Art Basel

Saw much today.  Many clever things - clever in concept or clever in execution, sometimes both. Many things were entertaining, spectacular and beautiful.  And yet, so little that felt personal or heart-felt.  Heart-created.  Not surprisingly, I found myself drawn to paintings; ones clearly painted by a flawed human being.  Paintings concerned with poetry.  Paintings should be concerned with the poem, not just the “letters” or the “page” it’s written on but the union of all these elements.  As a painter, my paint and canvas are the words and paper of the poet.  No difference. 

It seems such an old idea in the midst of all this work.  I must remember that this is a highly selective group of work and not necessarily a complete representation but, there were themes. Many, very large, very colorful emotionally noncommittal works or, over-the-top overtly screaming sexual, political or conceptual themes.  Hard to see past all this spectacle and find the quieter objects.  The slow art, the quiet art is being made but it’s sitting on the edges, present, but easy to miss.

This does not disturb me. Rather, it’s clarifying.  I am seeing what I don’t want in my work and what I don’t like in my previous work.  This is invaluable.