Monday, May 17, 2010


crap. my painting idea is crap. i destroyed it. it was the center of the idea for the group show i was going to be in. i'll take a picture of the ones that just failed for me. Not exactly sure why except that i feel like i dont work hard enough at them for one. i'm not creative enough. i dont have a free feeling in my studio anymore. i just need to be where i can blast things with paint or go crazy or blow them up. And its not the studio. Its me. So goodbye idea. Or fuck off rather. I'm going back to what i do well. Not excellent, but well. I just need to work harder. Blah!
This was the write up for the idea:

Artist statement for Ben Marlan


This new series, Q&A is based on the idea that my abstract paintings speak more clearly than a realistic approach with symbols, portraits or words. I often enjoy explaining what certain elements of my paintings mean or how/when they were built up, and with what emotional emphasis. however, the questions friends and collectors asked prompted me to form an answer theory.
Color theory and abstract expression is nothing new of course, but i wanted to make a painting that would give explanations (in a semi abstract way) with an answer to the question of what the painting is doing. The arms and boxes reaching off from the main body are extensions with an abstract answer to the part of the painting they denote. Trying to keep track of the meaning of each answered section of the painting is a challenge. interpretation. Without being too literal I'm making short sentences or discussions within the paintings itself and for the viewer. Hope it makes some kind of sense, even if only via color, emotion or animation.

This is one of the shit paintings. I'm lost and feel weird now. A bit free. A bit Bummed. Doesnt help that i just finished watching the very last episode of The Sopranos from netflix. Feels like i just got home from the last day of sleep away summer camp. So this one time in . . .


i broke off all the other "arms" and boxes i had attached and painted. boo


Gary's third pottery blog said...

OK, BOO. next.....

Reverend Awesome said...

I've felt this and done this. I've destroyed my work cuz I just was not feeling it or myself. I've cried myself to sleep feeling like a talentless fraud.
I couldn't pull my paintings apart like you have. I painted over one in all white and kicked it and another one I covered my hands in paint and rubbed them all over my work. And somehow, I felt better. I felt better feeling angry at myself than sorry for myself. It's cuz we want to be great. And the world could tell us we're great, but it's not up to them to decide.

I could tell you how talented I think you are (and you are), but if you're not feeling it that's really no comfort. All I can say is, from these kind of moments come the best stuff. Do what you need to do to make yourself happy with the final piece. Fuck what anyone else thinks. Including me.

Both Sides of Ben Marlan said...

Thanks kaso. it has to happen every now and then to get along.

Becky Jo said...

I find that when I make something that ends up being crap, I really get the best satisfaction out of destroying it. It's like chopping out some of the crappy ideas from my brain and ridding myself of them forever. At our house, when a pot is crap, or I screwed it up and it cracked, or the glaze ran off into a puddle, the pot goes into the 'target practice' box and we blast them to pieces.. they make a nice satisfying shattering noise.

Ben, I realize that every artist has this happen to them at some point.... but we know you're good. You've already shown us that your work is awesome, so having one idea that didn't work out just means that you're normal... and maybe you can even use an idea you think is crap to make something better that you're really happy with. :)