August 11, 2008

The thing about beauty.

Yes, it’s a tired debate for those who have no vested interest in this subject, but for those who do, read on.

In my last post I was feeling a little sad sack over the apparent lack of outstanding commercial success of a recent show. (To be fair, I’ll give myself a few points for critical success in terms of a damn fine review. Sorry, but it lessens the sting ever so slightly.) So, while I’m not interested in a discussion of commercial appeal, The Market or any statistical information at this moment, I was reminded about my roots- why I make the art that I make, my Modus Operandi. This occcured to me as I was thumbing through the ads in the back of Dwell. As I was noticing for the umpteenth millionth time in my life that most things commercially appealing also happen to be clean and simple, I was reminded of a heinous little incident early in my life.

Somehow, as an undergraduate, I neglected to take my required Foundations Sculpture class until my last semester. At this point I was spending all my time in the Painting Studio, so it was a bit of an interruption to take a Foundations Sculpture class from an egotistical professor who shall remain unnamed. It didn’t help that while in that class, I also managed to overlook that it met 3 days a week, not 2.

Nonetheless, two times a week, I was dedicated to carving a large misshapen thing out of fiberglass, liberally applying Rhoplex, gauze and spray paint, and in the end I made something that was a cross between an atrophied Louise Nevelson sculpture and something from the set of Little Shop of Horrors. In effect, I was taking my personal vocabulary from painting and making a 3D representation of it. But Professor Beauty Pants came up to me and actually asked if I had ever taken a “Design” class. I told him yes, and that it was my last semester and that in less than a month or two, I would be graduating with my BFA in Painting. He then pulled the frigging chalkboard over to me and drew a perfect, swooping semi-circle on the chalkboard and told me THAT was good design. It was an unbelievable display of shock and awe. I remember being dumbfounded.

So who knows, maybe having some guy draw a semi-circle on the chalkboard circa 1984 was my line in the sand.

Tonight we're heading 90 miles up to Mount Pinos to see the Perseid meteor shower. It's a family affair, car camping in the back of the SUV with Fang, hot coco and cookies! I'm excited.


reverto said...

I was thinking of napping and then driving up to Pinos, but when I saw it was cloudy at 9pm in L.A. and then it got cloudier at 11:30, I said ferget it.

So was it cloudy up there?

M.A.H. said...

No clouds, but the moon was bright. I fell asleep before the main event.