Sunday, April 17, 2016

Indisputably Uncertain

I have launched into a new series, conceived when I felt I could no longer stand the stridency of today's rhetoric. Reasoned argumentation and thoughtful questioning have given way to name-calling and belittling. Our genetic desire for certainty and our tendency to follow someone who simply asserts he has found the Truth works against the reality of the uncertainty of our lives. And so I decided I could either hide under a pile of blankets until things got better or I could work out my frustrations by creating pieces that celebrated uncertainty, reminding myself of the need to question, of the fact that I can never be absolutely sure that the next step I am taking on the path is in the right direction. It's always a judgement call, but take that next step anyway.

So here is a piece I have named "I Dwell in Possibility":
I also got the opportunity to try out a new technique. (Does this make me an opportunist?--an equally annoying type these days.) I had experimented with dyeing some cheese cloth and I loved how it soaked up the color and this seemed an ideal piece to use it on. I wanted to attach it to the background so that it would maintain its freeform shape and texture and felt that fusing it would reduce this effect. So I handstitched the cheescloth to the top layer with a fine matching thread making sure the stitches were invisible but the shapes were securely attached.

I do admit that any abstract piece could potentially fit this series since abstraction by its very nature, a nature I have grown to love, opens itself to many interpretations. And while I was nearing the finishing of this piece I came across a review of an abstract art show at FiveMyles in Brooklyn by Alexis Clements, who says all this much more eloquently than I have done: "The paring down, the removal of a prescriptive dogma or interpretation, allows the viewer to explore on their own. It is a highly personal experience. . . . And at a time when haranguing proclamations and categorical insistence seem to be everywhere, stepping however briefly into a space of not knowing, into an acknowledgment of uncertainty or at least curious exploration, feels like a cool drink of water."

I may have explained away this piece--which is just 16 x 21 inches. Perhaps you should just ignore my strident rhetoric and make of it what you will--something a viewer of abstract art does as a matter of course. Anyway, thanks for the company!