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Re: After the Quake, Dana Schutz Gets Back to Work

See the NYT article here. Photo: Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

As a painter and someone who appreciates art and artists, the persistence of the question of “who has the right to tell certain [or any] stories” is depressing and demoralizing. Characterizing the debate as a “wake-up call” for the art world," is fatuous. “To what degree do you take for granted your own perspective?” is always a valid question, but in this context, one step away from the thought police (although I heartily endorse all people—artists and others-- investigating their own perspectives and assumptions). Artists are in the business of creation and creativity. Censorship, overt or otherwise, has no place in this process whether the expression is painting, literature, music or otherwise. For me, the very act of creating is an interrogation of my own perspective (I do not think I am unique). I may have an intention in creating a painting, but the perception of a particular individual may or may not correspond to that intention. I have been surprised by interpretations of my paintings when they have nothing to do with my intention but I cannot and do not want to police that (sometimes these interpretations have revealed aspects of my own paintings I did not realize were there—the subconscious will out!).

The painter creates and offers that creation to the world. A worthy creation catalyzes an experience in the the perceiver that is beyond the control of the artist, an artist can only hope that the experience is, in some way, an illuminating one.


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