The urgency that drives you, that propels you into the studio every day, should be the desire to see figures as yet unrealized. If this is where your heart is, integrity will not be an issue.
Kerry James Marshall, Letter to a young artist, 2006
– Why study? Why write? Why doing things that, normally, someone wouldn’t do just to survive? Why invent new habits?
– To enlarge what we understand for life.
– Why should I enlarge what I understand for life?
– To enlarge what we understand for life doesn’t mean to understand more about life; that would be a goal that is too much pretentious now. In fact, the question about what we should enlarge what we understand for life only can be made by a person that is not actually alive; cause, if a person is alive, he would never ask why he should stay alive, but would only do what he can to stay alive.
If studying, writing, painting, dancing, making poché eggs or whatever it may be can help he feels that way, he will do without asking why, like when someone goes to a bar or to cheer up to his football team in a sunday afternoon. The point is that the relations of erotism that we have with life, sometimes seems to be restricted to places such as bars, football stadiums, shows of famous bands; when actually they can be everywhere — and we can also create these live or erotic relations, at anywhere: to begin, we only have to choose a place, and then enlarge it for other places. Maybe this is the role of things like sculpture, engraving, drawing, writing. Maybe an artist knows that this relation will not be given naturally, and because of that he may choose an artificial device — to approach him of what exists inside of him, but he can reach alone: his own life. Maybe that’s why Kerry James Marshall says that being an artist is like having any other profession — someone that chooses to be engineer or a cooker has, also, this life inside himself, and is also distanced of it — in that way, trying to approach of it through art or gastronomic techniques are not different things.
And when James Marshall says that artists are not magicians or shamans, prophets or seers, he evidences that spirituality happens at the body: after all, what’s the device that you use to transport you body to a place different from the common place — of its common place that, in most of the time, is apathetic and unconscious of its own terminal and cold state? What do you do when you’re angry or frustrated? What solutions do you take for your depression? How do you deal with the resistance of the materials that you’re made of? Do you break this resistance or you break towards it? Do you create solutions, knowing that they’re not given to you, or do you just wait it to pass away — by now wanting to dilacerate your own chrysalis that imprisons you? If we limitate us to believe that being alive is the same as waking up, working, eating, sleeping, reproducing and dying, maybe life doesn’t has much value and consequently our name is not but a name. But if we see that we have to conquer what moves all of that and, for that, may be necessary a tremendous work — fiction — because that is the only way of take us out from our apathy — who know then someone can be called an artist — then, he won’t call himself as an artist — his erotism will not be limited to an object — will enlarge to any object that he touches — because, when submitting to his life and not being passive by it, he is creating it — and, at the same time, making it create itself in him.