This painting blew my balls off and is the most original thing I’ve ever seen
This painting blew my balls off and is the most original thing I’ve ever seen. Im not sure how it ever got done. At the time, it wasnt even considered. So it went.The drawings are beautifully drawn and impeccably executed. Theyre also like work by Andy Warhol. Theyre clearly not the effects of some drug or some mind trip. Theyre not the results of some poor drawing session or some messed up subway. Theyre perfectly in the middle of the road. Some of the drawings are very dark and a little blurry. Some of the drawings are slightly too clean, some are a little too messy. Some are just fine. The drawings are, on the whole, very fine.The most famous works in this exhibition were the ones from the early series of pencil and ink drawings. Theyre all done in a very white, sterile way. They look like a series of art class assignments. The pencil drawings are almost always very dark, and some of them are almost completely black. In the early drawings, there is some information that is practically illegible; the pencil is a strange instrument for transmitting that information. The pencils are vague and didactic. The drawings are more open and open. They have an airy simplicity about them. They are pictures of things you can touch, but they arent descriptions of things you can see. They have a certain distance between them and the picture space. They are very inert, very noncommittal. These drawings are the most interesting part of the show.I used to think that the drawings were about art. I thought they were the opposite of the conceptual works. The drawings are more like the kind of conceptual pictures you can make with a pen. They are like the kind of drawings you can make with a pencil, but without the pencil. They are like the kind of pictures you can make with a pen, but without the whole thing. They are like the drawings you can make with a pen, but with a pencil. They are about ideas.
This painting blew my balls off and is the most original thing I’ve ever seen. The idea that a painting can be an art is just as silly as the idea that the brain can be the center of a symphony. Both are spectacular illusions. At the same time, I wouldnt be able to help myself. This is not a question of artistic pretensions, but of a certain identity—a question of who you are as a painter and as a person.You cant make it as a woman without a certain amount of self-consciousness, but thats not to say that there isnt an element of play in it. The effect is very much like a poker-faced bodybuilder, and its not difficult to understand how the title makes reference to a bodybuilder. What is important is that the paintings have an undeniably gendered quality, and in the context of an artwork as hard as this one, that masculinity is an acknowledged fact. (And thats why I love it, despite the fact that the title alone gives the impression of being a bad pun.) The paintings are made of a rich, dense, translucent plastic that looks like a gel that has been melted and then reassembled into a brittle, shiny, watery substance. The same goes for the titles: there are references to domesticity (Men and Women Apart), the body (Sculpture), the brush (Woman), the brushstroke (Painting), the hand (The brush), and the brushstroke (Painting). For the most part, the images are of women, and they are mostly self-portraits. Theres a lot of winking and self-conscious gesticulation, and a lot of hand-wringing.Theres no question that there are some works that work well as self-portraits.
This painting blew my balls off and is the most original thing I’ve ever seen. But in this piece, that sensuous, erotic thing seems to be missing. The only way it could be is that the canvas has become a woman who is also a man. Which she is. I feel the same way about the papier-mâché sculptures in the back room, which I think are good. Im not sure I could make them better. But they are not my idea of beautiful—well, no. What are you supposed to do with something that looks like a woman, though? Maybe you should just call it a sculpture. Thats just as valid as the nonobjective, figural sculpture in the room. Its not a sculpture. And even if I had to decide, Im not sure Im ever going to decide.But thats really the point. The point is that these are very beautiful things. They dont feel like sculpture. They look like paintings, but that is what a sculpture does. Its not enough to say, I like these things. Im going to leave them be. Im just not going to do it. Its not worth it. And they are very attractive things to me. I can almost feel the heat of the fire in my brain. They are beautiful things to me.I feel the heat of the fire in my brain. Theres a painting in the back room that is just very beautiful. I like it. I like the way its thickly painted. I like the way the color is applied. And thats pretty much it. Its a painting. I like the way it looks, and the way it is framed. And thats really it. Its a painting. Im not going to make any decisions about that. It feels like one of those paintings that you make for a friend.Its really very beautiful, but its not sculpture. Its a painting. Its not a sculpture. Its just a painting. Its a painting. Thats all.
This painting blew my balls off and is the most original thing I’ve ever seen. It would be as hard-core a statement as a Picasso was when he said, I didnt know how to breathe. And Im still going through the motions of painting. Can you see that it is still me? But thats the point. Theres no denying the fact that there is something uniquely personal about this work. But what does that feel like? You feel that you are giving up some of the uniqueness of your process, that you are abandoning yourself to an intellectual process? I mean, it sounds like a good idea, but one doesnt make any such decisions. And thats not even at all true of the art. If anything, its more like being a kid again, trying to be an artist. This is what I mean when I say that this is not art, and thats why its so bizarre. Theres no auteur here, just a bunch of art-world guys who have become like the guys who do the painting, who are going to keep doing it and making money for it. I dont want to get into that. As far as I know, the only guy who has been seriously considering this, and who is a painter himself, is Mike Kelley. He is a very good painter and I love him. He is the only one I trust with my money. Ive never been able to convince him to do something I dont like. Ive had some problems with him in the past, but they were caused by him. He didnt do it to me. I mean, hes been doing it for twenty years. I dont like his work. Its a bunch of crap. I mean, its not all that bad. And thats what I mean by cliché. Theres nothing wrong with clichés, you know? You just have to decide what cliché is and how cliché is to be. If youve ever seen a movie and seen a cliché, it is a bad scene. Its usually an explosion.
in my life.Ive been reading a lot about art criticism lately, and its telling me to stop being a fucking asshole. Yes, its true that many artists are always good to an extent that is impossible to measure, but when they arent, all you can do is check out the stuff that makes them great, and thats the point. Im saying thats the best part. The criticism doesnt even tell you how many hours you put into the painting, how much it cost, how much time you spent looking, how much you spent trying to make the paintings. Its all in there. Its on the wall. If you can get past that, youve got to take it as art. If you cant, youve got to take it as life. Just because its not there, its not going anywhere. Theres plenty of space.There is a certain genius in the way that you can see what can be done with what youve got. Its hard to say whether its the sheer power of the work itself, or the presence of it, or the lack of it. In a sense, theres no such thing as an asshole in a painting. Its not the artist who does something because hes an asshole. Its the asshole who doesnt. Its just another one of those situations where theres no one there to do it, and thats what makes it art. Its a fucking middlebrow thing.Its not that you need a few more asshole paintings to prove that youre an artist. Its more the idea that you can do this shit. And thats what makes it great. You can go through the motions of painting, and you can be an asshole for a while, and it gives you something to work with. You can do something thats pretentious, that doesnt really care about the consequences, and thats what makes it great.