I have not sat down in my studio to make anything for a very long time. As I type this and look it over I feel a sense of sadness that weighs more on the side of apathy. Working 40 hours a week with my hands, on someone elses’s feigned inspirations (in that they are inspired by commerce, albeit, perfectly respectable; it is not mine) leaves me with little vibrancy to pursue my own ideas in the scant hours left to me in the evenings and weekends.
A troubling dream that left me as soon as I woke up, and the resulting insomnia, has kept me home from my normal 8-hour-jewelry-fabricating-monday in Center City.
Cleaning, eating and reading have filled my time, so far, today. I read a book on Frida Kahlo. I never took the time to really understand who she was or what she did, or why it was important.
She suffered extreme physical pain, every day, due to a bus accident when she was 18 years old, that left her unable to have children and lucky to be able to walk. These facts have lead me to further believe that great art comes from human beings who suffer and push through great pains because they believe so vehemently that what they are doing is important.
Another who’s life I have always viewed with astonishment that he could create art even though he went through such hardships in his life; his mother dying in his arms from starvation, his studio burning to the ground, a horrible car accident, cancer, and finally his wife leaving him, all leading to his suicide at 44.
I saw this work in person at his Retrospective at the PMA last year. Entitled ‘The Artist and His Mother’, there are a few versions of this painting, based on a photograph. None of them are finished, however, as the finishing of them would have meant to the artist that his mother was truly gone. These were my favorites of his work at the show. And what I will always remember about Gorky are his tragedies, rather than his actual paintings.
So where does that leave me? With my apathies….my pains pale in comparison. What have I to make art about? Credit card debts?
I don’t believe in the value of any of this. I make trinkets for the rich, literally, bells to wear on their necks. This is my pain. I get paid for it and it keeps me comfortable but there is no valor in it.
I’ve been thinking for months that maybe I should start painting.
On a lighter note, I’ve submitted an application for Metals Artists residency at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts. Perhaps I will be accepted to spend a year there, during my scant evening hours and weekends…so that I might counter act the trivialities carried out during my 40 hour work week.
More on that when I find out.