Monday, December 28, 2009

Carmen Herrera

This world is so arbitrary. My father in law pointed me to the artist Carmen Herrera, 94 year old woman, she's been painting her entire life, all of a sudden in the last 5 years she's blown up in popularity in "the art world" and is the hot new thing, making money, going to parties. Where were they 20 years ago when she was probably just as good and could have used the money? Anyway, just a great example of doing what you love to do because you don't really have an option, and not looking externally for validation, and being aware that life is very random so even if you are completely amazing it doesn't mean the world will ever wake up to it. Some quotes from the article:

“I do it because I have to do it; it’s a compulsion that also gives me pleasure,” she said of painting. “I never in my life had any idea of money and I thought fame was a very vulgar thing. So I just worked and waited. And at the end of my life, I’m getting a lot of recognition, to my amazement and my pleasure, actually.”

“Everybody says Jesse [her deceased husband who supported her throughout their marriage]must have orchestrated this from above,” Ms. Herrera said, shaking her head. “Yeah, right, Jesse on a cloud.” She added: “I worked really hard. Maybe it was me.”

“Paintings speak for themselves,” she said. Geometry and color have been the head and the heart of her work, she added, describing  a lifelong quest to pare down her paintings to their essence, like visual haiku.

When pressed about what looks to some like a sensual female shape in the painting, she said: “Look, to me it was white, beautiful white, and then the white was shrieking for the green, and the little triangle created a force field. People see very sexy things — dirty minds! — but to me sex is sex, and triangles are triangles.”


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