If you can't get a book deal write a blog. Some intense emails recently and other thoughts at bed time that vanish into sleep. When I was a child in the summer it seemed as if death and dying were so far away that they could be put out of mind, filed under later much later. Now though at the age of 3 score and 10 I feel death lurks near bye in the wings just off stage a constant reminder of one's impending vanishing. Another aspect of this issue is the degree of misunderstanding that persists about my art working and my art works themselves. I was talking with old friend who lives in N.Y. yesterday who is a serious art writer I've known him for 40 years. I talk to him infrequently but our conversations are always interesting and he seems to understand me better with each subsequent conversation. I had been posting jpgs of my painted cds online looking for some small sales and his interest was piqued . I came to understand he didn't quite get how my installations were made out of paintings and disks etc. And I realized this could be a factor for people who only see my projects online. I don't have many opportunities to do these big installations and most of them are temporary and in the TC area. One installation at Flander's Gallery (2006) was actually done by the crew there as my gout made it impossible for me to get over there and work on it.
The bits and pieces of these installs are paintings and cds and lps, often hundreds of items. These works are meant to be temporary and to be time sensitive meaning what you see there is like a movie or a play gone and never to be quite the same again. The parts may appear again in a different configuration but the actual thing only exists as an experience in situ. I think I moved towards this work as my sense of my own impermance rose with age and health issues. When I began as a young painter I was more obsessed with the eternalisation of life to use Nietzsche's definition of art. I wanted to make paintings that would by their very nature infer this quality of being made to be beautiful and meaningful forever. Hence the paintings were quite large and labor intensive, often taking years to complete. But I made them out of images that were transitory comics images cartoon images images that were in the daily flow ofimages in our post modern world. I was influenced by many things and in particular by Heraclitus the Pre-Socratic philosopher of life and flux as constant changing experiences never quite the same. I realized my impermance as a child looking at butterflies and flowers I knew everything would change and vanish but the vivid colorful spectacle of the summer's gardens lead me to see art as this same sort of ephemeral spectacle. And now as an older man I see the world this way more and more. I wanted my art to reflect this constantly changing spectacle of vision and sound. Yes sound because nothing quite inspired me as much as music and noise, the whispering in galleries the laughter the whole world of living beings in proximity of art works.
Baudrillard famously said "He who lives by meaning dies by meaning." which always made me think as a former professor I tried to suggest meaning as a possiblity as even a goal in artist's practice but now I know that life is often meaningless and frought with misunderstandings and doubt. I think gardens are inportant to our sense of structure underlying our lives. If we can create these small plots of order and beauty perhaps it helps us make sense of our world of chaos and stupidity. I think my work has always been about art as gardens as little respites from the pain and the meaningless that often surrounds us. My art is an alternative view I know and it is complex but at base I've tried to find a means to engage the viewer in a way that opens the doors of perception rather than creates some deep meaning or insight indeed as Marcel Duchamp said the viewer completes the art work by seeing it .
jpg illustrations - Jpgs of painted cds 2. Installation in Walker Art Center (Poison& Candy 2012) 3. Flander's install 2006/WAC Billboard 2004. cds and lps and painted aspects in all installations