The Journey Thus Far

The journey thus far:

When I went full time as a working artist back in 2001, the focus of the work was the paradox - the contradiction that is the mortal coil seeking definition in the divine. Spirit and science, heaven and earth, body and soul, myth and reality - all the ways humans explore their own condition. 

The questions inhabiting such exploration were answered when it came to the presence, or rather, the desire for perfection. Because perfection is an ideological  construct of momentary satisfaction, which passes as the observer becomes sated, bored or otherwise aware of the imperfections that are naturally present, leading to limitations of said perfection. 

Thus the desire for perfection changes definition as the observer's state changed - and this is why the contradictions exist. As beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too could it be said of the state of perfection. The changes in perception created either by resolution, conclusion or satiation, inform the lack of an infinite state of perfection. Perfection is forever elusive and momentary as a result. 

But there is such a thing as a perfect moment - even if that moment is a state of perfect dissatisfaction. 

What this has meant for me and the artistic journey in comprehending the existence and the need for contradiction in human experience, is that I have an answer - mayhap not a complete answer, but then that is the imperfection of the moment. Yet it is enough for me to consider the exploration complete; and myself now imperfect enough to answer another question. 

If beauty and perfection are specified merely by the desires and appetites of the animal, is there a state of beauty and perfection that can defy the limitations of perception? 

I immediately consider Michaelangelo's David. 

Now there's a moment in time that has lasted over 500 years of human civilisation and contradiction, and while I have not seen the statue in real life, and I understand it to now be showing signs of age, was that not an overwhelming moment of perfection?  Created by intelligence, crafted with skill and knowledge, resonating with creative spirit, love for the work and its sophistication, its material, and the majesty of the subject  - I could go on and on, and oh, on.... Michelangelo himself attributed such grace to the glory of God, and the skill of the stonecutter, worshipping the images he made in stone - but it was more than mere craftsmanship and faith. Art is the elevation of a craft; yet to say it was art, in the modern era, seems insufficient in comparison to the resonance of its very existence. 

Those I have spoken to who have seen David in the flesh have been unable to communicate adequately what they experienced in its presence - their words - and I am very much aware that this is more than just human expression. 

It's the human conception of perfection. 

People have been in awe of it, jealous of it, in love with it, intimidated by it; however they felt, it stands out that the greatest feature of the work is that it was made by a man. A human being. Not a machine or a printer, or an algorithm, or preset program - just a man, with tools in his hands, and power in his heart. And a sense of perfection and beauty. 

And the fact that David is over 500 years old means that Michelangelo is still here with us, across time, speaking to us through that sense,  capable of moving people of the world five centuries later. 

Now, by no means am I comparing myself to the great master, or the age in which he lived - if you have read anything of Vasari, you know that not all masters of the era were as dedicated to that sensibility as Michelangelo - but the presence of his art in our modern day world tells me that this drive was as possessing of mankind in our history as it is today. All our art, our philosophy, our creativity and the drive to develop, improve, seek the next level of beautiful authenticity in our moment. How much of today's art will be considered as alive with the same magical, divine, human quality as that of past artists, even 20 years from now, we will only find in hindsight. But is the perfect moment alive and well today? Will beauty and perfection and the desire for both lead us to greater or lesser consequence as we continually redefine their meaning? 

What I consider now is to explore this idea through my own sense of beauty and perfection - is that pure decoration or philosophical meandering, or both? We will only find out in the execution of such a task. It's no coincidence this occurs as I reach the halfway point in my life, and I'm now looking at the slow gradual decline of my own existence; faith comforts me in the face of mortality, however, curiosity inhibits my willingness to age. There is still so so much to learn....

Changes are coming, the art has new limits, new boundaries to get creative with - and I really don't know what that means yet. But I'm looking forward to finding out. 

Stay beautiful, 
Zi xxx