I was trying to paint a picture today, but seems the color i was using was just a pigment of my imagination...
All he said was basically, I want to paint, but in three dimensional shapes of strong colors, and I want them to be in constant motion as part of the experience. That's all. What is so hard to understand?
You cant sell news stories that have data and cautious predictions. Where is the panic? Where is the impending doom? C'mon people , give me something to work with here…
You know it's magic when you look and say, but that is so obvious, so simple, Why didn’t anyone else think of it? And that is where the Calder magic is.
All he said was basically, I want to paint, but in three dimensional shapes of strong colors, and I want them to be in constant motion as part of the experience. That's all. What is so hard to understand? I would give anything to see the faces of his friends and colleagues from the art scene when he tried to explain to them what he was going to do…oh those crazy kids and their ideas.
How can art be realized?
Out of volumes, motion, spaces bounded by the great space, the universe.
Out of different masses, tight, heavy, middling-indicated by variations of size or color-directional line-vectors which represent speeds, velocities, accelerations, forces, etc. . . .
these directions making between them meaningful angles, and senses, together defining one big conclusion or many.
Spaces, volumes, suggested by the smallest means in contrast to their mass, or even including them, juxtaposed, pierced by vectors, crossed by speeds."
Was that the ranting of a visionary mad man or the building instructions given by an engineer? Because Calder was an engineer. Not metaphorically, that was his formal education.
I always said that classical training elevates artists more than freebasing it and hoping for divine inspiration. Being an engineer gave calder the tools to crete kinetic machinery of art, to give life to colorful particles by the use of tension, movement, equilibration. I am sure somewhere he has all the equations and formulas for each one of his mobiles. Or maybe it was already so ingrained in his head he saw the math while he saw the image of the object, maybe it was part of it, not just a tool.
To an engineer, good enough means perfect. With an artist, there's no such thing as perfect.”
My favorite pieces of calder were always the smaller ones, the delicate ones created with thin metal wires, like the tendons of the world. Like trajectories, or vectors as he referred to them in his art engineering lingo.
They are beautiful because they are delicate, because you can feel gravity, you can feel the laws of physics working on the elements , spinning them into a dance of precise chaos, of unlimited options in a limited wire frame, of life itself, delicate just as they are.
Nothing at all of this is fixed. Each element able to move, to stir, to oscillate, to come and go in its relationships with the other elements in its universe.
It must not be just a fleeting moment but a physical bond between the varying events in life. Not extractions, But abstractions. Abstractions that are like nothing in life except in their manner of reacting."
Calder taught us an important lesson about creation and being creative – you set your own limits and the rules of the game. There is nothing a real creative person can dream and can not build, and there is nothing a real creative person can not dream.
It is indeed a slippery slope, which if you are not careful might drag you to greatness, unfortunately many artists choose to disregard this basic lesson as it means so much more work, and artists are not big fans of work these days.
We need some more of these ultra-creative engineers like Calder, that would open some more doors for the rest of us.