At this point I have split time between sleeping a very little and reading Maugham's, The Moon and Sixpence. It is a remarkable book. The narrator follows a man who has left his mediocre business life in London for life as a painter in Paris. The narrator and the painter do not speak well to each other. The artist is poor, inexpressive, and of wry wit. He lives in tatters and has taken complete leave of his prior life, seems immune to love, and incapable of accepting grace. He is a curious character to read. This is oft the personification of artist that we are left with; moody and destructive in nature. The artist is supposed to be so caught up in his or her own actions that nothing else is important and to be sure, they will be unaware of others.
I wonder, sometimes, if this is some ineffable quality of artists that one must possess in order to achieve any element of success. I am incapable. I am constantly seeking approval whether I want to believe it or not. I constantly am running images in front of Facebook and Twitter users. I still have that childish, "look what I built, Mommy" personality. And yet, I am not particularly fond of being complimented. Perhaps I am more eccentric than I give myself credit. I am certainly not this monstrosity of a human being that is incapable of associating with people only to spend every waking hour with his art. To be sure, I have gone out of my way to create elaborate projects which will include others. Is this way a route to success?
I've been pondering this for quite some time as in the past six months I have been more interested in creating loose communities based on human interaction rather than pursuing new gallery opportunities. I think that it is really affecting my artistic output. I am creating just as much as I always have, but I think the purpose behind it has grown a little more about community while at the same time addressing the concerns that are very personal to me which I never wanted to talk about; how I felt excluded, how I was the Baudelaire described by Sartre to have dwelt in my own lack of acceptance as a badge of honor. Community is not something that have felt a part of. Community is something that I have always felt I have to fight for.
At the same time, I still make illustrations, which are decisively in opposition to those feelings of detachment from my surrounding community. Here is the illustration that I completed for this month's Thursday Night Throwdown.
I have also been tying images together finally for a unique book project with a poet. Here are a couple of the images that I put together while thinking about my perceptions of punk rock as a teenager and now as an adult. My feelings are quite different on the subject now, but it is interesting to explore that sense of abandonment and lack of community that I felt that I was reveling in with my discover of punk rock. In fact music was always my solace as well as my point of discrepancy with the people around me. As such, this project has been terribly interesting for me.