*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
Homo sapiens is the animal that means something, or that desperately wants to mean something. Undoubtedly our thirst for meaning has a lot to do with our petrifying awareness of death, itself a side effect of the imagination, and one that makes our unique position as much of a curse as it is a gift.
As the prime fruit of the imagination, art is the incontrovertible sign of humanity’s presence on earth. But what constitutes the human itself? The prehistoric paintings at Chauvet confront us with a dimension of ourselves that, though familiar in ways, remains in many respects unknown and may ultimately be unknowable. Human consciousness has access to a powerful otherworld, the place of dreams and myth, poetry and lunacy. [This is]… the “imaginal,” the name Henry Corbin gave to the intermediate realm, central to the inscrutable mind of God. As a concrete manifestation of this imaginal realm in the public sphere, art calls us back to the source as a matter of course.
J.F. Martel in Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice: A Treatise, Critique, and Call to Action
Comments are welcome!
Q: There is a voyeuristic quality to your paintings in the “Domestic Threats” series. Perhaps it is because we are seeing objects most would consider inanimate acting out these complex scenes you’ve created for them. Where do the stories come from?
A: When I set up the figures to photograph, I make up stories about what is happening. Being an artist has lots of negatives, but one of the fun parts is that sometimes we get to act like big kids. Some of the stories come from movies, mythology, folk tales, or dreams. I read a lot and I love stories. I try to be open to all sorts of influences because you never know what will work its way in to enrich your art.