I know it's not cool to talk about this guy. I should be talking about some other guy I might know that knows Shepard Farey or something, but I'm feeling a little nerdy right now.
One of the main reasons I like looking at this old guy's shit is the fact that a majority of his sculptures are unfinished. As a student or just anyone curious about how one gets to be 'MICHAELANGELO' it is amazing to see these pieces in their raw state. I don't think it was his intention to leave them unfinished. the popes jerked him around so much he would have to start another project before finishing something for the last pope.
Some definates about him are:
- he was awesome when he was young as hell. that was agreed upon by lots of other sculptors of the time including DaVinci. (peita in st peter's when he was 23)
- he was obsessed to the point of alienating people regularly and neglecting hygiene
- he was a perfectionist with a temper (he broke part of my favorite sculpture because it wasn't looking right.)
Now I'm not trying to say that he taught me everything I know about subtractive sculpture. I'm not even wasting my time trying to be a Michaelangelo caliber sculptor. But I am saying I think that full disclosure was what brought me in to being interested in what he does. A polished finished sculpture is boring now. There are thousands in the vatican. Whether he wanted it or not he got his story told. I know history alters stories and there is no such thing as the truth about a guy that lived centuries ago but I crave learning about all sides of someone if I will be interested at all. The only way the David doesn't bore the crap out of me is to see some of the turbulence traveled through to get him there.
Through George Saunders writing about Kurt Vonnegut and his struggles with writing Slaughter House Five I have come to a new appreciation of people submitting to being human. (write more here)
Disclosing the trials and tribulations you went through to make something and making that part of the thing you made is brave and honest. On the one hand, it opens you up to ridicule or a more detailed scrutiny, since you put your heart on your sleeve, but on the other hand you can have a richer more invested experience.
A self depreciating approach can be a political tactic too. If you have already acknowledged a flaw and made fun of yourself for it, it can disarm someone else. But that can be clumsy too depending on the flaw and the ability of the rest of the audience to relate to it.
So the point of this entry is that I'm for full disclosure between artists and people in general so we can learn from each other. And that means showing some things other than just the stuff that "worked". In light of that, I think I am going to structure my thesis show "exhibition statement" as a two part document. Things that worked and Problems. Or something like that.