Wednesday, October 16, 2013

About the House

A number of months ago I started working with falling house imagery.  The idea was that everyone around me was settling into a family.  I was surrounded by families comfortably living in homes.  I thought that this family situation was something I couldn't obtain, so I began to obsess over the falling houses.  The house became a symbol for me of a prosperity that is indicative of the American populace who is paying off homes, cars and health insurance.  These are things that an artist sometimes lives without.  It is, I am well aware, not simply the artists that live without these things.  Surely service employees of all shapes and kinds suffer from the same afflictions as artists do.

My thinking has for obvious reasons shifted a little bit on the whole thing.  While I do think that some of the amenities that Americans accept as normal and necessary are completely attainable for every human being living in this country, it is obvious, especially with the most current government shutdown, that this is not the case for every citizen.  I am also now the main income for what is going to be a family of three.  Insurance is a necessity.  A reliable vehicle is a must in order to get a mother to the hospital to deliver a baby, to take a baby to the doctor and even to make it easier to obtain groceries and the general odds and ends of a small family.  I was raised in an apartment building, but I know that it would be far more beneficial to a child to be raised in a house.  Optimally that house would have a yard.  These are the things that I am now left thinking about.

Today as I was muddling through the doldrums of watching a good friend leave from his visit and trying to settle back into a work schedule, I happened upon a show in Arizona which is focused on the idea of the home.  I had started a large piece last fall featuring the raining houses.  It seemed a natural connection.  Perhaps the old imagery would work with this new line of thought? 

If anything I think that these houses are taking on more of a life for me.  Bottled up within these nuclear families are all of the anxieties that come along with being the main bread winner in a family.  I've toyed with the idea of giving up painting, finding a new shiny job which will pay for everything that my family will ever need, but then, then I start to work on this, and all of my anxieties disappear.  Well, almost all of my anxieties disappear.  I still don't want to wake up my beautiful wife from her afternoon slumber.

I am so completely excited by this piece and I am even more excited that I worked through the anxiety that I was feeling at the beginning of the afternoon.  I am not much of one for believing in art therapy, but I do believe in the cathartic benefits of repetition.  I believe that making marks for me is my greatest skill.  I take comfort in doing the things that I feel good at.  I hope that I can feel as comfortable making decisions with and for my family.


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