Jasper Johns burgled my mind. He took all the thoughts I’ve had about my ART that tumble around in my head, and said them aloud to important curators of important museums and important writers working on important feature essays about ART and artists. Importantly enough, wordsmith gems gleaned and made with humour sometimes not, are now scattered like wind-lofted rose petals. Importantly, they are about his ART.
Recently, the New York Times published a feature article, written by Deborah Solomon and photographed by Andrew White*, entitled “Jasper Johns Still Doesn’t Want to Explain His Art”. The article points out that now at 87, Mr. Johns is regarded as America’s foremost living artist and currently has a new thematic retrospective at the Broad Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA called “Something Resembling Truth.”**
According to Ms. Solomon’s article, for the most part Mr. Johns continues to work in his Connecticut home studio keeping himself to himself, reluctantly giving interviews, but finding time to mentor, support and encourage younger generations of artists through his philanthropic foundation.
Nine years ago I included the following Jasper Johns quote during construction of [Jots From A Small Apt] SOMETHING MORE ABOUT page:
“I have meant what I have done.
Or, I have often meant what I have done.
Or, I have sometimes meant what I have done.
Or, I have tried to mean what I was doing.”
Early on, that particular quote was a right-brain attempt on my part to describe something more about my individual ART and the process. It was also a safe vehicle to describe, using Mr. Johns’ words, how I felt similarly aligned to him as he, too, attempted to describe his ART and the process of moving forward from idea to a final, visual presentation. As the New York Times feature article by Ms. Solomon also states…”Jasper Johns still doesn’t want to explain his Art.”
My artistic-bent hand continues to be raised with Mr. Johns…neither do I.
“ART is much less important than life,
but what a poor life without it.”
Forward movement in ART based upon myriads of mediums and processes, constituted and constructed with patience, trial and error or both, confidence or lack thereof, affirmation or lack thereof and, of course, practice-practice-practice…permit Jasper Johns, myself and many others to execute ideas and projects until ART expression and imagination ceases to colorfully and artistically exist.
“I often find that having an idea in my head
prevents me from doing something else.
Working is therefore a way of getting rid of an idea.”
Most of the time I’m now at work in the studio or class getting rid of ideas through sketches, preliminary compositions, colour theory, palette scheme instruction, reading, experimenting with and in other mediums, executing new processes and finalizing projects.
I’ll be in touch….
Credit: ___*original photograph by NYT Photographer Andrew White.
Note: ___**Edith Devaney, a curator at the Royal Academy/London, and art historian Roberta Bernstein, helped conceive the Broad show.
___Graphite Drawing, reproduction of photograph by R. Rieder, 2018.