I’m an inward person, especially with my artwork. I worry that I am completely self absorbed.
It isn’t that I am not constantly upset and bothered (and once and a while cheered) by worldwide news. Honestly I think a person has to have had a recent lobotomy to feel calm about the happenings here in our country and around the world. Just today I have my choice of things to feel concerned and /or upset by.
First, there is the whole Wikileaks drama. On the one hand, I think it’s better to have fewer secrets within our government than more, even in the name of security. Still, I am queasy about these recent leaks. They seem to be short on the horrors of our actions at war, and more about embarrassing elected officials in making rash and gossipy comments about fellow leaders from other governments. I’m not at all sure what greater purpose this serves. I feel embarrassed that my Secretary of State has to go calling people like she’s the top person on a phone tree (see the film Practical Magic if you don’t know the term phone tree) because she said unkind things about someone who has undoubtedly said unkind things about her that have not been published on the internet.
Also, there is this ridiculous grid block now where the republicans, especially the ancient Voldemort like Mitch McConnell and new head rooster John Boehner, seem hell bent on keeping our nation and our president from doing anything remotely helpful to anyone not at the top of the wealth chain and if they can also beat down gays, blacks, and women, all the better.
I happened to see an interview on facebook with Anderson Cooper and some hideous old white senator who FIRMLY believes that president Obama is not an American and has a “radical agenda”. No calm presentation of facts presented by the handsome, slight, gracious Mr. Cooper could sway this moron from his beliefs. It was astonishing and sickening.
Meanwhile, as these news items swirl around in my brain I am looking at e-mails and posts about the happenings at the Basel Art Fair in Miami. It pushes all of my insecure buttons, and there are many of those. So far I’ve seen photographs of neon words, which are pretty but not especially original. And an image of an artist behind a mock meat counter, surrounded by raw, bloody meat and licking a blood covered knife. I don’t know what that’s about but of course I feel that my art is just too mundane to exist in this world. It’s small, personal, and conventional, for the most part.
My project of writing Ulysses on rubber gloves came about in part to really push myself to think outside the box. It’s going to take a long long time to finish and I hope I live long enough to see it completed and that when it is done it gets some attention. Now I think I want to add to it. I would like to make soft sculptures of arms with yellow rubber glove ‘hands’. I don’t know how to sew but I can figure it out, or hire a seamstress. I just think that art needs to go beyond the beautiful at this point. I won’t stop drawing…it’s my favorite occupation and I am good at it. But I am still clinging to the dream that I will live to see some real success in terms of my art. I can’t figure out why I think this. It seems foolhardy and selfish. I should be out earning a proper living, and not wasting my time and energy on this pursuit. But I can’t seem to give up hope. And I feel that drawing alone isn’t going to get me to that point. So maybe long fabric arms with rubber gloves surrounded by rubber gloves with text and maybe even another component. But no raw mean, and no blood, no crucifix, no excrement. That’s too outside the box for me. Besides, it’s all been done before.