Artist Statement of the Day: Jock Ireland

Jock Ireland, Teresa, 1993, oil on masonite, 60 x 40 inches

“I don’t like writing artist’s statements. I really don’t know what to say. I’m not even sure at this point what I’ll be showing.

Some heads—maybe. I guess I try to get some ‘form’ into my heads—at least I’m less suspicious of form than I am of formlessness. Maybe ‘character’ too—but whose character? I don’t think I have any special insight into the ‘characters’ whose heads I’m sculpting. To what extent does my character get into these heads? Who am I? I sure don’t know.

Am I a realist? Or a copyist? A copyist trying to be a stylist? It is kind of fun asking these questions. I’m OK thinking of myself as an art student, but then I think some more.

I have a friend, Sally, who was a professional dancer for most of her life and also taught dance — but her knees now don’t work the way they used to. She takes ballroom dance classes at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio West Side [sic] in NYC. In 2011 she was given a gift of introductory lessons there, a place she’d walked past almost without noticing for years. I get to see her dance for 2 or 3 minutes at the annual recitals Fred Astaire puts on. She’s amazing—and gets more amazing every year. She also writes about her experience at Fred Astaire—about who she is, what she thinks. Her teachers tell her she thinks too much, but she won’t stop thinking. Two recent essays are ‘Taking the backward step,’ and ‘”You can only follow my body.”‘ Suggestive/mysterious titles. In many ways, I follow—or try to follow—Sally’s lead.

I can’t thank John Davis enough for showing my work..”

           — Jock Ireland, 2018

Jock Ireland: “Student” Work,John Davis Gallery, Hudson, NY. September 15 through October 7, 2018. Other solo exhibitions on view: Len Bellinger, Lizbeth Mitty, Arnold Mesches, Daniel John Gadd

Related posts: 
Gallery crawl in Hudson
Julie Torres’ dispatches from Hudson, part 1
The Artist’s Statement: Thomas Micchelli
Artist’s Statement of the Day: Allison Gildersleeve

 

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