On one side of my art interests I see the great Art World (capitalized!!) bleeding out new ideas in conferences, trends and somethin-nalles all over the world. On the other side there is comic art full of devoted art nerds swearing over the lines and colors of stories. They are both big strong communities with so many overlapping values and beliefs that in some instances its rather hard to tell them apart.
But in their respective realms there is a great deal of antagonism and an eagerness to show how different they are. The art-worldies cry about the lack of critical approach or social conscience, the dominance of words and the dissolution of the art-object through so much mass-produced media. And on the other side, the comic art-sies thumb their noses at contemporary works while citing technical jargon, anatomy textbooks and a faithful trust in traditional tools and craft. Each side throwing their weight around like there really is a call for rightness in a debate over pictures, imagery and feelings.
But wait, I know what you are thinking. This is a plural age, everything is blurring and fine art has invaded the pages of comics as sure as the white-box walls of galleries now feature the inked outlines of comic art. And I would agree to an extent. There is more cross-pollination then ever before, and the lines are blurring, but for many people this has just caused a deeper entrenchment in their own views. They hunker down in defense of what they recognize as their own and send out verbal javelins towards any who would stray too far or cross lines.
Yet, as an artist that’s where I want to stand. I love both worlds. I was raised on a steady diet of comics and science fiction art/ideas and grew into museums, galleries and artist panels that discuss the critical nature of signs and the signified. Part of my struggle is to find footholds that will let me stand between the two without being dismissed and badgered by their partisans.
Moving between the two, talking and taking ideas from both, I begin to have the sense of being persistently heretical. I don’t know if that’s a sustainable position for a career but I enjoy it somehow. Transit freely and smear the genetics –becomes a motto.
But the practical pouting of my conscience speaks loud and often to the idea that I may just have to choose one direction at some point. You can’t move easily in multiple currents? Or can you?