statements are an affliction of the age: artists of the Abstract
Expressionists period were content to write vague generalizations
about their work and no one thought less of them for doing so.
In short, artists have succumbed to the plague of hyper-information:
the mystery is off the rose. Today visual artists live in a time
when their haptic sensibilities (guided by the fragile nature
of neomorphic imaginings) are in danger of losing the significance
of their silence. Artists need to be taken more seriously than
words can express.
poetry of pictorial form is not a literary one, nor does it follow
the emotional syntax of literature -- even poetry, but a visceral
one that makes itself felt before the third person distortion
of written language asserts its authority. A culture addicted
to the authority of words alone cannot grasp the numinous vitality
of visual art, a form of communication that existed well before
words. Most visual artists transmute words by not using them.
More, true artists understand the authority of spoken or written
language but their creativity is in the realm of physical signs
and symbols, color and forms, not the conceptual tradition of
written expression. Literature is an a posteriori response to
experience while visual art is an a priori view of the world.
Further, words are not required to understand the noumenalistic
nature of authentic art, be it visual or otherwise. In literature
aesthetic gravitas is not in what is written but what is omitted
and implied in the content and context of the narrative. Like
music, visual art is a preverbal experience.
the reader can see I have reservations about artists' statements
as a perquisite for being taken seriously. I have known artists
who are clumsy with written text, for which I have the greatest
respect. The western bias towards the authority of the word in
the realm of visual art is pernicious and at best naïve.
The ones that I have read veer either toward nebulous autobiography
or tortured hyperbole, being a self-congratulatory cadenza of
purple passages, dour minimalism or narcissctic gibberish.