I had a hard time coming up with a topic for my Letter From the Editor. I wanted to say something pertinent and useful and possibly even intelligent – to discuss what’s been on my mind and is art-related and can be generalized to encompass an issue that Affects Us All.
The problem is that the only art that I’ve been particularly concerned with of late is my own.
I’ve been at this long enough that I no longer doubt the validity of what I’m doing, but endless questions arise nonetheless. Mostly they’re straightforward (as in, Is this done?), but they can be about anything from whether I’m approaching the process in the right way to whether I’d be more productive if I moved that chair to the other side of my studio. I can’t help it. I just really, really care about it.
This sort of navel-gazing solipsism always gets artists into trouble, and I’d hate to head down that road so I go out and look at other people’s work and try and stay relatively on top of what’s going on (though not nearly as much as I should). I do this because I care about other artists’ work too. It’s the same reason there are clubs and newsletters and chat rooms for people who collect commemorative plates: solidarity.
Critics in general have the reputation for being a failed practitioner of whatever it is that they criticize, so what does it mean that the entire editorial staff and most of the writers of Big RED and Shiny are working artists? I’m not certain that we offer any particular expertise, but I know that we care. We really care. We offer our attention because everyone should think that what they do is important.
Unless what they do is somehow involved with the Franklin Mint.
Image courtesy of Google Image Search.