Thursday, March 15, 2018

Art is naked

This came out this last January as I wrote some sophomoric text or typing.. (writing vs. Typing...) on my website. I just needed to break free... and this emerged... Enjoy!

Art is Naked


Reflections and journeys in art and self-expression. A letter to myself.


Don Quixote by my mother Mary Theisen-Helm


Art is naked. Art is as naked and sensitive as we were the moment we were born. Fragile and at the mercy of a cruel world. Cold and bright and new and scary. Art is baring our souls to the world with no armor. Art is so fragile. Such a risk. Art is dangerous. Art is a hope for acceptance and joy, but a fear of rejection while naked on a stage. Art is bright, art is dark. Art is both a reflection of ourselves, and of how our expression is excepted. Mirrors upon mirrors…


Showing our inner-most thoughts and self-expression. Throwing it out there to be laughed at or… even accepted from time to time. The barriers and shields of life.. our shrouds of common existence laid bare and waste. Self-expression, putting out your inner self and fragility…


The birth of art is naked too. It exists alone, must be created alone driven by creativity bordering on madness.


Innocence of ideas uncorrupted by any other person or outside influence… of any critique.


The dangers of conformity. The voices in our heads or in others that want to change us. To make it all understandable. To be so unique as to be absurd… forced to find a voice that is not yours… or to conform to a common grouping… a classification.. you are an X artist or a Y artist. The unique but fragile voice like a child’s quavering first attempt to sing. Don’t quash it.


Without some sort of mental illness or psychological aberration, art could not exist.. the world would be black and white and boring and tasteless.  Albert Camus wrote : “If the world were clear, art would not exist.”


Dangers of listening to critique. Dangers of non-acceptance or ambivalence. Learning to put on soul-armor and masks. Self examination after criticism or non acceptance. Self-loathing and the decent into despair. The Van Gough effect? Putting down the brush and pen and picking it up again because you have to. Creativity and the need to get it out. Alcohol fueled ideas and paper and canvasses crumpled, crushed concepts reborn later in new joy and clarity.


The small acceptances along the way. A kind word like a feast… like light into a dark room. Warmth on a cold gloomy day. The flowers that bloomed in your head as you walked in the hills, blossoms of ideas in shades of seasons.


Of those who don’t understand and our wanting to explain or alter our art to make it more accessible. Our final acceptance that most people couldn’t ever appreciate the subtleties in a C├ęzanne landscape and move their lips when or if they read Yates.


It began with the realization of who you are. I spent my youth along side my classical pianist father, and my prolific and amazing mother who’s painting brushes dripped in colors of unending talent. I was always creative, but spent so much of my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. A success. A business guy. A corporate clown. Only to have a mid-life crisis, give up my job, my career, my life, move clear across the state to a small rural town and wallow in the joys, successes and fears of creating art. The risk is naked too… It was born long ago when telling a story around the dinner table. My cousin told me I should write these things down… so I did… Badly at first. Then with more clarity and gaining a voice… I never had my father’s ear, or my mother’s brush. Instead… in the middle of my life, I discovered a pen in my pocket.


Creativity is a joy in itself. Mom would finish a painting and move on to the next idea, seldom stopping to sign or frame it. I understand. It just has to come out…. Art for Art’s sake and creativity for creativities sake is not sin or vice.


The ups and downs. The self-doubts. The heights of joy unparalleled when revisiting a creation of art and finding it perfect… at least to our minds… and just being pleased with a line drawn or written…. For the moment.. the moment is naked too.


Living for that moment….


And the confidence….


To put it out there, structured how you want like a piece of jazz only ten people will ever understand…


And meeting some of those people…


Art is life. Life is living. Living is art. Art is home.

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