DAN DEMPSTER
Artist Member, Copley Society of Art
Inquiries: dan@dempsterfineart.com
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STATEMENT

The gift of art, its challenge and responsibility in this age of information overload, is giving peace of mind and freedom from self.

We perceive people, places and events distorted through the lens and filters of our opinions and preferences - what is actually happening and what we think is going on are two entirely different things. This causes pain to ourselves and harm to others. It is only when we are able to let go of ourselves that we can truly see what's going on.

Peace of mind is found in moments when we forget ourselves, lost in awe of the beauty of nature, for instance. By showing the spectacular in the mundane, it has been my practice to show this can be done anywhere, anytime, with anything. Looking deeply, time and scale cease to be relevant. By taking the time to pay attention, we unknot our minds, and learn to see again, as children do, the magic of our surroundings.

Isamu Noguchi wrote that selection and placement can make sculpture of anything, even an old shoe. Rodin, regarding his partial figures as finished works, commented that, "Beauty is like God; a fragment of beauty is complete!" Agnes Martin in "Beauty is the Mystery of Life" wrote, "When your eyes are open, you see beauty in everything... Blake's right about there's no difference between the whole thing and the one thing."

But where Martin sought the expression of perfection in an ideal, I seek the expression of perfection in the beauty of things as they are. Where she wrote that artwork is enjoyed or not depending on the condition of the viewer, I believe it is possible, indeed the artist's responsibility, to quiet and bring peace to the viewer's mind.

Artists know our best work is created when we lose ourselves in the process already mastered. The boundaries between artist, subject and artwork dissolve - there is only the seeing and doing without thinking - what is created is a window to that state. Free of ego, it contains nothing to disturb the viewer, who can then access that state, that great peace of mind.

The largest canvas, the most beautiful painting, the most amazing sculpture, is the clear perception of one's own mind. Not merely what is imagined or reflected in it, but the joy of seeing the clarity and vastness of one's mind as no different from the clarity and vastness of our surroundings. That is what my work seeks to point out. When we can see both our mind and environment in this light, we literally and figuratively bring balance and perspective to our lives and to the lives of others.



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