Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Artist Workspace

Yoshitomo Nara's worktable

Brancusi's studio

I'm always interested to see what kind of environment artists work in, as it speaks much about their personality and creative process. Occasionally, artist worktables themselves are converted into installation pieces. If you think about it, the process is just as intriguing as the finished works, and this is probably the rationale behind such a move. Another is to return the focus to the artist himself. While 'Death of the Author'-type notions might exist (so named for French literary critic Roland Barthes' famed essay), more often than not people want to learn more about artists- their beliefs, the impetus behind their works etc. This could stem from pure curiousity, fascination with an artist's larger-than-life persona, or from a motivation to understand the context of the art and hence deepen their knowledge. And of course, artist studios are sometimes transformed into mini museums, usually after the artist's demise. Brancusi's studio above is a great example. Other than the reasons already stated, the opening of these studio-museums can be attributed to a desire to recognize the artist's contribution and keep him or her alive in public consciousness. All too often it is only on the passing of an artist that people realize his or her true significance. Sadly I missed out on visiting Brancusi's studio in Paris as my itinerary then was too packed. Neither did I get to visit the Picasso museum. I think this calls for another trip to Paris.

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