On immediacy

Cecily Brown exhibition, Gagosian, Madison Av. June

Cecily Brown exhibition, Gagosian, Madison Av. June

What always amazes me in Cecily Brown’s work is the sense of immediacy in her large and complex compositions. They are so rich in meaning and emotion, yet appear as if completed in a couple of sessions. Immediacy which is inherent to children’s drawings is at the same time the highest expression of mastery in any form of art – probably best manifested in jazz improvisations. Is the freshness and immediacy of children’s paintings irretrievably lost during the years of training in drawing and painting technique, analyzing art, the habit of rationalizing everything encounter and do in our lives? And is the survival of that very innocence which defines an artist? Picasso said something along the lines of: it took me a lifetime to learn to paint like a child again (I tried to find the precise quote but lost my patience, sorry). I want to believe that innocence is never lost completely, that it is still there, at the starting point which we reach after completing the full cycle, the 10 thousand hours, a kind of Zen state in creativity.

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