The ruminations of an artist on art & life...art quilts, beading, knitting, drawing, painting, printmaking, bookmaking are all my passions, I love to explore creating....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Art Explained

Why I Am Not a Painter
by Frank O’Hara

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES.


I think I was attracted to this poem because I struggle most of the time to "title" my own artwork--usually after the work is done. For me, much of the time, an artwork's title provides some clue to the artist's intent--but shouldn't the artwork do this without words?

2 comments:

Mary Timme said...

Hmmmm. I think no matter what the title, art work is. The title, if clever is fun, but not necessary. So many times I agree with the title and an equal number of times I don't see why they named it that. A title is more about the artist than the art, at least in general and in my opinion.

maria hyman said...

hello there, aurora... i really really like this piece. poetry does not have to look or structure a certain way. i've never been able to do things within the lines, color, think or otherwise. be well. maria