Saturday, June 09, 2007


serra 4
Originally uploaded by madabandon.

Yesterday in the haze of mid-evening I took the subway to meet Y at MOMA. There we met N and her friend H, an Italian living in Australia. The Richard Serra show had opened a few days ago. I love Richard Serra's sculptures and have seen them many times in various places. The bland corporate sterility of MOMA takes away some of their striking power, though. I felt dizzy walking through them. This may have been due in part to how crowded it was, but also to the fact that I slept very poorly on Thursday, felt exhausted all day, and yet could not fall asleep when I tried to take a nap in the mid-afternoon.

On the train to MOMA I ran into a former colleague. He teaches at another private school in Brooklyn. He told me that the jazz director at his school spoke very highly of me after meeting me a few years back at a competition in Boston. For some reason I found it surprising. Then, thinking about it, I realized that this is a big problem for me. I should not be surprised to hear such things. I should be secure in my professional accomplishments. If I have a good rep it is because I have earned it. So why do I still feel like somehow it is not really true? That I am some kind of imposter?


medusa said...

I think we all feel we're imposters at least some of the time.

she said...

oh! -was just introduced to richard serra, thank you to charlie rose

what a fascinating creature.
-would just give anything to actually walk near, around, inside, along, under, above his work; seeing it on tv is just an awful tease. an ache.

i'll be taking some of his quotes from that interview though and posting them one day

-lots of life's truths tucked in that conversation; with words as reduced and as large as his sculptures

i just love artists.

and, no secret, one of my favorite artists is Dr. Maya Angelou

here is where i differ with her though.. she has a philosophy

"don't pick it up; don't put it down" (or something near this)

this, in regard to compliments and criticism

she would advise not picking up "i think you're the best"

because then you also have to pick up when someone says "you stink"

i think however, compliments and criticisms are more reflections of the other; not you or your work

but when you are proud of your own work; and you receive a compliment from a respected peer -this is wonderful and validating

when you are dissatisfied with your work, and a respected peer gives you a compliment; you can let this help you re-look at your work with kinder eyes

when you are highly pleased with your own work, and a respected peer offers constructive criticism

you can remain personally pleased while asking deeper questions; make adjustments or defend accordingly

when you are dissatisfied with your own work, and a respected majority agree with your assessment

you can learn, grow, improve.

and i've got two children competing for time on the computer, so i may not have worded that just right

but the upshot is this:

what a pleasant surprise..

to learn you're admired

"here's to more and more pleasant surprises!"

she said...

"but wait! ... there's more!"

(oh, my poor patient children)

-interesting to hear serra talk about how his work has been "out of favor"

then back in

then back out

and then back in...

but more importantly.. he just kept working anyway whether his work was in favor or not

(just got called a computer hog/must go now)