Monday, March 16, 2015

Unsentimental art

On youtube, there are several great artists who record the creation of art, and then proceed to destroy the art, also on video. The first time I saw this kind of performance, I was shocked. Amazing artwork, mercilessly ruined. Often, it's not regular pen-on-paper art, I've seen mediums like salt or sand used. It may be harder to preserve, but worth saving nonetheless.

But I've come to realize the point of it all was in the process of creation, not the result. And I guess that is true of all art. It came to me that I don't respect my own art either, just like they didn't theirs. I have tons of sketches, not finished work, really, but not bad by any means, that I have in some way ruined or tarnished. And sure, someone might think that's a waste, just like I thought it was horrible of those youtubers to destroy what they had worked to create.

I don't think like that anymore. If anything, I think scribbling some math or writing down notes on things I draw just makes it better, which happens a lot. It adds a lot of character, and binds the supposed agelessness of artwork down to a second besides it's creation. Layering new art over old art also creates an interesting effect.

Here are four sheets of paper that sit on my table today. Sketches all, but still more or less violated. None of which I deemed to be worth saving before, but what came after the drawing process made them interesting.

And what are you supposed to do with the art you create, anyway? What's the point in saving it? It might make for good nostalgia when you get older, but once you draw something, it kind of just sits there. Forever, because it has no use. Maybe destroying it is actually more gratifying than preserving it. In the end, only the process of creation itself is worth something. While I was almost offended by them destroying their amazing work, they probably thought nothing of it, just like I wouldn't when I write note-to.self:s on my own drawings.

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