Artist And Poetry: Writing And Language Vs. Visable Art
Someone was remarking how difficult it is to write our biographies here for our artists websites, and it got me thinking about language and what it is to be an artist.
'Saw this on Twitter today: "Writing is the hardest work in the world not involving heavy lifting."
Some biographies I note are seamless, belie difficulty, seem so effortless and work quite well, but this usually means hard work. I was thinking that being literary isn't any easier than artistic -- painting pictures with words, or with brushes. If we shape the thoughts in our head first, then it's just whether we paint them with words or with brushes. I guess how good we are with the language, or with the brush, then dictates the effect respectively.
Then I took the thought a step further: Maybe poetry transcends thoughts before we even shape them to become word or picture. Michelangelo did four art forms, they say, paint, archt, sculpt, and poetry, but few of his poems survive (he destroyed most of them, I understand).
Poetry seems to be the ideal, in our minds, before it gets shaped and becomes word or picture? I guess the success of good writing, or good painting, is how close it comes to the original poetry in our minds, before it got shaped. My thought being, that an idea emerges as poetry, first, in our minds, before it takes any other form -- that poetry might be the pure form of human thought.
I've often wondered if it wouldn't be better for an artist to major in literature, and only minor in art. Language is wonderful because it transcends what we see only with our eyes. Art is restricted to what we see with our eyes -- take away our eyes, and the art is useless -- except maybe, for tactile-type art.
So I thought I would post this here, for any possible discussion.
(I was not a literature major, nor even an art minor, btw -- largely self-taught)
i am a bastard son of a circus/carnival Geek father and my mother was a Magician's assistant...
At age 7, i was abandoned by my mother who was last seen walking into a full length mirror during a tent performance in the Apollo Feed and Grain parking lot in Crooked Creek iowa. According to one of the stagehands, she winked and gave a little wave just as the mirror began to fill with smoke and was never seen again... My Geek father never recovered from losing her and lost his appetite for chicken and rodent heads.
He began to binge on fast foods, candy and donuts... literally putting himself out of work because no one would pay to watch a fat sad man eat Big Macs and Snicker bars. We spent the next few of my formative years traveling with the circus/carnival because he didn't know anything else and who would hire a washed-up has-been Geek anyway.
Fortunately, i was taken under the tutelage of the Carny Forman and was able to learn some circus skills and supported the two of us by cleaning up after the elephants and bears. i think that's where i learn i had a talent for sculpture. i was almost eleven when my Geek father tried to take some marshmallows from one of the bears, he only survived the attack for a few hours but i remember his last words, "I sure could go for bacon and cheese stuffed deep fried pig in a blanket", i asked him if he would like fries with that, but he never answered.
A few months later my adopted guardian, the Carny Forman, was shot by the bearded lady with one of the shooting range 'HIT THE BULLSEYE AND WIN A KEWPIE DOLL' rifles. And once again, i felt abandoned.
Fate decided to smile upon me one last time and a loving couple who billed themselves as the Corsican Brothers let me move into their trailer and life seemed good until they were both deported... i traveled with the carnival/circus until i reached the age of seventeen, then ran away from one circus only to join another, four years with Uncle Sam's Circus and then on to this one i'm in now...
Reminiscing made me rummaged though old photos and i came across one of the Corsican Brothers... Lucien And Mario.
Without looking at what a strict definition of poetry is, I imagined that our thoughts first emerge as poetry. Then they get shaped according to whether we are writing them (or saying them), or making a picture of them.