Monday, December 31


Happy New Year.

A big idea came to me this year.

I am dreamer.

Curiosity, creativity and imagination are not a laundry list but are all part of the same circle--each connected action is connected to each other. But the circle also includes realism, stoicism and pragmatism.

How is that?

We often think of dreaming in opposition to realism-- but it is not.

This blog is named after the Biennale Art 52nd International Art Exhibition , curated by the great Robert Storr.

The full title of the 52nd Venice Biennale is "THINK with the SENSES, FEEL with the MIND: Art in the present tense."

What I believe Storr means by this is that art is EXPERIENCED. What we need now is art that helps us become more engaged citizens of the world.

On his curatorial message Storr said:

I am not trying to say a single thing. I am trying to present a certain approach to art, an attitude towards how to think about it. Essentially, I am trying to say that certain divisions that are common in art criticism, in particular those found among academic writers, are an impediment to understanding and experiencing art. Mainly, that prevalent notions of a division between the conceptual and the perceptual, an idea that had its origin in Marcel Duchamp and was then reinforced by certain avant-garde practices in the ‘70s, and then reinforced further in the ‘80s by the reaction against painting, is a misunderstanding. Because there is no such thing as a good painting without an idea, and there is no such thing as a good idea without a form

Here is a story to end 2007 and bring us into 2008.

The first time I walked into Andrea Rosen's gallery in New York city was during the summer before I would leave pre-medical studies to go study art in Chicago. Because it was summer the gallery have an unimpressive exhibition of inventory from the artists they represented. Most of the work was OK, nothing to exciting.

There was two stacks of paper in the middle of the room-- side by side.

They where stacked about knee high, white paper bigger than poster size. One stack of paper had the sentence "Somewhere better than this place." The other stack read "Nowhere better than this place." The work was by the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The artist left instructions to take a sheet of paper, but only one.

So I look and carefully choose "Somewhere better than this place." it seem the obvious choice. This is positive thinking and wishing and dreaming. The other piece of paper seemed so negative.

I picked up the poster and to my surprise... it was a double sided poster the other side read "Nowhere better than this place."

Mr. Gonzalez-Torres piece was all of the life, the whole circle, two-sides of the same coin. An epiphany: to be a complete person, we must be both a dreamer and a realist.