Sunday, March 14, 2010
Artists are naturally collectors of art. While we don't usually make the big bucks, it is important to have work of our friends, of artists we admire and are connected to for usually personal reasons more than professional ones. I went to grad school at Parsons in NYC with these two artists. I consider them close friends, and admire their work greatly. During a recent visit to NYC where they both live and work, I was able to get these pieces. I saw Natalia's a year ago in her studio, and started lusting after it then. Over the past year, she looked at my website and found a piece of mine she was interested in. So we swapped. Jen extended the offer of a piece after I helped her with some official paperwork, vouching for her as she applied for her greencard. To thank me, she gave me artwork. So I visited her studio, and poured through her work, and got to talk through her process, what she was thinking about. I narrowed it down to two pieces she was willing to give up, and this is the one I chose for many reasons that will remain private between her and me. They are fantastic artists and people. See more of their work at their websites:
So this is a new piece. And it's essentially me, not just by my hand, but me. This is a big deal. I've dealt with the figure, with the female form, but more as the general idea, not me specifically. The piece is about journey, about a focused energy, about emanating that energy. I am experiencing a new season, some priorities are shifting, I have a new lens, and it's wonderful. I feel better, I feel loved, I feel sexy, I feel more in my body than ever. And that kind of power is intoxicating. As an artist, that is the kind of season to explore visually. How much you share with the world as an artist is another issue; sharing this image is risky and perhaps premature. But that's never stopped me before. I have no clue what's next, if this is a jumping-off place or a one-time deal. Time will tell.
Melinda is my student. She is a lovely spirit, an artist, a gentle communicator, and smart as a whip. And she's leaving to serve in Afghanistan today. Yesterday I went to her company's send off. 150 soldiers in the gymnasium. Packed house with their families, and flags, and speeches. The air in the room was simultaneously sad and proud. Veterans were asked to stand and be acknowledged, and about a quarter of the room rose to its feet. I was stunned. With all my worldly experience and education, I have not been this close personally to our country's involvement in the middle east. It's a huge conundrum; I sat on the gym floor yesterday on the verge of tears the whole time, because I'm mad that we are the world's police, I am fundamentally opposed to our presence there, I'm sad that young people like Melinda who have such a promising future are the ones that go, for whatever reasons. Melinda, be safe. I am proud of you. This was the creed she recited with her company:
I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.