked at them for hours, there was so much in there.
I am off to breakfast, then going to hit the museum on my way out of town. Radley has been sick and hasn’t kept any food down since I left. Poor Kevin has been doing nothing but mopping floors in my absence.