There is understandably a lot of pessimism out there today. By “out there” I mean most anywhere, but specifically outside my studio doors. Because inside, I remain surprisingly, almost unnervingly, optimistic. For someone (mistaken, I would argue) perceived to be a bit of a curmudgeon, this is an unusual state to be in. What hope could I possibly have in an art world undergoing rapid capitulation by many individual artists and art organizations?
Put simply, I believe much Quality, meaningful and well-crafted work will not only survive this Grand Purging, but will thrive in an era more skeptical of exuberant claims and glitzy sheen. Work grounded in Nature, history and our human desire for meaning will continue to be valued because it satisfies an expressly human need for self-creation. Work which looks beyond the navel of its creator, which connects on an intimate level with the viewer, will communicate in a way that hype and market forces never can. I am optimistic because I think these difficult times will lead people to search out the type of authentic and insightful work which I value. It is also the type of work I aspire to create, and the type of work created by other artists who I admire.
Once such artist I recently discovered is Andy Paiko. Check out his site and spend some time exploring his heart-breakingly poetic work. Paiko’s glasswork is like alchemy to me. I understand steel and its resiliently fluid nature, but the fragile fluidity and structure of his glasswork is a mystery me, in the best possible way. I find myself mesmerized looking at them, captivated by their detail, form and execution.