The Art of Patience.

Patience is a virtue I could probably work on(temperance comes in a close second).  Often times, if something doesn’t feel right I usually want to yank the reins and fix it. Like now. Immediately. 10 minutes ago.  But that isn’t always how life works.  I also have a tendency to read the last page of books, look up movie spoilers, and have cycled through attempting every instrument under the sun. Ocarina anyone?

Confucius says: Sometimes you have to stop controlling things and surrender yourself to the universe. Taoists have it down. What was it? The Wu wei.  Or wei wu wei, “action without action.”

Anyway, I thought this would be as good a time as ever to take a look at some artists/work that to me, exhibits extreme patience.  I have chosen the first ten nine who came to mind in a variety of disciplines so that this doesn’t turn into the Iliad of blog posts.
Tara Donovan

“For over a decade, American sculptor Tara Donovan has transformed huge volumes of everyday items into stunning works of phenomenal impact. Layered, piled, or clustered with an almost viral repetition, these products assume forms that both evoke natural systems and seem to defy the laws of nature.”

Claire Morgan

“At an early stage she developed a strong interest in the organic, in natural processes, and in the bodily connotations of natural materials. This formed the basis for her practice as an artist creating sculptural installations and continues to influence her work at present.”

Creative Sweatshop

“Le Creative Sweatshop is the result of the encounter between Ndeur and Make a Paper World in January 2009: a conceptual agency based of modern communication means and mediums, through the lens of the DIY culture, working on volume and space scenography.”

Sam Songailo

“Sam Songailo’s complex and dynamic paintings are built from blocks of vivid colour woven into vibrant arrangements, the mass of interconnected shapes producing works that are pulsing and electric. The crowd of elements surge and stream along the surface of the canvas, tracing out paths that might depict flows of traffic through an urban building block or the colour-coded criss-crossings of an underground transport system. Songailo notes that the elements he employs – hard-edged abstraction, the use of high-contrast, often fluorescent colours – are part of a visual vocabulary we associate with futuristic stylings. They elicit thoughts of modern technologies and science fiction, looking like schemata of electric currents through a motherboard or synapses of the brain. This futuristic world is laden with associations of its own, and is one that Songailo finds “simultaneously appealing and unsettling”. He sees his representations “both as cold, confusing, hopeless visions of the future and also as places of beauty, an exotic new world to look into and imagine the possibilities”. Having studied Visual Communication at the University of South Australia and worked as a freelance graphic designer and art magazine editor, Songailo’s background is in design. As such, much of his aesthetic is influenced by design, as seen in the works’ composition and graphic qualities. Yet it is at the same time a reaction against it, an attempt to explore not only the message of the surface but the deeper truths for which that superficial expression stands. Here, the interaction of the overlaid elements and the complexity of the resulting structures represents Songailo’s world view. Believing that “experience is a complex phenomenon”, the very processes of building up the interrelated pieces echo and illustrate Songailo’s belief as to the world’s inherent complexity and interconnectedness.”

Mark Ryden

“Mark Ryden creates his art in his Sierra Madre, California studio. Within his enchanted paintings you will find an eclectic fusion of bees, meat, tikis, religious emblems, alchemy symbols, old toys, and Abraham Lincoln.”

You can watch him paint his above piece(top) “Incarnation” here.
Aside: I love him.

Stephan Sagmeister

“The sentence comes from his list of things he has learned in his life and is made of more than 200.000 1 eurocents on a square in Amsterdam. The piece took 8 days to produce and the idea was that it would slowly dissolve or alternate as people would take coins or manipulate the design somehow. Local police would have none of it though and cleared out the piece as it started getting too much attention.”

Kris Kuksi

“Kuksi’s art speaks of a timelessness–potentiality and motion attempting to reach on forever, and yet pessimistically delayed; forced into the stillness of death and eternal sleep. He treats morbidity with a sympathetic touch and symbolizes the paradox of the death of the individual by objective personification of death. There is a fear of this consciousness because it drops in upon us without mercy, and yet there is a need to appeal to it in order to provide a sense of security, however deluded that sense may be. Kuksi’s art warns us that this appeal is irrelevant, and that we should be slow to create a need for it. His themes also teach us that although death may pursue us arbitrarily, we should never neglect to mourn the tremendous loss of individual potential.”

Kenji Nakayama

I will conclude the artist portion of this post on a local note. Kenji is a Boston based artist who does insane stencil work.  Yes, the above pictures are of intricate stencils(some with over 10 layers!) and not photographs. Be sure to check out his flickr to see more of his handy work.

And the ultimate lesson in patience?..

I think we have to hand it to Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia which has been under construction since 1882, not expected to be finished until 2026.
And with that said, it’s Friday!  Here is what you should be doing this weekend:


The Museum of Fine Arts is FREE tonight as a part of Highland Street Foundation’s Fun Free Fridays.

Strange World Art Show-My good friend Shayna Yasuhara(Founder of Paint Pens in Purses) has flown in from San Francisco to grace Boston with her presence and throw a great event this weekend at Hourglass Tatto and PBR Gallery. Free beer, music and art for sale! Be sure and stop by ♥


Corn Fest 2010 at Wilsons Farms-You’ll probably be hungover from the serious weekend, and there is no better cure for the shakes than corn!  That’s not true. Drink Gatorade.

Stay sweet and have a great weekend! ♥

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