Black, White and those Gray Areas

January 25, 2014

Living in the Artwork

It occurred to me that since I am dressing up my bedroom into the bedroom that my character will inhabit, I am, in a sense, living in my artwork - the video.  Then I thought of how I am also playing the character as well - this means that much of me is living in my video project right now.  I'm living with it but in it as well.  It's sort of like an actor who lives on the set and, while sleeping in the night, sleeps on the bed his character sleeps on.  They say art reflects life and life imitates art.  I’m not fully sure what the actor/director living in a bedroom set implicates for sure.



Poster Art and T-Shirt

The image (in photo collage) of the poster was made up of photographs that I had printed up at Walgreens.  The original photograph that I manipulated was taken of my older sister by my oldest brother in the 1970s.  She was dressed up as a gypsy, of sorts, and was probably told to look serious, as in, no smiles.  I’m not fully sure I like the final image and how serious my sister looks, but I decided to let go because this video doesn’t represent me or my family, it's fiction, and this is a poster prop of a band called Red Elf.   The T-shirt design was painted with acrylic paint and to create the lines I masked the designs out using masking tape and painted between the open gaps.  It’s sort of a crude stencil approach but a bit more effective that just using paint on a paint brush.




Art Making Deliriums

Sometimes art ideas swirl in the mind during the night and during the day and everything around seems to call out for notice, to be reckoned with and integrated into the project.  Sometimes dreams set up a stage in which we enter our own imagination, or, the imagination that is there from without, all around us.  Sometimes, you just get down right superstitious and wonder whether, while struggling with a work of art, you are not stirring up and wrestling with angels and demons or other unknown forces out there that have the heavenly bodies spinning and the fiery lights of the stars beam.

Last night I decided to drink a tea that is mixed for a good sleep.  It had valerian in it and passionflower.  Strange that a tea can really pull you into drowsiness but most medical compounds derive from the plants.  My grandmother use to buy valerian tea for sleep.  I sometimes get a reaction to valerian and so I nickname it "delirium."  Well, last night I became in a not so settled state and started feeling disturbed by the imagery I've been producing.   Especially the poster I made using the photograph of my older sister.  Also, the color scheme of black and red - aren't those the devil's colors?  It was hard to shake this disturbing feeling and I even had a sense that perhaps I should drop the whole project.  "If my mind or the forces in the universe tipped me into a place that was not working for me but against me, I should drop this video," I thought.  Then I remembered that this video is going to be a love story.   I had decided that at some point and last night confirmed the importance of this.  Alienation and feeling disturbed in the universe must be counterbalanced with Love.  I'm familiar with artwork that leaves the audience hanging in the dark abyss and that isn't what I believe an artist should do.  Yes, there is an aspect of Surrealism which is about unsettling the settled bourgeois mind and the complacency that follows, but if the artist doesn't show us how to live and love in a possibly chaotic world of alienation, who will?


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