Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Star Wallowing Bull: Born with a Gift

When one artist writes about another artist, they often look for the common ground between them. This gives a place to begin. No one can fathom the depths of the artist's soul, nor cover the whole of their intent; nor would we want to, especially given that these post-modern times frown on that.

But there is a place that resides in the air between artists, from one artist to another, in that intellectual private space that bonds one artist to another, in which we artists want to know more. We want to know the whys and wherefores. We want to know what took that artist on their private journey.
Maybe this is part of the fourth dimension. For, surely, the artist enters another space or world in the act of creating. S/he draws on all past experience from birth to the present, all memory, sights, sounds, and smells become part of the creation process. Any artist, worth their salt, must concentrate with the outer limits of their being and thus in this act, the infinite world succumbs to a low level fringe of the artist's realm.
In what seems a narrowing of focus, abandonment of responsibility and perhaps free fall of consciousness, becomes a space of infinite possibilities and limited construct depending on the artist's mindset.
The rigorous artist who follows this path becomes a subset of mainstream cultures, a marginalized human in today's industrialized, corporate world, but in reality a subset of culture that is as old as time.

In old times, the artists were the keepers of memory, the recorders of events, the markmakers of prayers, and the shamen who brought the unseen world into view.
The artist receives this gift through their DNA. It is there at birth. Circumstances either encourage this gift or deny it's possibilities. If unrealized, this artist can search through life for a sustainable construct elsewhere and continually be rootless, never satisfied, never fulfilled, and always off balance.
In private discussions and continuous email correspondence, Star Wallowing Bull and I have discussed this topic backwards and forwards. We both understand this is a gift, we're both deeply thankful, and we both see that this is larger then we are.

Finally, I will say there are artists and then there are artists. One follows their calling, gets the proper education, and manages a career. The other artist is not only gifted, but they are a gift to their tribe, to society. They are visionaries; they create on another plane, having nothing to do with the fundamentals of design, having nothing to do with the Canon. This comes from a space of soaring dreams, a charted DNA descended from time immemorial, an unconscious, intuitive gift of enormous proportions. This, then is Star's legacy and I pray he continues to gift us all.

-Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Corrales, NM
August 2005

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