Thursday, January 6, 2011
for years i painted. i thought it was what i would always do. i was driven to paint. but gradually my painting was replaced.
a few years ago i worked in an art supply store. i had been sure that this was the ideal part time job for me. a truly perfect place for me to while away time, fantasizing about the brilliant potential of the materials at my disposal, organized on shelves for me to choose from. going home with bags of paint and wonderful papers and canvases. but i found the days endlessly long. there was a lifeless and wretched quality to those days. i couldn't understand it. how was it possible that i could be bored. period. i am never bored. ever. and here i was wandering between the shelves going mad with boredom. and i started to analyze it. the art materials were quite pathetic, actually. stiff and empty and meaningless, waiting sadly. static. dead. there was no vitality. they were quite ridiculously depressing until they were used. until they become the art they are dead materials.
and i think the contrast is a sharp one when compared to the bookstore where i also work. being in the presence of books all day is powerful. the ideas and knowledge and power of story leap among the shelves with an energy and speed and sparkle that is impossible to muffle. there is no waiting. the work is complete and present and real and true.
i make art from books. the pages steeped in age and thought and image and brilliant skipping energy motivate me and find me and engage me while i find my own new language in them. for 20 years or more i had used old printed pages in my work, attaching them to paintings, incorporating them with ease. but without knowing when or why, the pages took over entirely. i may have grown disenchanted spending too much time with the dead, soul-less materials, but i believe i was heading on this journey regardless.