The Lab

  • What makes a successful artwork?

    I was de-installing an ugly, be-laboured steel wool drawing I made last year, Scherzo (The Joke in Italian. Ref: the myth of the trickster, inspired by a chinoiserie jester on a swatch of fabric someone gave me.)

    CONCEPT: that creativity -the art part- is elsewhere. It's not the artwork itself, which is a container/medium for the message, but something -the essence- which is less tangible. [the jester points the way]
    I'd always loved the concept and the steely crumbs caught in the paper tray at the bottom much more than the actual drawing itself, which I found . . . so cloyingly literal, fussy and academic in its rendering.
    The more I de-installed that drawing,
    the more a new drawing was emerging on its own.
    Nearly all the pins came off and the jester began to sag {and seemed to exhale a sigh of relief}. . . .until he could no longer support his own weight (his own redundancy) and fell completely down. All that was left was the wrinkle of his simultaneous absence-presence and a telltale, pointing finger. Lovely performance-drawing, don't you think?
    QUESTION: What makes a successful artwork?
    ONE POSSIBLE ANSWER: Chance and Gravity(Gravitas).