Thursday, June 10

Thinking Big and Thinking Failure

Via Two Coats of Paint, a rundown of Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. I didn't catch the first episode, so cannot imagine what it's like. But I have seen plenty of Project Runway (my wife loved the show before it left Bravo - and just like Top Chef, thought it made such entertaining TV by leaving out details and making drama out of producer induced pressure).

But what would that be like, having a camera crew hover over your practice? As I mentioned before, my practice isn't all that glamorous. Even my wall of windows opening directly onto an apartment building makes me self-conscious. Art seems to be, even in collaborative processes, something that needs to be created alone. Sebastian Smee of the Boston Globe says, "Work of Art, as well as any other reality TV show, taps into our need to be fascinated without the inconvenience, the risk, of further emotional investment." It's pretty to watch without the trouble. And, "Almost all the female contestants make work in heels and fluffy tops.."

I seem to actually work the best when there is absolutely no possibility of having someone see into my space. And that is usually never. There's always a chance. It's just like the act of painting itself: you paint the best in those short moments when you forget about painting altogether.

I wonder if the Work of Art artists have been chosen because of a vain or loud persistence. Also likely, for our benefit, they're process - or lack of it - looks good on camera.

Semi-Related: A great interview of a great interviewer, Ira Glass in which he mentions working for failure:
I feel like being wrong is really important to doing decent work. To do any kind of creative work well, you have to run at stuff knowing that it's usually going to fail. You have to take that into account and you have to make peace with it.
 UPDATE: Also related: The Downfall of Thomas Kinkade (finally).

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