Everyday I write, but I do not make art every single day. Still, I did not think of myself as a writer until the last few years. The exactitude of words can be mystifying.
Recently I was talking over the submission process in writing, specifically the jobs of editors and agents, with a friend. He said: “Well, you had the same kind of job really. You must have seen a lot of bad art.”
Weird, because I never thought of it that way. I don’t think Bad Art. I just thought not art I wanted to show, or wanted to be around. It’s so subjective. People are showing empty rooms these days. Can you call that bad art? I wouldn’t.
But my friend then said: “But there IS bad writing.” He’s right. Now why is that? Is it because words are so exact - in a way images cannot be? Or is the world of art bigger, less easily contained and reigned in? Some say art says all those things words cannot, at least for them.
When a work of art uses words, it treads heavily. The words can change it all. Something that was exploratory and definitely up to the viewer can be less so. Of course the words can make its success too. Some artworks put me off when I found I had to “read” them – literally. But sometimes the words cinched a one-two punch.