Explore to create the freshest artworkRead More
A heinous plague invaded my house over the holidays and I spent the end of 2017 binge watching shows on Netflix, which might be the only silver lining of catching the flu.
Two movies really impressed me, in fact I had to watch both a couple of times. Amy, the 2015 documentary about Amy Winehouse, is my favorite. I've always been obsessed with her – that raw, uncensored voice, with so much authenticity it can never be duplicated.
My other favorite is the Eva Hesse biography. One of the most prominent artists in the 1960s, Eva started as a painter, but she is most known for her sculptures. Made from unconventional materials, such as rubber, fiberglass, and latex, much of her work is not archival and is deteriorating. Was that intentional? One scene in the biography mentions that she was more driven by the artistic process than the end results, almost making the final piece incidental.
Both artists are inspiring in much different ways, but I was most impressed that both biographies were about strong, driven women who created brilliant, influential work. Check them out...I think you'll agree.
If I followed the advice of my high school art teacher all of my work would be untitled. He believed that titles give the viewer too much information. He also banned the adjective "interesting" when describing art, became infuriated when students sat in assigned seats during class, and had the students take turns teaching the art history class. I don't know, so maybe he was just quirky. In any case, he popped into my head when I started thinking about the power of titles.
I've always preferred neutral titles for the same reason as my teacher – to allow the viewer more freedom to interpret the image. So what happens when the title has more meaning and becomes an integral part of the art? Most of my pieces have layered narratives so choosing a title that is unexpected or even slightly irreverent might encourage the viewer to look deeper and ultimately makes a piece more... dare I say it... interesting.
Originally the artwork shown above was called, No Turns, for obvious reasons. The title had some room for interpretation but, I admit, it was pretty generic. When I changed it to Divergent I saw a broader narrative, without being too literal. Now brainstorming titles has become a much more important part of my work, an enriching experience that I hope touches the viewers too.
What's in a name? Please share your thoughts
I tore a big hole in my favorite jeans today. These aren't just any pants. These are my go-to studio jeans—the ones I dry my brushes on and where I wipe my paint covered hands when I get messy, which is often. This new hole reveals a little too much skin in a place that rarely sees the light of day, so it might be a deal killer and it makes me sad.
Yeah, these jeans are pretty special. They are perfectly stretched in all the right places, with worn areas on the knees from working on the floor and covered in speckles of paint from every art project I've worked on over the past year. But what I love the most are the great reactions I get when I wear them.
Strangers stop me to chat, curious about what kind of art I make. "I bet I can guess what you do for a living," said a man in passing. Or, sometimes, I just get a nod and a smile and that just makes me very, very happy. After all, isn't that what art is about—connection. Constantly reaching for that emotional connection with the viewer is what drives my work, but viewers and collectors don't always get to express that connection with me. With the jeans, I hear it all the time and the reactions are face-to-face, immediate and completely genuine. Yup, I'm going to miss these jeans. Sigh...Do you know anyone who sews?