The show at Backstory Books finished up earlier this month and I managed to get 7 paintings off my hands and received the first checks for art in a very, very long time. When you price your smaller pieces low – it tends to sell (who knew!). This gives me a little more room to grow and keep working without expecting to always burrow things away forever.
Influences of the month:
Pierre Bonnard – Painting Arcadia : I borrowed a book on Bonnard from work, which is a beautiful catalog from a retrospective show at SF’s Legion of Honor a few years back. Bonnard has always had a special place in my little consortium of favorites. It started about 12 years ago when my color theory teacher, Donna Larsen, assigned him to me for a project (I vaguely recall having to replicate a sample of his painting along with color swatches). At the time, I knew nothing about Bonnard’s work and had initially written him off as boring. But of course his work won me over – his color use and brush work made his paintings have a glow, and it’s a glow I’ve been subconsciously trying to replicate in my own work during the past few years.
The Eva Hesse documentary : I finally watched the film on Eva Hesse that was released last year – once it was over I immediately played it again while I was painting. Hesse died very young from a brain tumor, but she found so much success and recognition as an artist within a short span of time. The part of her timeline that stuck out to me the most was when she returned to Deutschland for the first time since she and her sister escaped the Nazis through Kindertransports as a toddler (her extended family was murdered). Although her parents managed to escape, her mother later committed suicide when Hesse was only nine. Hesse reluctantly returned with her then-husband Tom Doyle after he was offered an all-paid artist’s residency at a former textile factory on the Ruhr River near Essen. Although the residency was offered to Doyle, the 14 months spent between 1964 and 1965 at the abandoned factory served as a launching point for Hesse. She began to transition from painting flat to incorporating sculptural elements into her surfaces like wire and metal scraps she found lying around the old factory space. She returned to NYC after finding her voice, and her work only expanded from there (latex/fiberglass sculptures and works on paper). Over the next five years she produced enough work to fill the entire Guggenheim during her memorial exhibition shortly after her passing.
Making noise: I’m honestly terrified of being loud – I can draw attention to my work (which leads to myself) visually, but using sound/noise was never something I felt fully comfortable with. It may have to do with taking up space (even my paintings have usually been small up until recently) or worrying disturbing the neighbors (actually, that’s exactly the reason). Although I still don’t plan on playing an amp turned high up in my apartment, my friend invited me to play with her in a warehouse practice space near SE Lincoln. I’m reluctant to say I’m “playing” guitar at this point, but I’m happy to report that I’m making loud noise.
My superior at work offered me an opportunity to exhibit some of my paintings and pinhole photographs at the Concordia University’s George R. White Library and Learning Center during the months of July and August. More details to come when summer begins.