Making Things

Erik ReeL painting
Erik ReeL, Urban Forest, opus 1722, acrylic on paper, courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbra

Q:  Frank Stella once said that when he started he just wanted to make things, it was only later that he realized he was making something people called art.

ReeL: Yea, right.  Wonder what he thought Joseph Stella was doing.

For myself, I was never interested in making things. I wasn’t interested as a kid, in school or anytime after.  I was always intrigued by our ability to read a flat surface, to construct meanings from what was on it, to see a flat surface  in a very non-thing-like way.

Materialists and highly materialistic cultures are enthralled by things and making things.  The world is too full of things already.

A painting’s status as an object is NOT the most important aspect of a painting –at least a painting that is any good, that is.  The most important aspect of a painting is whether it has significant meaning. The most important aspects of painting are quite independent of its status as an object, and in many cases are involved with how significantly  it is non-object-like.