TALK THE TALK BUT WALK THE WALK….zuki suggests keeping it simple

For those of you wasting your lives squandering your potential on booze and the occasional dalliance take heart!  I come bearing good news!  Take up art and BE somebody!  Rarely does anyone question an artist as to the validity of he/she’s work.  And if by some odd chance someone does, it’s all too easy to make something up…who could deny you?  For the one or two of you reading this bone of contention, if you’re contemplating a career in art make sure you incorporate the following terms in your art discussions:

  • Negative space
  • Juxtaposition
  • Flowing lines
  • Playful or Hard edged
  • Atmospheric perspective

If you manage even one of these phrases most patrons will consider you authentic and give you a pass as to your knowledge base.  While the ability to talk “art” is important, eventually folks actually expect you to produce something.  While in Graduate School at the prestigious Idaho State University there was an Art History professor (first name was Miles) who unabashedly claimed he was also a working artist.  I personally thought he was a “Dick with Ears” pumping and grunting iron every day.   So I kept pushing him to show the class a sampling of his work to which he would agree to do….only he never did.

Finally the state of Idaho coughed up some money for each art faculty member to produce sculptures that would be distributed around the campus.  The pressure was on.  As a grad student I had access to the studios and could watch each teacher work; all except Miles that is.  By the end of the semester five of the six faculty members had nearly completed their projects.  When I asked Miles where his piece was he bristled and curtly explained he was working off campus!  How convenient!

The day of reckoning at long last was here.  The installations had begun and low and behold a tractor trailer showed up at Mile’s installation site loaded with a dozen twenty foot sections of steel pipe.  Hiring someone to weld, he fused four pipe sections together side by side.  Using a forklift each section was put in place stacked atop of each four pipe section in multiple angles and directions….it was no doubt the most thoughtlessly designed piece I’ve ever seen in the 34 years since my departure.  My sample picture is not the work, but has a few characteristics.

So if you like the notion of being called an artist but really don’t have the desire or wherewithal to create be sure to memorize the phrases above, and if absolutely forced into showing your mystery work, may I suggest Mile’s pipe sculpture.  It was big, linear, and only took a day to design and build!