sorabji.com: Is it art?: Words

By Spider on Wednesday, September 6, 2006 - 12:08 am:

    Speaking of geeks....I wrote old Dr. Oopy an email in
    which I geeked out on him regarding my love of art that
    (which?) includes words.

    I'm thinking primarily of the works of Jenny Holzer and
    Ed Ruscha -- the former deals exclusively with words,
    and the latter has painted other things (pictures...huh!)
    but paints a lot of words, too.

    Like, he paints just words.

    Sometimes it's just words,

    Jenny Holzer I've mentioned on the boards before.
    She's my favorite living artist, and I'm thrilled that the
    MFA in Boston (which I can enter free with my student
    ID, praise be) has one of her pieces -- it's an LED
    screen that scrolls some of her Truisms, if I'm not
    mistaken. (I was at the MFA today but neglected to pay
    this a visit.) Jenny
    . If I had to steal anyone's art and pass it off as
    my own, it would be hers.

    First of all, I love the look of words. Typography
    honestly turns me on. The idea that the way a word
    looks influences its meaning or reception is so thrilling
    to me. A phrase resonates differently with you
    depending on the way you see it -- is it scrawled in
    graffitti on brick, or is it carved in roman capitals in
    marble, or is printed in sans serif font on a poster? Of
    course, the different styles imply different authors, and
    different types of authors -- disaffected youth, some
    stately organization, a corporation. (This is why I love
    Holzer's series of Survival statements printed as
    subway posters -- you initially think they must be ads for
    something, but there is no attribution line...nothing to
    indicate who wrote them or what for what purpose.
    Imagine seeing:
    printed in sans serif caps, say,
    yellow letters on a pink background, on a poster in a
    busstop. What would you make of it?}

    Then, it's also the mere look of the letters I like...the
    alphabet itself, and the way the letters are formed and
    how they look next to each other. I love words with an
    "e - consonant - e" pattern, like serene (extra good) or
    austere. I can't explain why -- it's just satisfying
    somehow. And the shapes of A, e, f, J, N, W, R....these
    are great to draw in creative lettering of your own

    I'd go on, but I'm starting to scare myself with how
    autistic I sound.


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