I’m rereading Stuart Horodner’s book The Art Life: On Creativity and Career as I have assigned it for my class this term.
Horodner has reproduced a couple of his notebook pages in the book. One from 2005 includes a clipping about Woody Allen. Allen says:
In my regular life, I’m consumed by depression, anxiety and terror. When I’m making a movie I get to live in a fantasy of beautiful women and charming men speaking amusing dialogue. Then I return to real life, it’s a terrible time.
That reminded me of a contrasting sentiment from Robert Rauschenberg:
I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.
One makes art to escape life and the other makes art that engages life. Interesting. I really enjoy the works of both artists.
On the same notebook page is reproduced one of my favorite artworks of all time, by John Baldessari, The Pencil Story, 1972-1973. If you “get” this piece, then you can understand any contemporary art.