Monday, February 4, 2008

Touchy-feely Art

I was thinking about how personal art is. In the past I have posted about my own exploration of self-identity through my photography. It seems to me that the more personally aware artists are about their work the more they can progress. Sometimes it seems to make them more successful. While the mysterious artist who doesn't address their motivation can be intriguing, I'd argue that it's much more powerful to hear an artist's true motivation behind their work.

I never posted about Stephen Wilkes' talk that I attended at the Griffin Museum of Photography. I've hear him speak about his Ellis Island photography when I was at Syracuse and now again at the Griffin. In speaking about his work - he has you believing in ghosts. I am very skeptical when it comes to the supernatural, but the stories he tells about his experiences seem too honest to be anything but true to his experience. He has a sense of the place that is truly as if it is speaking to him. I remember that he had said (at Syracuse) that he felt people had been interrogated in a particular room. In researching his book he found this was true - but when he previously spoke about it these thoughts were only based on his feeling about the place. I found this amazing. I loved his honest, touchy-feely, gallery talk. I am learning how important it is to be truly connected to your work and to be able to speak about it. I'm sure success is possible without this - but when an artist can speak so well abut their work... people want to listen!

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