Thursday, August 27, 2009


I learned to see as a young art student, filling sketch books with endless drawings of empty bottles and soup cans. Apples, oranges, baskets, bicycle wheels, old shoes: the usual variations on the theme of stuff art teachers find laying around. I learned to see the tried and true way all art students learn: by stripping the world naked. Art teachers have their own repertoire of terms for this, but I prefer my own: I call it honesty. I still stand by the statement I made on the first day of figure drawing class, even if the teacher chastised me for having no imagination. Of course that drawing is long gone, but the image stuck with me:

It has evolved into a searching metaphor, one that has come to define my artistic acumen. It embarasses me to repeat the things I used to say as an art student, but the point was simple enough: I have no taste for bending the world to my imagination. In other words, I prefer the naked mannekins.

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