Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The raggedy edge

Here's a great post by Sam Nadel, on a subject I think a lot about— which I alluded to in the recent African ritual music DBMITW— “the importance of being reckless”:

“Part of the problem about being reckless is that it can feel dangerously close to incompetence. By operating at the edge of our artistic ability and experimenting in waters untested we open ourselves up to whole realms of failure. Its really a question of ego. Despite appearances the innovator is often the least egotistical musician on the stage. By having a willingness to fail publicly and triumphantly they often end up making the kind of art we gravitate towards. Paradoxically the musician who doesn't take a risk is most guilty of hubris. By not being willing to make mistakes and clinging on to a projected self image of competence[...]” 

I need to write more about this, but it's a large subject and will take some time. Be sure to follow the link and read the whole thing.

The painting, incidentally, is by Willem De Kooning, an extremely technically gifted artist who had his early training at the extremely traditional, rigorous, arts academy at Rotterdam. He spent his career subverting his technique, putting himself in the creative space Nadel is talking about.

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