I'm writing on two very different, but very much on my mind topics today. First.... Oceans. I saw the film "Oceans" the other night, and it made me cry like a little girl for some reason. It's been a long time since something naturally and purely visual has brought me to tears. Funny enough, this is a documentary film on the oceans of the world and their inhabitants. Nothing made up, no huge story line. But the cinematography is AMAZING. It was shot by two french filmmakers who really know what they are doing. There is a scene of a sea slug that is called the Spanish Dancer that has colors in it I could never even try to paint as far as beauty is concerned. It is playing at the dollar movie here in town, and is truly a gorgeous film.
Ok, the other topic. Last night was the Pulse's (a free magazine in town) State of the Arts party. Basically, it was a reason to have an opening with music, food and art (oh, and booze) in the name of a publication.
Last night was also the first time I showed some of my new work, a series I call MIEKKO.
These drawings are a huge step for me. They are not much to start, and I hope to start a few oil paintings soon, but they are a big process.
I also realized yesterday that many people will not understand where I am coming from, and that is ok.
But I thought I would give a little bit of a voice to why I am doing these movement drawings.
First.... drawings are easier to get your ideas out, and cheaper. I have a tendency to want to go BIG! and CRAZY! But when you are really changing something, especially within yourself, baby steps are a bit of a better, longer-lasting idea.
Why movement? This past year I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I like. As older posts suggest, I like a huge variety of art. I spent a good portion of this past year in artistic hibernation, spending time taking a good hard look at what I do and why. To be really blunt, I looked at many of my portraits, and although I adore each one of them and find many of them beautiful, they are very different from what I think about all day long and how I see the world. I am a firm believer (and this has not changed one bit) that ART mimics part of the truth of life. I'm not going to get gushy here. I'm not saying that it explains it or even makes sense of it. It mimics it, and this is how each human being learns. We mimic when we are babies. We are ingrained with this sense of trying to be and live in something we don't know.
I guess as a portrait artist, I only find PARTS of truth. You paint a face, and a few weeks later, it is already different. How many times have I come back to one of my paintings in someone's house a few years later, and the subject has changed immensely. And that's ok. It is a wonderful process to be a part of.
So I guess I have spent the past year thinking about changes. How EVERYTHING changes. How the second you hold on to something, it is already different.
I read somewhere that human suffering is caused from our want to hold on.
Think about it. We hold on to old pains and continue to hold onto resentment, which makes us miserable on a daily basis. We hold on to past good times, and we are sad that they are gone. We hold on to old loves and don't want them to grow into something different.
And I started to think about this in my work. How the sheer act of trying to catch a personality on canvas, was in way, going against what naturally is happening all the time... change. People are not who you think they are, they are not one way.
My friend Meg told me that "and" is so much of a better word than "or".
My friend Hank once asked me what the most moving pieces of art I had ever seen were. I answered, very easily, the captive slaves by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. These massive chunks of rock show different slaves, either being sucked back into the rock, or trying forcefully to be free of it. I saw a lot of my own humanity in those. Always trying to express something so inexpressible that is a definite truth. Never free of it, never totally consumed by it.
My other answer to him was actually a work of art I have not seen in real life. The photos of Rothko's Chapel in Houston really did me in. One of my dreams is to see this place. There is something about this place of prayer and how he interpreted sacred space without telling you what to feel that I truly admire.
So this is a bit where I am coming from, I guess. I plan on changing a lot anyway. But movement, the thing that sometimes makes people in our life almost unrecognizable, is a place I feel very close to and very in awe by. For one moment, you see something, and then it changes. Just as you recognize what's going on, it changes on you. And I love this part of life, even if it scares the living %$@t out of me. It's the grey zone, the free-fall zone, the figure -turned- abstract spot. The echo or memory of something that no longer exists. I believe very much in the beauty that hides right there.... in the place that doesn't need to be put in a box.
Maybe I will fall flat on my face... who knows. For now these are my babies.
We will see where it takes me! I was thrilled by the reception of my work last night. I think it surprised a lot of people, and I am thankful for this. Thank you all for reading my babble!
Michelangelo's Captive Slave: