is drawing dead?
Just before the opening of my show in October at Amiro Gallery in St. Augustine, FL, a body of work that largely consisted of figure drawings, an article appeared at The Daily Beast by Anthony Haden-Guest asking, "Is drawing dead?" I thought, "Shit! I'm too late!" What followed was a Kubler-Ross-like flurry of feelings beginning with disbelief that veered off to outrage, and eventually settled into determination and joy. I also had a title for my show.
Of course drawing is not dead. The premise of the article is that drawing, as a salable object, wrapped and framed and presented and fussed over and sold, is not as valuable to collectors as it once was. Why would you have a drawing on your wall when a painting is more prestigious? (By the way... isn't painting also dead?)
Haden-Guest has quite a few salient points. However, he is missing something in his piece. My drawing is not a commodity. Drawing is alive. It is the act of seeing and interpreting and making and showing. A mute dialect. The vernacular of artists. It is the purest expression of my creative heart.
Just because you think you can't sell it doesn't mean it doesn't have value, and it certainly isn't dead. Drawing doesn't need a "support system". It is self sustaining. A universe unto itself.
Unlike the Kubler-Ross model, I end my stages of grieving in denial. Jean-Michel Basquiat is dead. I am not.
I do not share Haden-Guest's fear that technology and the future will overtake the pencil. I have seen first-hand that drawing is alive and well in ateliers and bars and streetcorners and studios from Jacksonville, Florida to Tokyo, Japan.
Drawing is dead.
Long live drawing.