Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Moon and Sixpence, wheels rolling under my feet and nights spent in Transience.

I am on the way home to see my parents.  I haven't seen them since Thanksgiving, so this will be my annual Christmas/Easter visit.  Working in a restaurant since undergrad has left me with a peculiar sense of holidays.  Mostly I think of them as days that I will be working a double and allowing anyone who may be able to see their family go see their family.  It is so rare that any of the service industry employees are capable of doing so on the holidays.  Since I have never lived very close to my folks since Syracuse, the closest was central New Hampshire which was a mere 7 hours away, I have accepted my existence as the worker bee, but now it is the beginning of April and I am on my way home.  I opted not to drive because I both enjoy the leisure of transit and I do not enjoy traversing the Adirondacks when I am finally completely exhausted and do not trust my driving.  It just seems to make more sense.  It does, however mean that I will be traveling roughly 16 hours on the way out to New York.  The trip back is far less as I will be dropped at one of the closer stops, missing a couple of layovers.  It is great to have the break.  I am pleased.

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.

I do believe that this is one of my longest ever postings, and as such I feel as though I should do you all the service of saving something to say for another day, but as I was thinking about this novel, I realized that I needed to write.  Do any of you other artists work with a feeling of abandonment or alienation from the rest of society?  Is this merely something that I think about?  The past fifty years or so in art has attempted to blur that line between society and artists, but I still wonder if it

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