Philip Guston... "Third Hand"
|Cabal, 1997....Whitney Museum of American Art|
"I come into the studio very fearfully. I creep in to see what happened the night before. And the feeling is one of, 'My God, did I do that?'
Philip Guston represents the Anti-Koons. Guston's hands and soul....his total psyche.... are all over his painted image. Koon's bloodless pinkies are soft.
Guston speaks of the "third hand" in the creative process. I believe I understand what he is speaking of. Short of ecstasy, it is a place... an external reality.... where the painter acquiesces , losing self in the creative process . Released from the mundane, the everyday safeguards and defenses of self, it is a place, a reality, where the artist encounters Veritas...the goddess of truth. It is a place where the painter's total being ...hands, heart, gut, paint and canvas coalesce as one. Here the artist as shaman " interprets unseen things". Indeed, a magical moment encapsulated in truth, where self is at its most vulnerable, but at its most creative. I understand.....and I accept Guston's logic and approach to the process of image making. I too do not like the contrived, the over-worked, self-conscious image. Like Guston.....it is the "third hand" that I welcome. I believe Philip Guston. His honesty ...his genius ....shines in his work.
Philip Guston in the Studio
I highly recommend this video/interview.."Philip Guston in the Studio"... to anyone, but most especially to painters. Here, Guston very matter of factly...free of art speak bullshit... discusses his approach to art making. Guston echos and verifys what Joseph Campbell, James Joyce and others have written about the role of the painter. Click link below: