Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I've been in the studio a ton lately. I had decided around Christmas that I am not going to just float along as I have been. I mean, I *love* Etsy. I'm a regular cheerleader carrying cupcakes on a platter whilst enjoying a swing in my handmade hammock, but I need *more*. I realized I've been painting (to an extent) pieces for my shop and shying away (to a degree) from the more gritty work I have a craving for. That post last month? That's what I mean.
My parents...their reactions to my new direction were well, priceless. And pretty much what I expected. My mother, during a dinner party a week or so back, took a peek in the studio and returned blushing and muttering "oh my."
Cecily Brown has, since my freshman year of college when I picked up the contemporary painting bible "Vitamin P" and flipped through to her juicy, naughty paintings, been a key inspiration for me in my work. A chick that ballsy...right up my alley. I've watched her work over the years transform as mine has done the same. And honestly? I have to question where it's gone. And I mean both of ours.
I took a long hard look at it and decided I wouldn't just paint. I'd *paint*. I'd breathe it, sleep it, live it... Not that it's something I ever simply "did". But I felt the need to dive into it with more ferocity and hold nothing back. As I feel her focus has shifted (whether on purpose or due to demand...) mine has as well. My early work was all about the female form and exaggerated perfection. I feel like I need to be more honest and less iconic.
So, I've used my inspiration from Brown as a diving board. I still love her work but it's meaning...it feels like it's been lost a bit. More abstraction and less of that naughty representation hinting through. Stripped to paint application and colors and yes, here and there, the hint at a figure. The hint at something more.
Me? I've never been much on good old abstraction for the sake of abstraction. Even when I paint an abstract piece, a wholly abstract painting, I fight myself on adding something. I see abstraction (as I apply it) as an exercise in letting go more. But really. I'd rather not leave a painting void of "something". So, my work is striking that balance. Especially the more overt pieces. Fine art pornography...na. I want it to say something more. I want you to look for it. And when you find it, when it smacks you in the face, as it usually does, I want you to feel something. Feel dirty. Feel exhilarated. Either way.
So that's where I am going with it, for what it's worth....