Artist Alex Rudzinski joined Honeysuckle’s podcast to chat about conceptual art, mundane beauty, women’s discrimination in the art world and poison ivy with host Sam Long while playing Central Park Golf.
Listen to the full Honeysuckle podcast episode here:
Alex Rudzinski on Conceptual Art and Central Park Golf
Starting off with an explanation of his new concept of “Central Park Golf,” which is essentially playing a larger-scale golf game with a soccer ball and hula hoop in Central Park, Rudzinski told Long he revisualized the sport. “By reimagining the hole, every space becomes a possibility. No matter how many people are in the park there’s always open space, so the space itself becomes art,” Rudzinski said.
Art History and Overcoming Gender Discrimination
On the topic of New Yorkers making the most out of everyday spaces, surroundings and nature, Long opened up the conversation on appreciating the mundane beauty around him through the lens of an artist. With the knowledge and eye for detail of an artist, Long observed that beauty is amplified through its understanding. Both artists lamentfully agreed that the capitalist commodification of minimalism and practicality is too often prioritized over frivolous beauty nowadays. Sam laughingly pointed out that if he were commissioned to design an important building’s architecture he would most likely adorn it with dolphins, mocking the go-to lions or stoic human faces.
As the two strolled around Central Park with an audible background of street performers’ saxophones, they simultaneously played reimagined golf while diving deeper and deeper into philosophical themes like art history and past gender discrimination. Rudzinski observed that women, dismissed by society for countless eras, were previously unable to contribute with their own perspectives which has unfortunately formatted the society as we know it today as somewhat incomplete. “I especially feel this in art, not that there’s a masculine and feminine. We just missed this moment for 50+ of the population to show us something different, to give us a different artistry and push us towards something different than what we’re doing now.”
In full agreement with Rudzinski, Long added, “We think we’re so smart, and we are very smart people. You can’t go to the moon unless you understand something about the world. But we have our limitations: we still get caught up in our emotions, we still have tempers, we still fly off the handle, we still make silly decisions and everybody does. That’s just part of being human, that's why you need more sensible people in the room.”
Primal instincts like sticking to one’s tribe are essentially unavoidable, said Rudzinski, questioning how far our recent societal progress has truly led us.
Definitions of Art, Originality and Interpreting the Abstract
After several questionable shots at the soccer ball - or large “golf ball” - Rudzinski rewound to the topic of art. “We can get caught up in that artificial definition of art, but it’s creativity, not just a competition,” said Rudzinski. To Rudzinski, creativity is a spectrum: some people just happen to have more of it and some less. “Originality is the greatest asset of any artist,” he said.
While they both agreed that conceptual art is hard to define, Rudzinski said he defines it through the artist’s work; it’s not a set of paintings but, rather, “the art lies in the explanation of the piece.”
As they came close to ending their own golf version, the artists circled back to the subject of beauty and the artist’s superpower ability of interpreting the abstract, which Long defined as the spiritual shamans of the modern age. Much like the shamans interpreted abstract signals from the sun gods back then, artists transmit their interpretations of the abstract beauty that surrounds them.
The final takeaway, according to Rudzinski, is that they’d both be going home with poison ivy rashes.