Ode to Joy

(above, Adam Parker Smith mannikin installation)

I'd like to briefly respond to a great comment by a friend of mine, Dayton Castleman, to my previous post, http://gierschickwork.blogspot.com/2006/02/was-baudelaire-more-right-than-he-knew.html

Part of what he said:
"...I like to leave a little room to be surprised by unexpected visual graces in the midst of the aesthetic desert. "

And furthermore, he went on to comment how having his small daughter along at the First Friday open galleries, and watching her respond to the art in an entirely visceral, pure way, has helped him in searching for more wonder in the at-times barren art world. For example, her reaction to the toddler-size stuffed mannikins, by Adam Parker Smith at the Painted Bride.

Dayton, I hope I'm articulating your comment correctly...thanks for the reminder of how innocent wonder can carry us past detritus - and hubris, for that matter - to the really important components of art experience that we po-po-mo influenced folk have largely lost: sublimity, beauty, joy, surprise...all those good things. And I don't speak of these concepts in the false Platonic sense of being on a higher plain, but rather as being right down here, with us, among us. This a gospel action, no? No wonder we're exhorted to become as little children...

Don't get me wrong; I strive to maintain the production and realization of joy and wonder in my art...and with my encounters with others' art...but I don't have a little one to physically remind me of it; to help me get past my cynicism which has piled up while I wasn't watching. So, thanks again for the reminder. I think that that Friday - First Friday - I perhaps was walking in a desert of my own...and a little more aesthetic sand was thrown in my face on Second and Third streets...just a little too much.

Now, back to the joy...

Dayton  – (Friday, 17 February, 2006)  

This has made me think about 'play' a bit lately.

Children know how to play.

I read something recently that commented on openings, and how boring they usually are. The article pointed out though -- specifically noting Tom Friedman and Tim Hawkinson -- that the more playfully imaginative the artwork, the less people are interested in each other. They really look at the art. They read the wall texts for clues. They laugh, peek behind... basically do what children do when at play.

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