I was thinking about, well, everything, and I can’t figure out a way capture anything with complete truth. Every photo, painting, novel, film, has an overlay of manipulation. Every artist has an agenda, though some are so subtle, the viewer becomes the captured one.
I was looking for visual artists that somehow captured water, and in addition to Ran Ortner, five emerged. I was trying to explain to a friend the types of images that draw me in. Just as I find it difficult to articulate and describe my own work, I couldn’t quite sum up my reasons for loving certain artists. Maybe you can help me define my genre…Here are my five of the moment, in no particular order.
Mark Rothko – Blue
“I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.”
Helen Frankenthaler – Ocean Drive West, 1974
“What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it’s pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it. What concerns me is – did I make a beautiful picture?”
Robert Motherwell (who was lucky enough to be married to Helen Frankenthaler) – Lyric Suite, 1965
“It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of self-deception.”
Wayne Thiebaud – Ponds and Streams
“An artist has to train his responses more than other people do. He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom. It prepares an artist to choose his own limitations…”
Richard Diebenkorn – from The Ocean Park Series
“I came to mistrust my desire to explode the picture and supercharge it in some way… what is more important is a feeling of strength in reserve – tension beneath calm. ”
And, a sixth artist for the evening, in honor of the eve of Sam’s sixth birthday! Please check out this interview with photographer Edward Burtynsky. It’s too late to go in-depth, but it’s amazing work.