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Just Do It!

The one dollar bill is the most ubiquitous piece of paper in America…

Collage asks the question: what might be done to make it something else? It is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept. Blade and glue transform it–reproducing the effects of tapestries, paints, engravings, mosaics, and computers—striving for something bizarre, beautiful, or unbelievable… the foreign in the familiar.Mark Wagner: smokeinmydreams.com

 Mark Wagner: smokeinmydreams.com

“But if you aren’t making any money creating art,” he asked, “why do you keep doing this year after year?” (IRS Agent, talking to an artist friend of Mark Wagners’s during an audit)

“The concept of creating for its own sake remains a radical concept in our culture…being an artist is so hard because we’re operating in a parallel universe from the larger cultureone that values imagination, creativity, and ideas more than money or status. But a true creative exchange–one in which art is given and accepted without obligation is a way of side-stepping the soul-crushing grimness of consumerism. I would go so far as to say that it’s an alternate way of being. It’s this free exchange between artist and audience that creates movement, provides pleasure, provokes change, and offers meaningful connection…“Motion” is a key word here, for an artist needs movement to thrive. “Make the work,” said Walt Whitman. “Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!” wrote artist Sol LeWitt to his friend Eva Hesse. “All that is important is this one moment in movement,” Martha Graham once said. “Make the moment important, vital, and worth living. Do not let it slip away unnoticed and unused…There is the fear of beginning, the fear of choosing, the fear of working, of finishing, of failure, of sharing our work with others, just to give a few examples. Not every well-known or established artist will confess these fears openly, but I know from the conversations I’ve had with artists over the years that the anxiety doesn’t dissipate over time, even with commercial success. In fact, commercial success brings a new kind of pressure…A fat bank account may be the sign of a successful stock broker, but a bank balance is the last way to judge the quality of an artist’s work. It is the act of creation and completion that matters in the end. The doing. Not the accolades or silence of the marketplace.” Mark Wagner

 Just Do It!                              

To view more of Mark’s Wagner’s work visit, smokeinmydreams.com/currencycollage.html

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