I had the privilege of listening to sculptor Donald Lipski speak at UGA yesterday. He has some pretty incredible work centered around everyday objects he's either found, bought, or had donated. One story told about his work really made me thing. Mr. Lipski explained a piece he did made entirely paint brush handles. Well, an art critic a reviewed this piece, going on about the symbolism and the strong message he was trying to convey by cutting the bristles off the brushes. Reality: Lipski found crates of those already bristle-less brushes in the dumpster behind his New York apartment building and thought they would be something neat to experiment with.
Now isn't that something? Making art to just play around with different materials. I think as artists we are under a lot of pressure to make something that has a deep, dark serious meaning or shocking social commentary behind it. There is definitely a place for pieces of that nature. During my undergraduate career the bulk of my sculptural pieces were based on distorted body image and the hell of living with an eating disorder.Somethings people have to work out through their art or they would go crazy. But whatever happened to the days when we made art just to have a little fun?
After nearly a year of being on an artistic hiatus, I think I finally some motivation to start painting again. (Painting, because I have no money or storage space!) I don't want to work with any particular meanings or intentions; I just want to be able to approach the form of the figure in different ways and play with color. No fluff. No show. Just paint because it makes me happy. I need some happy in my life.
In fact, I think we all do.
Here is some of Lipki's work for those who are curious...