It is curious, more than curious, to write, and to be alive, writing. It is more curious to paint, I think, but writing is pretty curious. Painting or image-making is more in the nature of a perfect, if parallel, rupture with one's life. I am not so sure of music-making, but I recall image making as being an emotional, sexual activity. There is a bump. A rupture. A rhythm, to be sure, but that pulse has a life to it, and the power of it is sometimes blinding and overwhelming.
The life of the artist too is sexual and blinding, being bought and sold. Traded. Apprised and spent. Painting is for the young and the very determined. One can be old and paint and paint well, but I do not know how to do it, not that and everything else. Work, family, etc. I can do it for drawings for my books, to be sure. And those drawings, accomplished only a couple or few times a years, with perhaps several black-and-white drawings for this or that book, cost me, emotionally. They cost me in ways nothing else does.
Painting or image-making requires going over to a thing that you cannot be sure will be safe or sound. It is not a place anyone enjoys. It is not fun, though it is very exciting. You do not like to see the end of a brush as being responsible for how your mind might come across.
Writing, however strange, is more comfortable. It exists as a species among a wide variety of conversation. What I like most, I think, are these works I see so much of, that combine or partake of the visual and the writerly. Visual poetry and asemic writing and such, of which concrete formalism is a slim & set part, is really quite new and fresh. I think concrete poetry called out some of this, and perhaps Pop art called out the same, in a way that, both voices calling out, new forms were born.
I know of nothing more elegant and right than new work being born. I cannot imagine anything better or more just for any artist to involve themselves with, or to assist in propitiating, then the voice of the new. Critical histories and assessments are another kind of, well, critical work. But it is not my work. My work is to do and, having put more than a few years away, providing as a can a venue of sorts. An open venue, as comes naturally. I have done this, opened a kind of lower case gallery window for passers-by. This is right, small, and right, and no less right for being small.
Though small, the point is made. Formalism is not a thing that dies or can be said to be in or out. The shape of thought, or thought's shapefulness, its sex, is ever just and true to the fact of life in form. We can not vacate the elegant line or a purposeful splash of color than we can dismiss the words, I love.
I love, and yet I love anew, again, alive and again. This is what you do, time and time again, over and over again. The word for this is love, the life is love, lived.