Wednesday, May 27, 2009

art and restraint

Much of what we value in art is a result of restraint, not extravagance. Just a drop of this, and a splash of that. To resist the urge to splurge is the essence of much classic and current art.

Knowing when to stop or reverse direction.

Holding back. Applying just a touch, a slight hint of.

Deleting, removing, erasing.

Trimming the fat. Skimming off the dross. Sanding down the rough edges. Smoothing the bumpy road. Eliminating the superfluous. Cutting out the ponderous fillers. Shaking off the accidental debris. Stripping to the bare essentials. Speeding up the fragmentary flow. Reining in the volatile tangents. Shoring up the untamed tide.

Art is both creation and destruction, productivity and austerity.

While some things are better when prolonged, most things are improved by shortening. What is left unsaid speaks volumes. What is expected, but conspicuously absent from the picture, is the elephant in the room. Less is mostly more and more is mostly less.

To exercise moderation, exhibit self control, limit egoistic exuberance, these are the marks of an artist.


Anonymous said...

Please don't attack! Interesting..if combative!!

A short note.

Let our ideas compete,
And about..

Til life consume us
As it must, in turn;

Then, we shall all exist as our works
Like a Mozart,a poor hummed
Tune,in the air.

Jake Archer

Mesha said...

off topic:

Hello Steve, Did you ever post the lyrics to Touch's SeventyFive?