The Daily Rambling Artist: Worse Than Ezra: The Absurd Art of Intent

The Daily Rambling Artist: Worse Than Ezra: The Absurd Art of Intent

I had intriguing message from my friend Derek yesterday that really got me thinking about the concept of artist intent. If you have a moment, check out Derek's Instagram profile (@derekgoodin). It all began when he responded to one of my videos where I discussed the importance of knowing your own narrative as an artist. Derek shared his observations, especially regarding his poetry, and it struck a chord with me.

Derek pointed out that, particularly in the realm of poetry, people often interpret creative works in ways that hold personal meaning for them, even if it doesn't align with the artist's original intent. He wasn't complaining about this reality; he was merely making an observation and even appreciating the idea. This instantly brought to mind my studies of the modernist movement in literature, which I’ve been pondering a lot lately.

In particular, I couldn't help but recall the work of T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound to exert control over the meaning of their written language. Their attempt to do so was a testament to their creative vision, but in the grand scheme of creativity, it's an impossible task in my opinion. 

This, I believe, is one of the peculiar aspects of art. Once a piece of art leaves the hands of its creator, it takes on a life of its own. Numerous times, I've created something and been amazed at how the piece itself seems to reveal its own meaning to me. It's a profoundly strange experience, but it's also what keeps me engaged and inspired in the studio.

This process of art continually informs, and encourages my thinking and writing about art. I don't think artists ever fully grasp the entirety of what they've devoted their lives to at the end of their respective runs, but the journey of attempting to achieve that level of understanding is a big and endlessly exciting part of the creative process.

-Sergio Santos