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Re: "what's it fer?"

I don't contribute often, but I wanted to say three things about this
"what's it fer?" discussion.  That way I can offend just about everyone.

1)  If you are doing art for art's sake, do anything you feel moved to do.
You don't need to explain it to anyone, or understand it yourself.  Love the
process, but don't expect understanding or sales (unless it is from someone
who is trying to impress people with their pseudo-understanding of culture).

2) If you are making artist books to communicate something, you need to be
ready to explain what you are trying to say.  Not everyone will have the
same outlook on life (they haven't lived your life).  If you have too
different an outlook, you will be doing a lot of explaining and better have
another source for lunch money.

3)  If you bind books like I do, the answer is "you read them."  For me, the
book is, ultimately, a vehicle of the written word.  The binding,
typography, lay-out, illustrations, everything is subordinate to the ideas
that are communicated through the words themselves.  I question the value of
a book without anything written in it (or at least pictures that tell a
story/communicate ideas).  Sorry if this is too radical, but it seems
obvious to me.

Final thought.  Some have talked about how their art is valuable even if no
one understands it.  Sorry, value is in the eye of the consumer.  If your
audience doesn't understand it, if they don't know what to do with it, if
they don't think it is valuable, it is worth less than the materials it is
made from.  If you have to explain it to everyone, maybe change needs to
begin a lot closer than that "rube" standing there asking "what's it fer?"
                    Malcolm T. Upton
 8901 Normandale #1004  Ft. Worth, TX 76116
        817/560-2316  malcolm@uptons.net
Two signs of wisdom.  1) Having a lot to say  2) Not saying it all.

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