Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Pick: John Walker

Red Yellow and Blue, Coastal Cross North Branch, 2011, oil on canvas, 84 x 66 inches

Ostraca V, 1977, Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 96 inches

Seal Point Series N 14, 2006, Oil on bingo card, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches

Seal Point Series # 38, 2005 , Oil on bingo card, 7 1/4 x 5 1/2 inches
Untitled, 2003 , Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches
I love the work of John Walker and looking at it spanning over so many years.  It makes me feel like what I am doing now is such a small window of what might be possible with decades of investigations in paint. Another favorite thing of mine that I have had bookmarked for months is an interview with him, that I read when I need a real, gritty, get-to-work voice in my studio.  Here is an excerpt:

"I love to teach, and I find one of the biggest problems I have with my students, is convincing them that you can do anything. They already feel locked into something. I think it is art history’s fault. Art history makes it seem linear. It presents Picasso as going from this to that. But really, he was a mess, creatively. In 1922, in his studio, the late Cubist painting The Three Musicians was on one wall, and on the other wall was Three Women at the Spring. Creativity is a huge mess. It really is one of the big problems: how do you convince a student that it’s a mess, because that is the last thing they want to hear. They want some sense of it all, from you or me. And I walk in and say, “No, it’s not like that in the real world.”

But read the rest, so much to chew over here.


Jamie Ribisi-Braley said...

This is all very true! He was a professor of mine and when John would come in for a studio visit, you would think anything was possible. But then he'd leave and you'd have to face the world (and other professors) and you'd rethink the pep talk. There were several times when I'd wished I just went with it and did my thing, like he was trying to push. It's funny because I was just talking to my husbnd last night about wanting to be a mess and was that ok. Yes, it is.

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