thomas STOLLAR

That's okay,

I have always loved the book Catcher in the Rye. Interestingly, the word ‘phony’ is used thirty-five times throughout the book. I think about this word a lot, in that not being a phony seems like a pretty tall order, especially when it comes to being an artist and making artwork. For my part, I would like to make art that is cynical, interesting to look at, and if at all possible raise some modicum of interest in the viewer, without of course being, in the words Holden Caulfield, "Phony as hell". Not being phony is hard because one must balance the indoctrination of cultural-pop against one’s own creative abilities. On a different, but similar note, I use to have this idea about art creation, which followed that to be ‘good’ or at least 'un-phony' art had to be overly creative and very different. In this way, the artist’s job was to create sparkling new things that had never been seen or thought of before. I have since come to understand that art is a conversation between art and artists, people and pop-culture. That art arises, not from thin air or the genius of the artist, but from the ideas of culture that are spread and are carried along, grow and change. While these ideas may not be entirely ‘new’, neither are they phony. This exhibition, That’s okay, is an exploration with the medium of clay. The work is understood as a conversation between maker and material. The work expresses my attempt to create sculptures using clay, while listening to and paying attention to the form that that material seems to express naturally. Couple this with artistic trends, as well as the influence of my current residence in South Florida and That’s okay, is an exhibition that aims to fit comfortably somewhere between creative and phony.