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  • Shirley Fox

Take Out Everything


I noticed two things that have happened for me during this pandemic.


First, I have had more time to create and less energy to motivate myself to do so. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Being glued to the news is my new normal. That also has turned out to be ambivalent. My emotions have been running especially high. I have managed to utilize those emotions to elevate my artwork.


Second, I am struggling with the notion that the only relevant art right now is political. Even white artists are creating art that speaks of the challenges we are facing right now. As I’ve stated before, I think it is important for artists to reflect the social mood during their time of making art.


That brings me to the reason I continue to create abstracts. As Ann Temkin wrote in Abstract Expressionism at the Museum of Modern Art:


...for Abstract Expressionists’ art to operate fully, the experience must be first hand - there is no virtual substitute for the encounter between the viewer’s body and the canvas or object. These works ask for a type of concentration that is becoming increasingly unusual in a society that bombards our brains with simultaneous visual and auditory stimuli from countless directions. In a world that likes its culture fast, Abstract Expressionist works are uncompromisingly slow.


All of which to say that I hope that my art will make the viewer slow down and get lost for a time in something besides all the noise we have surrounding us now. And, very much like the Abstract Expressionists, my work really needs to be seen first hand to be appreciated.


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