Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Importance of the Show

Since I lived in western Kentucky, the major art museums were always miles away. And when I went to art shows, it was like someone in the desert that had found and oasis. These moments in my life had a profound effect on my own art work. My first few shows were Picasso, Matisse, and Degas. Picasso taught me about breaking of structures into little units, while Matisse seemed to influence me with the use of simplified figures. Degas allowed me the think I could bring about a renaissance of pastel drawing. Needless to say I had great ambitions. However, I was split in my discipline of graphic design and fine art. I wanted to be a fine artist, but I was convinced that this was not a practical angle for my life. I had to drop this myth of the impractical lifestyle of the artist, i.e. starving artist. In 1999, I began this process of tearing down these myths. I started seeing a lot more contemporary art in New Orleans, in Philadelphia, and finally New York City. New Orleans is where I started gallery hoping when I stayed with my brother for a few months. Philadelphia introduced me to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Philadelphia Contemporary, plus the contemporary art galleries, but I think the Sensation show at the Brooklyn Art Museum and the 2001 Armoury Show completely changed my life and my direction. Later, when I moved to Dallas, TX; I found myself going to as many galleries and art museum as I could and on a regular basis. I visited Houston at least once a year with this same goal. I can’t measure the value seeing all this art has done for me, but I feel it has built a visual language that has made my art work more . . . just plain more je ne sais quoi.

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