art by Arlene Kim Suda

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Thank You Note (to Robert Irwin)

Posted on March 11, 2016 by aks

Maybe I’ll get to Marfa, TX someday after all.  Join me on a trip this summer to see Robert Irwin’s work at the Chinati Foundation?

I was lucky enough to notice Stanford’s Burt and Deedee McMurtry Lecture last night that was streamed online. It was called “Why Art?” by artist Robert Irwin and it was such a gift in a time of artistic darkness for me.  So here’s a short thank you note that came to me in the form of a poem.

A big thank you to Stanford, too, for offering this artist series – thank you thank you thank you!

An open thank you note to Robert Irwin
11 March 2016

Something I heard you say in a lecture yesterday
Was on my mind when I woke in the middle of the night
A comment about the art world being a pain in the ass
And how art fairs have become places
that show art at its lowest level…
perhaps despite a fine initial intention.

As a culture, have we unlearned how to value art?
Too easily choosing quick relief for short lived expectations
that we trade for lasting meaning
We are so engrossed proving
our belonging to others,
That we can neglect the real glory of being here
Our precious energy so distracted by the wrong things

How do we change our relationship to art
And to our lives and to each other?
You reminded me that
all I can hope to do as an artist
is to keep showing up with an open heart
Despite how much it can hurt
To keep trying for myself
and to keep sharing with others

I love your words, your works, your example
“Being an artist is about sensitivity and awareness,
Not just drawing and painting”
It is an inspiration and call to keep going
At a time when I wonder if I have the will to go on
To live invisibly
noticing the wonder in our world, feel its divinity,
to be intensely aware and present in it
and be intensely aware of who we are in it —
who we can be when we trust ourselves
and to transform that into something…

we are all artists

thank you thank you thank you for the reminder

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