There are two artists that I cam honestly say, will always inspire and that I'm in awe with; and these artists are at almost at polar opposites, which says a lot about me. I'm going to discuss them in a bit of depth and why I find them so wowowowow. Firstly I have Tracey Emin. Emin is part of the YoungBritishArtist generation. (YBA). Her work, honest and revealing, but like with the other artist, it's not so much her art I love, but her coloumns and her. It was highly publicised when she got drunk on live tv and everyone just stared in horror. Emin (Tracey?) wrote a column for the Independent for 4 years. I read it every week, and looked forward to it, Tracey, you were influencing a 15 year old in the life of an artist in ways even I struggle to believe.
When they published the book of her columns I ran out, bought it and then spent days devouring every word again. I think the column was a bigger influence on my practice than Emin’s actual works. At university a friend said she was reminded of Emin through myself and my works, at first taking it badly she then explained, “You make works that are personal on a universal level, and nothing is too sacred to turn into an artwork”. I like what she said, and although I can see a bad side to it, I do take it as a compliment.
Tracey Emin makes art from life, but more than that, she is art, and I will look up to her. Always.
Secondly, is Ai Weiwei; who is such an impressive man, truly is jaw dropping and astounding. Ai Weiwei, the artist, curator, architect, poet, blogger has extended the notion of art, and is a huge creative figure.
Spending a childhood in exile he couldn't be any further from Emin, his father was a major figure (Ai Qing), a wonderful poet against the government of China, and this fed Ai Weiwei in to his life. I don't think Ai Weiwei led me into blogging, when I knew he was blogging I already had been for a few years, the embarrassing diatribe of a mentally ill teenager.
Ai Weiwei had a blog (shut down by the Chinese government), a daily notebook of his life as an artist, just as Emin had her weekly column. Emin talks about life as an artist in the western world, Ai in the east. In a book about Ai it is quoted “Blogging produces reality rather than simply representing it”. I believe this, I can see how he has used a blog to his advantage and expanded the role of artist and artist activities. Ai Weiwei, in relation to Emin, also will use anything as art, he painted and also smashed Han Dynasty Urn's and Neolithic vases. Both of them question the notion of what is art, and what is a precious object.
It's this questioning of art, and the column, the blog and just, the personalities I perceive them having that inspires me. Who would I chose to have dinner with? Easy, Ai and Emin and Martin can come along too, because why not?
In the beautiful words of Ai WeiWei “we're actually part of the reality, and if we don't realize that, we are totally irresponsible. We are a productive reality. We are the reality, but that part of reality means that we need to produce another reality”.
Do you know what I mean?