Thursday, May 03, 2007

opening by closing

dear Mike,

it's been a long time, and I'm just back from Paris now, trying to readjust to the climate, bad pants, English, and alleys that though Parisian in smell, lack the charm of ancient cobblestones spattered by eons of piss and garbage. this will not be long, I really do have to work. but I came across this a few weeks ago, or was it months? who knows. it is written by an incredible painter here, Todd Brown, whom I've met a few times and been incredibly intimidated by on account of I almost don't want to know he's human, want to keep him mystical and wise and free from human fallacy. he wrote this on his myspace blog, just thoughts I think. but they struck deep for me, particularly in the course of this existential chaos that surrounds me these days. incidentally, I made the mistake of reading the wikipedia entry for the columbine shootings, just after reading a book about a school shooting that came out only weeks before the VT massacre. I don't understand humans clemow. I just don't.

but this little quip seems to speak not only to art but also to life, as I can see it:

"evening thoughts

What am I discovering now as I work? As I sit in my rocking chair looking at my work (or lack of) with an abstract kind of desperation, I feel another level of this whole process (which never understood really) of creating a work of, and I always seem to think of music simultaneously as I consider the visual process of painting. I realize the impossibility of it all, of trying to compress a world of emotion, the storm of thought and feelings into a space of a few feet, into an inanimate object. I think of the composer and his/her equal challenge to channel entire emotional worlds into the space of a few minutes, be it 3 or 44. It is a compression. And the paradox is that, in that ..compression.. that exists for the artist, that limited space that is his or her window of expression, the resulting experience must be the opposite; one of expansion. One must compress a world into a window so that, when another looks into the window, one discovers a world; that within minutes an eternity is opened, and one is struck, and one must be struck (as if physically), as if the totality of some human experience had funneled itself down and into the most finite point, arriving like the strike of a heel to the floor in the most desperate dance. There where eternity meets the blade of the now, ungoverned by history..s procession, something comes alive and touches us. It is, almost, impossible. Better to not think about it, if one happens to be an ..artist... Better, perhaps, to paint flowers. At least until the storm hits."

until soon my friend,


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