Today I started a painting which I am growing to hate, but oh my days did I enjoy mixing that oil paint. Even if an artwork fucks up, there is a very very rare peace to be found in its process.
I am led by my head, unless
I am viewing or making art
Weeks ago, after seeing the Tate’s Gauguin exhibition, I wrote,
‘My consciousness is the bane of my life, and then Gauguin.’
It was one of those days in which my brain is so swollen with thoughts that it feels as if it could burst out of my eyeballs any minute. With deep crevices of thought in my brow I walk along the riverside on my way to the Tate Modern and I swear to god I can feel my brain splitting. Self-induced labotomy is one of my greatest fears.
Anyway, in my agony (all the while screaming to myself inside, why can’t you just be!!!??), I arrive at the gallery, buy the expensive ticket and enter the exhibition. With a small shiver of relief, my brain calms down. As I move from piece to piece around the gallery, I am free to wonder through my much tidier mind, which is now contentedly concentrating on visual comprehension. My mind is so goddamn tidy it almost resembles the gallery. To hush my rational lobe I take short notes and write down names of particular works to remember and think about later. Oh sweet sweet peace of mind!
Art offers a lucidity about the world like nothing else (actually music does this too), and this lucidity exists outside common rationality. This is as far as I can go in coming up with any sensible explanation for my enjoyment of art. I cannot scientifically define the lucidity it offers, nor can I rebut this potential criticism: Nothing can go beyond the bounds of human rationality, you moron!
I cannot construct a rational argument against this but I can tell the person who said it (or the voice in my head) to fuck off. For it is NOT a moronic idea. Even I, who is rational-obsessed and who will theorise on absolutely everything worth theorising about (I’m doing it now), have come to understand that art, for the most part, cannot be theorised.
This freaks the shit out of me.
Every day I question the value of art, and each time something a mystic said once in a book by Garcia Marquez taps me on the shoulder of my mind:
She will be sorry if she does not follow her heart.