Monday, April 18, 2011


This piece has an interesting story...

Something I struggled with in my art-making in my undergrad was pushing myself beyond my boundaries. I like playing it safe and I like sameness/consistency. Actually, I still struggle with this.
This painting was an attempt to 'lose control' and to put myself in a place that was unstable and uncomfortable. In presenting my work to my peers last year, I gave them the freedom to manipulate my work. I remember preparing myself for the worst; ripping of canvas, coffee stains, etc. I think the "worst" I got was a footprint but in the end it felt like such a triumph and a relief at the same time.
A few weeks after my final critique, I had come back to the studio to pick up my work, as it was the end of the school year. I packed the car with all of my work but left this piece to the end, knowing it might be too large to fit into the car.
...and it was. The frame didn't fit through any door opening and, of course, the only thing that had to be done to get the painting into the car was to take it apart. I think this was the worst that I hadn't prepared myself for. I had no choice and so staples were pried out, canvas was ripped. I think halfway through the destruction of my work, I detached myself from it entirely, not caring anymore...mainly because part of it had already been "destroyed" by my peers and there was no turning back.
The process was complete and I rolled up my work carelessly and threw it into the back of the car. I don't think I handled it with care after's been creased and folded and crushed by boxes since.
A few weeks ago, while tidying up, I found my rolled and folded up painting in an unpacked box. I was curious and pulled it out, unrolled it and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the way it had evolved and aged after almost a year, liking it more than before.
I think the only way I would have been able to accept this change and grow with/from it was to detach myself from the actual change (or, as I like to think of it, trauma) itself. I think this was such an interesting way to learn something about myself and what my work represents to me.

Before and just before unstretching

1 comment:

Renée Barabash said...

You need a like button. Thanks for this post! So honest and inspiring.