Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
I hope to be as honest as possible. I’m hoping to be the star of the show. This is a series of onanistic musings, a rambling narrative that oscillates between truth and fabrication. There are instances of earnestness paired with ostentatious exaggeration. The frequent leaps from subject to subject, often seemingly unrelated to one another, reflect the ineluctably scatterbrained headspace that dictates how I operate in the studio, in every facet of life. Through this lens of storytelling I delve into a few artists, like Bruce Nauman, and rock and roll musicians, like Lou Reed, who I have been unable to divulge myself of a fixation with. They come to function almost like characters in the anecdotes.
I’m going to tell you a couple of stories. I’m going to talk about myself quite a bit. I have a tendency to embellish, so take it all with a grain of salt. I don’t mean to insinuate that what follows is insincere, but it is glazed with anamneses and illusions. I like to think that through some phantom version or versions of myself I’d do a bit of aggrandizing; I could be the rock star I daydream of. Though sometimes the person playing the fool is a fool.
Program Director's Department
Graduate School of Art
Scott, Chris, "Encumbered by Stage Fright Or I’m Not Sure Why I Did That" (2020). Graduate School of Art Theses. ETD 136. https://doi.org/10.7936/5hf8-je88.
Fiction Commons, Interdisciplinary Arts and Media Commons, Nonfiction Commons, Other Music Commons, Painting Commons, Poetry Commons
My work is a cluster of onanistic drivel, oscillating between truth and fabrication. There are instances of earnestness paired with ostentatious exaggeration. I hope to be as honest as possible. I’m hoping to be the star of the show. I have a tendency to embellish, so take it all with a grain of salt.
I slip in and out of characters. I tell these characters to be guileless, to perform without the burden of expectation. I make a slew of videos. Watching them back, I think, huh, there must be some commentary here on the senselessness of being artist, of trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, of attempting to motivate yourself to work at something every single day that most people really don’t give a damn about. Maybe people will give a damn if you play the clown you worry they think you are. Sometimes the person playing the fool is a fool.
I was lying on the floor one day. “I am going to make a painting and it’s not going to be anything,” I thought. It’s nice to be honest with yourself. Giving importance to minute decisions such as “what color is this speck of paint is going to be,” or “where do I place this scrap of fabric,” or “at what angle do I draw this line,” is a curative exercise. Elevating these puny concerns helps in coping with the anxieties of day-to-day activity. “Where do I park,” “how do I pass the time,” “do I look like an idiot when I’m walking,” “does everyone hate me;” these become less paralyzing agitations when I allow myself to assign significance to moments in a painting that might seem negligible. I may catch myself reckoning “that painting ain’t so bad,” succeeded by a dewy-eyed sense of pride, like how I’d felt when my mother would put my drawings on the fridge.