Lester Monzon: Fail Better | Exhibition Review
August 29, 2019 - Eve Wood
I’ve always been partial to exhibitions with oddly self-depreciating titles, and Lester Monzon’s Fail Better is definitely a doozie. A phrase from Samuel Beckett’s novella, Worstward Ho, the original quote reads “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better,” which is not a piece of inspirational writing at all but an absurdist’s response to the absurdity of the living world, i.e. a call to embrace the void. The title also brings to mind the angst and struggle inherent in the artistic process, as any creative person understands — each piece is not necessarily successful, but it is the endless process of transformation, not toward any specific conclusion but more in keeping with the steady work of a brick layer, plodding along year after year, slowly building a comprehensive vision of the world, that continues to inspire. Thus the title, as with the works themselves, reflect the intense and sometimes painful process of creating anything.