Saturday, December 09, 2006
I remember falling asleep during a Philip Guston film.
"When I first come into the studio to work, there is this noisy crowd which follows me there; it includes all of the important painters in history, all of my contemporaries, all the art critics, etc. As I become involved in the work, one by one, they all leave. If I'm lucky, every one of them will disappear. If i'm really lucky, I will too."
I remember falling asleep in drawing class while Don Kottman(The Coach) enthusiastically showed us some film on Philip Guston. I've never liked Guston's work, and use him as some kind of indicator when talking to other artists. I've just never met anyone who counts Guston as an influence who made good paintings, illustrators maybe, but painters no.
He did say something in that film about the "anyone could do that" response to his work. Something like: "Yes, anyone can do it, but not everyone can do it again again for their whole lives". While his work may speak more strongly to others, and feel to me like wood-paneled basements with stucco walls, his words have jangled around my head for years.
PS. Thank you to the anonymous poster who sent me this quote.