Friday, July 13, 2007

Mangled Roses

Kitty culprit not far off...

Broke my vacation rule yesterday and finished up some pieces. The book on Mary Pratt was good. Since it's so different from my own statement as an artist, I'd wondered what drew her to such a realistic style. Since she'd had a very structured, disciplined childhood that she loved, I figured it was the order that still appealed to her. After finishing the book, I think it was a bit of a rebellion.

Her parents had said that artists can never paint sunsets or stained glass. She had to make it happen. It became her passion. She also felt "the academics" and mainstream contemporary art didn't accept her work because it was too realistic, and not a deep commentary on the world. Her husband told her not to tell people the stories that lead up to the creation of some of her pieces because it "trivialized" the work by making it "homey."

She rebelled from these views by noting that deep commentaries ended up trite when she tried them, and when all was said and done she was "kind of homey." That was her life. Pratt felt in the end the simple beauty of things can be the most profound.

It was kind of an awakening. No matter what style we choose as an artist, we just can't please everyone. That sounds so obvious, yet how many times I've felt the need to defend, explain. I thought that would go away for the famous, but I guess it doesn't.

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