“It might go without saying, but it is a challenge to adequately describe any visual medium in words….A painting has an immediate effect as soon as its image is captured by the eye and processed by the brain. The artist is manipulating materials like paint, clay, or video images to elicit these sensations. The deliberate and relatively slow act of reading and taking in each word is bypassed. [Visual and performance] Art goes straight for the gut.”
The quote above is from the introduction to The Artist’s Mentor edited by Ian Jackman. The last line is great and is worth repeating: Art goes straight for the gut.
There was a basketball coach at my high school. His name was Mr. Weidman. (I probably spelled that incorrectly.) Anyway, he was one of these really, really passionate coaches. Unabashedly so. It was unfamiliar to a bunch of teenage boys who were working 24/7 to be cool and aloof. Removed and unaffected by anything and everything around them.
This wasn’t the case for Mr. Weidman. He’d scream red-faced at his players in the locker room during half-time, “YOU GOTTA HAVE IT IN HERE!” And he’d point right to his gut. (In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t on the basketball team. But my best friend was. Still, this is not a first-hand account.)
It seemed so extreme at the time. I mean, it was just a basketball game. In some small town in South Jersey! But that kind of extremist point of view — there’s something noticeable about it. More than noticeable. There’s something compelling about it. On the court or on the stage.
You gotta go for the gut.