I will have to dedicate another post to a singularly incredible human being---my host. After coming back from the opening and feeling really satisfied with feedback and the response, I returned to K's apartment exhausted. She gave a thorough response to the show, and we were intently honing words and phrases to arrive at an understanding about opinions and notions... and I realize where 50% of my graduate education derived. Thanks K! (Not just for the great cooking and stories.)
Our conversation reiterated why grad school (if you get the level you should from it) was valuable. It makes an one aware how responsible an artist is to the viewer. One writes artist statements to be able to identify what philosophical approach you take with the work-using it as a guide. Your job as an artist is to measure work to those standards in the laboratory of your studio, in an organic melding of free association with stark editing, testing it on an audience (even yourself after time away), and continuing to hone the work until (borrowing a phrase from Jeff Adams) an audience can "reach the same arena of thought". The artwork that frosts my cookies now (and there are always exceptions) derives from the notion that one wants to seduce both sides of any issue to have a dialogue. The contradictions contained in an artwork (that doesn't estrange one particular audience) enables others to discuss the content/subject matter as well as its reflection in the artwork. In the late night crits in the sculpture department, gathered like friends with enough social lubrication to not be worried to offend, one could get an honest response- not fueled by malice or friendship, but critical thinking. Thanks all those with beautiful minds and the guts to share their ideas and thoughts. You make the process continue...I can't wait to get back to the studio- after a weekend of family celebration. And rest.