Photo: ©Kenise Barnes
Art is very subjective but there are accepted standards. They are hard to define. If you have looked at enough art it becomes evident even as it remains hard to articulate.
BY KENISE BARNES
Web site Kenise Barnes Fine Arts
Kenise Barnes Fine Art
Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 5:30 and by appointment
1955 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont, New York 10538
914 834 8077
The Magazine of Yoga Six of 1: The Arts Interview
Is being in a flow or a particular kind of space part of creating or part of working for you? Can you describe anything about it – how you get it, what it feels like?
When I am in an easy flow kind of place, it is the best feeling – friction disappears and things just glide. People respond well to you, words come easily. It is a feeling of ease and safety, all the pieces just fit.
I don’t know how to generate it or how to prolong it. When I begin the day with some quiet meditation it definitely helps. But I think other things play into it – the state of my hormones (!), a good night’s sleep, sunshine, a good outfit.
T.S. Eliot famously said, “There is no method except to be very intelligent.”
Yes, no? Maybe so?
Cultivating real intelligence takes a lifetime, or more. Maybe that is why reincarnation is so appealing. To be very intelligent is enviable.
Having a method is useful for some things and for some people. A system can take you pretty far. I am not very organized so I try to remember to employ methods to keep things ticking along. You just have to be intelligent enough to know when to make exceptions and adjustments.
Knowing to listen to your heart in the most intelligent thing you can do.
Is there some place or attitude you begin from in yourself when you look
at art by other people?
I generally have an introduction or a conversation with an artist before I see their work in person. It is a challenge to keep the artist’s personality and how they define their work out of the equation. I also usually see a digital reproduction of the artwork before seeing it in person. Comparing my pre-conceived notion of the work with its actuality can be distracting.
I try to be open. I just look, at first. I have to like my first impression. My appreciation for the work has to deepen and compel me to spend more time with the piece. Sometimes visual art can be seductive at first but overly simple and lacking the power to endure. Art is very subjective and personal but there are accepted standards. They are hard to define. If you have looked at enough art it becomes evident even as it remains hard to articulate.
For me, art must have beauty above all other qualities. That is not the same as saying that it must be beautiful. It must have content and balance. It must be well crafted.
Kenise Barnes Fine Art at AAF NYC, Affordable Art Fair. Photo: ©Kenise Barnes
Does anything (consistently/ frequently/ randomly) move you to make art? How did you find yourself making the kind of art or the particular work you are involved in now?
Although I do not have an artistic practice or output, I am randomly inspired to draw or paint. I draw because I like the way it makes my mind and my eye work. I paint because I adore the way oil paint smells and feels. I just squish it around for an hour or so and then clean up. It is enough for me.
Favorite overheard remark
“This place has really beautiful things.”
(heard through the glass from window shoppers standing outside the gallery)
I’d rather be…
Hold on. Is this a trick question? I have to be so vigilant in my efforts to “be in the moment” and now you want me to tell you where I would rather be?
The summer of 2011 slipped through my fingers with very few days off. Summer is my favorite season, so I missed not having more time this year. I love the warm summer air and light. The thought of the cold, dark days of winter fill me with melancholy. If I could, I would choose to re-live the afternoon I spent sweetly swinging in a hammock at the lake with Mark.
Half a Dozen of One/ Six of the Other
Six words my gallerist/ artist’s statement/ mother use to describe my work:
This question pertains more to an artistic output than to my job as a gallerist but I will give it a go.
My mother thinks that I should work less and relax more. She tells me that all the time. My artists probably think the opposite. So I will choose my mother.
Consuming, interesting, distracting, creative, supportive, capricious
Six words my best friend would use to describe me:
Ok, I asked her. I thought it would be more honest that way. She sent me 7. Go figure.
Trustworthy, clever, inspiring, enjoyable, spirited, funny, dependable.
Six words to repeat:
please, love, yes, focus, vision, thankful
Six words to ignore:
Can’t, Hate, fate, must-have, should, and any superlative like greatest or worst
Six artists to look at:
I feel stingy offering only six.
Agnes Martin, Beatriz Milhazes, Michiyo Ihara, Georgio Morandi, Jean-Edouard Vuillard, Jackie Tileston
Six places to find yourself in:
– My gallery, 50 hours a week or so.
– The kitchen, stirring food relaxes my mind. I make a lot of risotto.
– The place your mind occupies when you are sleeping lightly. It brings to the fore all sorts of memories and unresolved feelings.
– My children. Sometimes I find myself in their habits or in their actions. Sometimes it is in their eyes reflecting their judgment of me back to me.
– My garden. I like physical work, it quiets the chatter
– My love’s arms
Photo: Kenise Barnes Fine Arts gallery opening night. ©Kenise Barnes
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.