In thinking about my work and how to sum it up in an artist's statement, I've found myself struggling to narrow things down. Anything I say, no matter how convincing it may be, simply feels like BS. I can't convince myself. This question of "why do we make things?" is something artists are supposed to be constantly asking themselves... there's supposed to be this element of intent, of significance to every detail... right?
One time, I was working on a sculpture in a public space (Franconia Sculpture Park) and a visitor came up to me and said "I have one question... Why?" I asked him to verify... did he mean "Why make sculpture?" or "Why make this particular sculpture?" and he said it made no difference... he just wanted to know WHY. Our exchange was awkward and I gave him no real answer, but I couldn't get the question out of my head.
I came to the conclusion that, if I knew WHY I made things, I don't think I'd be interested in making things anymore. I make things because I want to know why I make things. Out of curiosity of my own creative process. It's a never-ending process. And I hope I never find an answer.
I found the below quote by Robert Wilson in an online magazine entitled Whitewall. Wilson has been called "America's — or even the world's — foremost vanguard 'theater artist,'" and he says...
"My responsibility as an artist is not to say what something is, but to ask questions. Not to say what it is, but to say "What is it?" That's the reason to work."
Good... at least I'm not the only one.