Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Ministry of Operatic Self Effacement and Other Such Rot

So my old friend Arthur Whitman blogged about me, so I can remain anonymous and naive no more, so I better start putting up the new paintings too. Hey Arthur, this is what I'm really doing in the studio.. just kidding, I really do like the drawings. But these 9 x 12 foot paintings are kind of my bread and butter right now. Two days ago someone asked me after I had read bits and briefs of my nasty/crazy RISD thesis, in a lecture I was lucky enough to score with a wonderful old professor's class, why I was working with classical still life painting painting if I wanted to talk about operatic self-effacement, eating disorder, perversions of the celebration of identity, etc. I couldn't really answer, but I found the question intriquing. This astute artist mentioned Todd Haynes, also a Brown grad, who has made cracker jack eating disorder work with barbies in Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. I wasn't sure I knew the work, but when I looked him up I found he had done that lovely little movie Safe, one of my faves, if you are paranoid or germ phobic and sometimes housebound like me some of the time. The color in the movie was startling, and as I started to respond to chemical odors in like ways over the years, I have enjoyed the work even more. I like the stuff he's done with film, I don't know why I remain so classical, or why I'm stuck with this devotional and formal homage to excess. I don't think Brown's media theory really rubbed off on me very well. Maybe I'll grow out of it. Maybe I'm just playing dumb. This big painting is called Pile of Cliches and Dead Things. A big hurrah for dumb and literal in the face of disintigrating notions of what I can do with my paintbrush, my politics, my identity, my stomach, etc etc. Maybe when I post the older nastier big 9 x 12 foot painting I will post bits of my statement, I'm just afraid I might be censored on blogger if I get too gross here too quickly. Cut up torsos and heads on sticks are one thing, but I started to honor my thesis and get into Marquis de Sade territory these past few months in my drawings, and I'm afraid of losing my happy little webspace, or scaring my nice studio-mates. They already think I'm the most well-adjusted creepy big-litle girl artist they know.

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