Monday, December 13

Go Where? Trying to be Good

Go Where? 2009 Jeffar Khaldi (via Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde)
One of the best ways a work of art can be good is when your experience with it reflects, in stages, exactly how it must have felt to make. I tend to respond to paintings that reveal the fun in their construction, the intensity, some heartbreak, labor, risk, confusion and ultimately, some sort of satisfying discovery.

I like to see a painting that shows off how effortlessly it was constructed but yet humbles itself in areas that could have been painstaking. Another words: triumphant and full of ego, but deserving of that confidence.

An artist a friend works for claims to have spent a good decade hiding and making bad work. And the kind of painting I am talking about is as a result of that hard work. It appears so unabashedly effortless because that fluidity has probably taken a short lifetime.

Seeing Jeffar Khaldi's paintings made me think of that. They also immediately remind me of Neo Rauch for the same reasons. Khaldi's subject matter is serious but not stodgy (unlike the NYT Book Review's Top Ten of 2010 which was a complete disappointment). I admire paintings like this because they don't take themselves seriously and that's an important point for me to learn with my own work.

Semi-Related: Chuck Klosterman interviews Jonathan Franzen who makes a good point about authenticity, "Inauthentic people are obsessed with authenticity".

And Klosterman is on a roll lately, with a great totally unrelated article about zombie onslaughts.

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