Bliss from the Koran
I'm going to be in a show at Western Exhibitions gallery in Chicago in...jeez....just a few weeks. The show is called "People Don't Like to Read Art", and you can check out the link here. I'll be showing two text drawings, one of which I just finished late last night (see above). I like this piece. It feels very strong to me, even though it's not my best piece. It has some formal problems that bug me; the composition is a little weak. But I think it works well enough, and I love how it came about. I was planning to create a rough circular shape using the word 'bliss', but it didn't flow smoothly. It kept wanting to coil and loop, so I surrendered to the flow of the line of type, and then it wanted to pinch on both ends, and lo! a snake was born.
It's so cool when that happens. When you have an idea for a piece, and once you start it, it wants to go in another direction. If you force the piece to submit to your will, you'll end up with a really boring, dry piece. Drier than a popcorn fart, as my dear Dad likes to say. The other option is to submit to the creative flow, which means setting your ego aside. I think you have to develop a sense of wonder about your process, and allow the flow of creativity to take over. It takes a certain amount of trust, and surrender, and forgiveness, because mistakes and failures are part of the creative process.
The letters in this piece were cut from an old and yellowed Koran. This feels deeply satisfying as a statement about Islam. Indeed, without its unfortunate political associations, the Koran is a gateway to the Divine. And the fact that it's shaped like a coiled serpent is a reference to Shakti, the feminine energy in the form of kundalini. So in a very subtle way I'm bringing Islam and Tantra together, and watching how they interact. A strong masculine and sensuous feminine...it makes sense that they intersect so well.
Have a bliss-filled day!
Above: Bliss from the Koran, 2011. 9" x 7 3/4". Letters cut from sacred text.