Monday, June 13, 2011

An unanswerable question

I'm in a show opening this weekend here in Santa Fe called Mining the Unconscious. Here is the digital invitation.

This was the result of an open call to artists who are working with the idea of the unconscious and is supposed to have something to do with Jung's Red Book, which is an amazing piece of work. There is a new reproduction of it (the original is sort of a sketchbook he created) and it's way expensive, otherwise I'd buy one. The link takes you to Amazon to buy it if you want. It also has some images from it. I decided to enter my burned Freud book pages, since they are his Interpretation of Dreams, and these were accepted for the show.

They've decided to have some panel discussions on the show themes and they asked me to moderate one called "Why do Artists Make Art?" Why DO artists make art? It's a crazy question. I wonder if people really wonder about it. Because artists sure don't. I was telling a friend about the panel and he said artists sell art to buy beer. But not all artists sell their work. In fact I read that only 20% of the people who call themselves artists (this must be on a census or something) make their living from it. I think even that is a high estimate.

I'll have to do some research on theories. I used to live next to a psychoanalyst who had a lot of artist patients and who had written books on this. He said that artists are mastering form to work through past traumas. I do know that for me, just making stuff makes me feel better, even if it doesn't work. And another artist once told me his son was just like him, always "making stuff." So I think my former neighbor has a point, it's about mastering form, but maybe it's about control in general and the feeling of accomplishment when you end up with something fine and interesting.

I may have to post the question on Facebook to see if I get some answers.

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