Saturday, November 04, 2006

My paintings know more about my life than I do.....

Since I recently dug up Nick Cave's (not to be confused with the Art Institute of Chicago's Nick Cave, who I googled yesterday after reading his review in the NYT) "The Secret Life of the Love Song" lecture on CD, I am listening to it again today as I work, along with "The Word Made Flesh" lecture. In "The Secret Life...", he talks about how the love songs he writes "know more about his life than he does". I have always found this phenomenon to be one of the most fascinating aspects of making art. My paintings are always "about" one or more things when I conceive of them, and the meaning changes as the work develops. When the work is finished, you think you have a pretty good grasp of its meaning, then, 5 years later, you laugh when you see all the intersections of art and life. Sacred Ovaries , for example, was painted one year before I had a cyst removed from my ovary, and began contemplating about trying to have a child on my own.

This painting is no different. The details in this painting were carefully chosen to convey subtle nuances of class issues, and the psychological ramifications of celebrity worship. But, as I paint Angelina Jolie in the clouds (Ms. Jolie takes flying lessons... I took flying lessons, but could not afford to continue...), her children (should we adopt, do IVF or just accept nature/the universe?), the bad clothes in Wal M*rt (nowhere to wear my cool/vintage clothes since I moved here), the bulges, (we have both gained 10 lbs since we moved here), my life is staring back at me.


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