In her memoir Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs“>Hold Still, Sally Mann writes about the thrill she gets from photography.
There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixer, up to the light. And here’s the important thing: it doesn’t even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative, with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising the camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good.
And, when you get whatever you get, even if it’s a fluky product of that slipping-glimpser vision that de Konning celebrated, you have made something. Maybe you’ve made something mediocre–there’s plenty of that in any artist’s cabinets–but something mediocre is better than nothing, and often the near misses, as I call them, are the beckoning hands that bring you to perfection just around the blind corner.
Juxtapoz features Korean artist U-Ram Choe, who creates extraordinary kinetic sculptures, “charting a path between art, science and cybernetic technologies. Finely engineered stainless steel, aluminium, and acrylic ‘bones’ provide the skeletal scaffolding for the ‘brains and muscles’ – CPUs and motors – which are assembled into captivating forms reminiscent of otherworldly flora and fauna.” (Hat tip: Gizmodo.)
Alice Rawsthorn talks about the “art of repair” in her review of the Tokyo exhibit Fab Mind.
As odd as it is to see an exquisite 17th-century Japanese bowl in a contemporary design exhibition, it seems odder still to discover that it is there not because of the finesse with which it was originally made, but the skill with which it was repaired during the late 1800s.
Tsukuroi, or the art of repair, is so revered in Japan that it is believed to create a new form of beauty, as the bowl demonstrates. In “The Fab Mind: Hints of the Future in a Shifting World,” an exhibition here, the bowl acts as a prelude to a display of work by the Fixperts. This international network of contemporary designers and makers experiments with recently developed digital tools and ancient craft techniques to customize new objects and repair damaged ones, just as the artisan who fixed the broken bowl did so deftly over a century ago.
When you are a young man, you are not yet fully aware how the years can blow past like the wind, that there are good years as well as bad, that they must all be weathered in the same way that trees earn their rings. One of the greatest challenges of becoming an artist is overcoming the fear of feeling like a fool. It is no accident that fools are quickest to overcome that fear.