Julie Speed: Concertina (image from here)
Then when responding to a comment on my last post I was reading an interview on Julie Speed's website (scroll down the page past the videos to arrive at the interviews on the link) I came across an elegant way of putting it:
An Interview with Julie Speed: Part II
December 12, 2012 Ross Smeltzer
The Search For Meaning in Julie Speed’s Works
Q. What are you trying to communicate in your paintings? What do you want people looking at your work to think about and feel?
Julie Speed. I’m not trying to communicate. I’m trying to solve a puzzle that is visual first and narrative second. The elements are color, form, line, texture, bits from the news, light from the windows, what I just saw in the street or in a tree when I walked to town to get the mail, a book, a phrase, a shadow and a thousand other small observations, so many that I could never count them or quantify them but they all occur and combine in the present. It’s a puzzle for me now while I’m working on it and it takes every bit of concentration to get the work right. As a practical matter it wouldn’t be useful to me to try to factor in my guess about how someone else would think or feel about it at some future time. It’s hard enough to tune out my own inner bullshit.
Q. In the past, you have said there are no objective meanings in your works: you expect different viewers to produce different – equally legitimate – meanings. But, given your use of repeated symbols and images, do you think you are attempting to communicate certain meanings, thoughts and perspectives to those viewing your works? In other words, are all interpretations of your work equally legitimate and, if not, why not?
Julie Speed. I do use certain images over and over but I’m not deliberately embedding symbols in some kind of code. I repeat certain images because they’re useful compositionally or simply because I like to paint them.
However, while I don’t know exactly how or why, I do know that if I get the composition and content balanced just right then the work will sometimes strike a chord in another person – not in most people of course, just a few….but when that happens I like to hear what it is that they thought or felt.
It’s certainly just as valid and often way more interesting to me than my own thoughts because I’ve already thought my own thoughts – they’re no longer new to me.
Julie Speed: Jawbone (image from here)
Critics and the art market do not help observers of art to enjoy the act of observation for themselves. I am still fuming about the obscenity of the same painting being deemed worth over $400 million if it is by one artist, but only worth less than $100 if thought to be by another.