Every time I write, I find myself forced to confront parts of myself that I'd rather run away from. At the moment, I want to run away from my own egotism, considering the way I'm going on and on about me. Focus on others to find true happiness, they say. Let's give that a shot.
That's what writing a novel is like. No matter the precautions and preparation, dangers abound. The game is rigged; the odds of success and survival are not good. MFA vs. NYC? Yeah, sure, exactly. Whatever it takes, however you get there, and everything in between.
Alice Munro's writing, like all great writing, teaches us to be human. It engages big questions in small spaces: What does it mean to be regional? What does it mean to be Canadian? What does it mean to be a mother? What does it mean to be betrayed?
Art causes even more problems than it solves, when it questions foregone conclusions and assumptions. And unlike assembling a chair, there isn't one way to do it right and you can't know what it's going to look like by studying the box.
As writers, we need to be aware of the ways in which our work can be read; weeding out the useful from the non-useful is an important skill, as is reading closely for what might be improved. But it can be a slippery slope.
Summertime used to mean that the galleries and museums would take it easy, presenting lackluster group shows and few, if any, challenging solo exhibitions. Not any more. Economy be damned, the Los Angeles art scene is now sizzling year round.
In the Thesis Exhibit of the MFA program at Columbia, I saw diverse responses to the world we live in, all firmly rooted in the present. Yet, in many installations, I could see a connection to a distant past -- to Old Master art.
A degree is not something I look for when selecting artists for Offramp Gallery. The bottom line is always the work. I look for work that's honest, creative, original, skillfully executed and intensely visual.