It will be almost a month since you wrote to me and you have possibly
forgotten your state of mind (I doubt it though). You seem the same as
always, and being you, hate every minute of it. Don’t! Learn to say
“Fuck You” to the world once in a while. You have every right to. Just
stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting,
fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,
confusing, itchin, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling,
stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling,
scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing,
boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling,
nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing,
alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing,
back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding,
grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO!
From your description, and from what I know of your previous work and
you [sic] ability; the work you are doing sounds very good
“Drawing-clean-clear but crazy like machines, larger and bolder… real
nonsense.” That sounds fine, wonderful – real nonsense. Do more. More
nonsensical, more crazy, more machines, more breasts, penises, cunts,
whatever – make them abound with nonsense. Try and tickle something
inside you, your “weird humor.” You belong in the most secret part of
you. Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your
own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw and paint your
fear and anxiety. And stop worrying about big, deep things such as “to
decide on a purpose and way of life, a consistant [sic] approach to even
some impossible end or even an imagined end” You must practice being
stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!
I have much confidence in you and even though you are tormenting
yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work – the
worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let
everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are
only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your
work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be
anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you
stopped working – then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think
that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to DO!
It seems I do understand your attitude somewhat, anyway, because I go
through a similar process every so often. I have an “Agonizing
Reappraisal” of my work and change everything as much as possible = and
hate everything I’ve done, and try to do something entirely different
and better. Maybe that kind of process is necessary to me, pushing me on
and on. The feeling that I can do better than that shit I just did.
Maybe you need your agony to accomplish what you do. And maybe it goads
you on to do better. But it is very painful I know. It would be better
if you had the confidence just to do the stuff and not even think about
it. Can’t you leave the “world” and “ART” alone and also quit fondling
your ego. I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest
of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or
before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on
what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that.
After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can
see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also
must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to
yourself. Well, you know I admire your work greatly and can’t understand
why you are so bothered by it. But you can see the next ones and I
can’t. You also must believe in your ability. I think you do. So try the
most outrageous things you can – shock yourself. You have at your power
the ability to do anything.
I would like to see your work and will have to be content to wait
until Aug or Sept. I have seen photos of some of Tom’s new things at
Lucy’s. They are impressive – especially the ones with the more rigorous
form: the simpler ones. I guess he’ll send some more later on. Let me
know how the shows are going and that kind of stuff.
My work had changed since you left and it is much better. I will be
having a show May 4 -9 at the Daniels Gallery 17 E 64yh St (where
Emmerich was), I wish you could be there. Much love to you both.