Artist’s Notebook:
Gordon Holden

12.30.13 Marina Galperina

ANIMAL’s feature Artist’s Notebook asks artists to show us their original “idea sketch” next to a finished piece. This week, Hartford-based artist Gordon Holden (who is not a painter) talks about his painting diptych Black Rainbows… we think.

I sat down to think about where the idea came for the Black Rainbow paintings, because standing and thinking is so tiring. This iPhone note is all could find in documentation.

I wanted to talk about these particular pieces because I don’t consider myself a painter and these r paintings. They weren’t intended to be paintings. The original idea was intended to be a gif.

I realized ideas are bizarre because I have no idea where they really come from.

I don’t have a mathematical or scientific equation mapped out process like Goodwill Hunting to show you how I created them. Sure, it’s nice to analyze and really get ur ducks in a row before your execution, but it’s also nice to not. I like how some stuff just seems to happen. Otherwise I’d really have to ramp up on my moms anti-anxiety meds. I’m not nostalgic for any reason I created something, but it’s nice to be reflective on the things you choose to make a part of you and then assign meaning. Maybe they come from the memory of something mixed with a moment’s stimulus. I don’t know, that might sound like it’s trying too hard. But there are things that happen that make you think about other things and ipso facto there’s an idea. Of course it snowballs and you add layers and depth to that initial thought…

But that’s really the fluff. The internet is great because it permits the fluff to be the real gold. (Note the gold at the end of the black rainbows.)

And that’s what people want. Gold.

The internet lets the audience validate things and turn it into art. I was talking with my friend Kate the other day about how one of the problems with art nowadays is that everything is art. It’s hard to tell what is important and what is not. Sure, price tags make things important, but that makes nothing important, just fleeting entertainment. Can you not have a McRib and eat it too?

So you may ask yourself, whats the point with all this? Maybe what I’m trying to tell you about the black rainbows and the meaning of it all is that if you really want it bad enough, one day you too could be on Dancing With The Stars!

Here is a link to the pieces in the group show ‘This Place Is Nowhere’ at Paul Loya Gallery Los Angeles. I don’t have a link to the work on my own website because my internet self and my gallery self are still trying to link up and find each other.


Previous Artist’s Notebook selects:

Artist’s Notebook: Rafaël Rozendaal
Artist’s Notebook: Genevieve Belleveau
Artist’s Notebook: Saoirse Wall
Artist’s Notebook: Mattie Hillock
Artist’s Notebook: Alexandra Gorczynski
Artist’s Notebook: Don Hertzfeldt