The Impulse to Beauty

Tony Cuneo passed away earlier this week. He was a friend and colleague and one of the top three most masterful teachers I have known / observed / learned from / aspired to be like.

Here’s his Artist’s Statement, updated in July, when he was in the middle of his illness. In addition to my list above, Tony was a great artist (and father and baseball fan and . . .).

I don’t put a lot of faith in artist statements. 

Describing what I do as “work” has a slightly bitter, puritanical aftertaste to me; I like slopping paint around. It’s the reason I wanted to be an artist as a kid, and I think it’s still a fine reason to paint. I’m very comfortable with a perpetually unfinished process. I go (after much reflection) in whatever direction the painting takes me. Having too clearly defined a concept for a body of work (and this is just me) gives me claustrophobia.

I pray I never get to the point where I’m making product and not art.
Beyond that, I’m a fan of uncertainty. Not knowing you’re doing it right is a good thing. It makes you stop and think. When I paint, I’m playing as much as I’m working. I’m asking questions.

However having said that, the complex, charged tension between apparent opposites — chaos and order, emotion and intellect, creation and decay, high and low, representional and non-objective — is the text of my current painting; also, how the impulse to beauty wrestles with the desire for truth.  
Art is one of the most natural things in the world, fundamentally useless, but hugely pleasurable, very important, and deeply satisfying. 

Source & R.I.P.:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s