What I saw before me was the critic-in-chief The New York Times saying: In looking at a painting today, “to lack, a persuasive theory is to lack something crucial.” I read it again. It didn’t say “something helpful” or “enriching” or even “extremely valuable.” No, the word was “crucial.”Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word, 1975
Emergence, Multimeda work by Bill Hendricks © 2021, approx. 5″ x 5″, multimedia, found paper
The quote above was written in response to an article in the New York Times, on Sunday, April 28, 1974, by art critic Hilton Kramer.
This blog is a journal of sorts, featuring my artwork and my ideas about art as I understand it. After 67 years of living, I now get to start practicing what I believe I am meant to do. That is to do art.
As I work, read, and reacquaint myself with myself through my art and studies, I seek a theory of me. It is becoming more and more apparent that I am emerging both intellectually and spiritually through my art.
I have never been keen on the significant art pubs or the art critics. Only because, through big words and lengthy explanation of what they see or how they interpret, the work often shuts out, divides, or disqualifies the everyday joe or mary from viewing, collecting, and enjoying art.
I guess part of objecting to the art authoritarians is that I never felt like I fit in being a blue-collar Catholic boy that is gay, not queer, dyslectic, alcoholic, and Quaker. So I often had to forge my own beliefs and codes of conduct.
That being said, I do believe there has to be some theory, some idea, path, or journey the casual viewer might need to understand my work or any artwork better.
Although, Wolfe is critical of Kramers’s reference to the “crucial” need for a perspective theory. Wolfe doesn’t say no knowledge is necessary. Thus every artist usually provides an artist statement for the viewer and gallery visitors.
I guess Artchangeslives(dot)com is where I work to find the theory of Bill.