Sunday, March 11, 2012
Wretched Artist Disease
An artist friend recently said something that resonated with me:
"I hate being an artist. Hate it hate it hate it. I just want to make art."
So cool. I wish I'd said that. It would be particularly nice not to be an artist right now. I've got the dreaded pre-show blues, where the work is finished, stuff's all framed, and all I gotta do is label the pieces, bubble them up, and send then off to their respective galleries. I should be elated. Instead I'm and deflated and melancholy.
There's no good reason for this. I couldn't be happier with the body of work. I've put everything I have and am into it: blood, snot, tears, love, joy, wretchedness, vanity, fear, ego, various body fluids; you name it, it's in there. Some pieces are better than others, some could have been worked further, but none of that matters anymore. The ones I like the least are always the ones that sell first. So why am I depressed?
Because I'm an artist. It's what we do. We get morose when we should be elated. We get all fetal when we should be doing a victory lap. I should be out in the world, running around and goin' nuts and telling everyone about my shows, but all I want to do is sleep. I've got three stacks of invitations to hand out, but it's just too depressing to contemplate. There has to be a name for this; maybe Wretched Artist Disease. Yeah, that's it. I got an epic case of the WAD.
The good news is that it'll pass. It always does. When the shows are over? Nah, then it's time for the post-show blues, which also majorly suck. The pre-show blues are just foreplay for the post-show blues. No, there's only one solution that will cure the WAD:
Starting another body of work.
The above piece is a rework of a previous piece, which was just too boring. I added the type underneath, and now I kinda like it. Sorta. The large type is a chapter from the Koran called "Earthquake", and the letters are cut from the Bible. The small type underneath says simply "om namah shivaya" over and over, and the letters are cut from the Koran. I include mantras in my work, because I like the repetition. They become predictable patterns; visual mantras. There's something very pleasing in that. But don't get me wrong ~ I'm still depressed.
The first show opens next Saturday at ACA Gallery in Manhattan. It's called "Different Voices, Unique Visions". The other artist is Beth Ames Swartz, who does really lovely paintings. Opens on St. Patrick's Day, from 2-5:00. Come if you can; I'll be in the hall closet with a bottle of whiskey and a pacifier. There will also be an artist's talk on Thursday, March 22, starting at 6:00.