Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Journey to a better you - Seven lessons to change your life (through notions of drips in painting)

What are my drips for? I never fail to see that everything I do while painting is a reflection of a real life question. Same with my beloved drips:

1. These are not random drips of diluted paint and turpentine. They aren't meant to suggest an unfinished draft, or something coming out of nothing....lesson learned: nothing you do should remain unfinished, nothing in this life is random.

2. These are deliberate divisions which step in towards the end of the process. They lay on top of four layers of paint, some partially hidden, others - uncovered to their core...lesson learned here: it's ok to be a mystery, and it's equally ok to let yourself be seen, to uncover the frail sides of you.

3. They are meant to create a grid, a helping aid in dividing various elements in one painting into sub-paintings, into mini compositions within a composition...Lesson learned: always focus on mini-issues in order to solve the big problems in your life.

4. They make your eyes focus on different areas one at a time, then leading your eyes to another drip outlined segment, and by their repetitiveness - the drips take you through the whole painting...Lesson here: all your problems are interconnected, solve one - and you might have an unusual solution to another.

5. They are abstract elements that I notice after I complete them because they frame each area into its own abstract painting....Lesson: focus your attention away from the problem and the answer might just come to you.

6. The lighter colored drips expand the light, the darker ones demonstrate the frailty of emotions. They are like musical notes, or hieroglyphs that with their presence lead to something deeper and more profound. You feel an inner voice that trembles when speaking, yet needs to be heard...A life lesson: Listen to your emotions, they lead you to your inner voice.

7. It's a way to reorganize set notions of a landscape, breaking it down, reconstructing its key areas of impact...The last lesson of today: it's your life - you control how you live it.

Isn't it fun to uncover life through painting?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How Kanye West changed my life

About ten years ago around Christmas time two fellows walked into a gallery I managed. Lots of Holiday fundraising teams have been walking around so I assumed they were another pair out on the street who were also curious about art in the window. I initially didn't even rush to get the sculpture out of our display case when asked about it by one of the guys.

I started my usual sales inquiry by asking the fellow who stepped forward: -'Are you involved in the arts?' -"Yes, but on the music side of things. I've always loved Jeff Koons though." Not knowing who was standing in front of me, I proceeded with -"Did you go to school to study art history? or fine art?". He replied with - "I dropped out, but always enjoyed Chicago art museums"...and so the conversation flowed. In the meantime, my sales associates laughed at my ignorance in the back room, knowing full well that I am perhaps making a fool of myself in front of Kanye. But this was a great, genuine exchange, and I even goofed on the spelling of his name when he gave me his direct e-mail address. His manager was a good sport keeping up the fa├žade standing next to him. Our sales relationship lasted for over five years from that point onwards. I think it was all due to the fact that I didn't know that I was to treat him like a star. He was an authentic person, with interesting things to say, and pretty sophisticated art tastes to boot.

I think about my encounter with Kanye a lot now that I am dedicating myself to my own art more and more. It is so easy to get hung up on fame and lose your genuine self. He didn't.

You turn into an obsessive attention seeker and lose that energy that births stunning works. It's inevitable that recognition puts you into a certain role for which you get cast over and over again, with your style becoming boring, repetitive and trite. Your personality suffers. I didn't see any signs of fame shaping his interactions.

You overwork things hoping others will approve. You don't do art because you simply need to satisfy that voice that comes from within. And yet, everyone can still find their voice in relation to other voices. With focusing his attention on his varied interests, he did just that.

I also think of my role as a sales consultant in that particular scenario. It was that honest interest in who he was as a budding art collector that pushed me to be a natural saleswoman.I was someone whose stomach did not churn at the fear of rejection, or of being criticized or ridiculed. I wish I could wear that hat when I make and judge my own art. I wish I wouldn't be so alarmed at the contrasting statements I put out with my melted, scratched, layered world. Thank you, Kanye, for giving me some life long lessons that help keep me on track.