Thomas Arthur Schaefer
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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Art — Malignant Neoplastic Disease

REPLY to Contrite Kid:
Don't worry my friend... I had a ghost writer for most of that overly embellished post anyways. No harm - No foul - No apology necessary. "it was all a blur"... so true.



BARKER WROTE:
Refined? How do you mean? We may differ on a point, which may be why we get along so differently. How about that. I believe in raw passion and raw emotion. That's why I'm drinking tequila and beer at nearly 2 a.m. and writing this e-mail. I think that one, especially an artist, should't discount the impact of raw emotion and passion over artistic endeavors which ever movement one might be involved in. It's truley been the beacon in the night that's kept me near but away from rocky shores. Ha ... that is certianly apart of Retro-consumerism. Trust me brother. It's the question of "What side of the tracks do you claim to be from?" I don't know about Atl, but the DFW is prime ground for that kind of shit ... more tequila holdasec... all right where were we? Yes, don't discount raw primal emotion. Shit is what kept stupid-crazy-smart-ass Ray Johnson going. Idea wise he never thought for a second. However, he didn't drink as much as we do.

SCHAEFER RESPONCE:
So —refined. What I was trying to impart by that reference is the idea that the work generated (at least for me) has a highly classical method about it. Meaning that the approach and method attached to the production of the work, yes, follows the primal emotion that the true artist has inside, but it's more than that. I'm pulling it all back to the initial logistics of consumer goods we find in the market place and the lengthy drawn-out processes they endure to produce that said product. Most consumer goods take months if not years to move from conception to placement in the market place. Countless people work to refine that product to it's most perfect base.
So with this in mind, if you take the 2004 Fluoride series that I've produced and trace it's steps all the way back to it's inception, to when I actually began production, there is a 6 month period I underwent, that was based on scrupulous reworking of concepts, trial and error, and consumer feedback, until I reached the point where I was ready to produce the product.
But as I stated before, (you are absolutely correct) there is also the refined side where we do deal with the primal emotion and that is evident in the other set of Retro works I've done — the Donuts. These works are not based on any of the clinical methods that the Fluorides are. They rely on raw emotional attachment all at once to the consumer goods, regardless of irregularities and imperfections. They feed on the refined sense of the artists mind to know what he likes and dislikes. The Fluorides are the refined side of the artists mind as the producer of the goods. He must recognize his likes and dislikes, but also consummate the method of production, so that the artists product not only equals, but exceeds the original.
In terms of charming, the work functions in two of charms not so obvious realms. The first and most obvious, the realm of attractiveness through tastefulness and pleasantries. The second and often over-sighted notion of attractiveness through stimulation. This means that the work could be hideous and highly objectionable to the viewer, but in causing this reaction, we create that attractiveness through stimulation. Whether positive or negative, both are charmers.
Finally on quixotic. This has been a word I've been using a lot lately to describe almost my entire body of work, even outside of the Retro works. I find that most of my works in the past 8 - 10 years have had a very lofty romantic perception placed onto them. Even with this highly classical sensibility, they all are quite on purpose "foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals" that dictate the modern bourgeois' perception of art. The work I produce is highly impulsive and ever burgeoning for no apparent reason, other than to produce more work (or product to be, when deemed approved, placed in said market place). It's like a cancer that continues to spread throughout my life. And although most see cancer as a ghastly disease, I often look at it as a highly intimate romantic notion, because after all romance is only relationship between two lovers, and what is it they say about lovers in the heat of passion — two bodies in cadence as one. That's the way I view my work. I've often told people who ask why I don't work in a studio with the simple explanation that my art is about a living experience. My art and my life are the same thing and can not be separated by a studio space 30 or even 5 minutes away from where I live. I have to live with my work and let it talk to me and spread over me like a cancer.


MAILING TRANSFERRAL
JULY 20, 2005
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BARKER - Pretermited Jughead 16 (postcard)

1 comment:

[ tyler curtain ] said...

That's extraordinarily kewl of you. You're a mensch. I so owe you a drink, though one less toxic than hooch.

One pleasant unintended consequence of the evening is that I discovered this blog. That's nice.

-T