If this blog is the kitchen, as Ariel Shanberg once told me, a website is the living room, where everything is tidy and you show your “public persona”, but kitchens can look like other parts of the house, like the garage or like the bathroom, not always pretty, frequently real.
My own expectations take me to pushing myself to produce what I am known for: images. A lot of what has been happening in that regard lately, has to do with the fact that, as things get quieter, as substances are not systematically part of your every day life, it all tends to slow down, no dramas, no loud voices, less compulsive behaviors… particularly when sitting in silence, a practice I have kept (and not kept) for the last 10 years.
The second fold of this lack of reporting through my artwork, is the fact that it is difficult to transmit through a visual medium, as photography is, events, ideas or feelings that are not visual. Trying to portray the visible expressions of un-tangible spaces, undoubtedly reduces the result, it is a common denominator.
Furthermore, as a result of this, I have started experimenting with color imagery, finding a voice and color palette, encountering what seems to reflect other moods that seem to be more eloquent than the black and white environment that has ben my home for the last 10 years of work. Aside from some fortunate spaces of clarity, it is mostly work that I have undertaken, I mean WORK, with long stretches of non-clarity that, slowly, very slowly reveal themselves; frequently looking more like… well… not something you would find in a living room.
The second aspect of this search deals with the subtle events that surround my increasingly quiet life, at home. Reluctant to show my intimate life with my wife and cats, or perhaps being too selfish to share them, I have focused on the shadows that project on my walls; fascinating dances of form that, probably, may be better recorded with short movies mesmerizing movement. For the most part, they are portraits of leaves and branches, sometimes complex, sometimes ambiguous, but always fleeting, impermanent. As our lives, as our loved ones lives, as a meal or a familiar face.
As a result, I witness my mind expressing these visions are too simple to be a log on my realizations about life, that there must be more I can offer the world… expectations. Minor White I’m sure could possibly have had that thought from time to time.
When I refer to expectations (from others), I am actually speaking of my own, there is no “out there” is my impression, we create the world in agreement to our own beliefs and paradigms, in such a way that, all of what surrounds us, is a reflection of these; easily said than understood, or further… accepted.
As I act on my need for communication by delving into the world of words, I realize how powerful words are, the choice I am making is more of an opportunity I am taking: writing instead of subtly inviting through the use of images, a discourse I command much better than my non-native English language. Part of this strong need to express emerges from realizing that there are other aspects to life that deserve and command attention, like tending to the body, the vehicle… nutrition, exercise, extending health into my next phase in life; or cooking, or gardening… taking this opportunity we call life and looking at it with awareness, understanding it as the gift and mirror it is. Everything is a reflection of ourselves, and frequently not one that we can see as such or willing to understand. Can all this be considered part of my artwork? Yes, someone inside says, there is no separation, of anything, it is all connected. All One phenomenon, the Cartesian model no longer helps us to decode reality, a new paradigm is in the air.
To pay attention to an overtaxed and neglected liver, and taking action by learning about the body and maintaining it, is one way of taking responsibility for me; stopping the search for something outside of ourselves, instead of within, may be another one, perhaps writing a few stream-of-thought pages instead. Can we do that before our body resorts to sickness? Not long ago, I had the epiphany that every action in our lives expresses love for yourself or lack of it, as you turn every corner of your daily experience, the choice is there: what am I willing to experience, a discussion with my wife? being right? …or letting go and gifting myself with sacred peace.
Your peace is more important than being right, I must have heard that somewhere and now I can not remember who said it.
It is not so much about forgiving others, but about being kind to yourself and realizing you have that choice, every moment. Not for the faint of heart in my opinion, simply because it implies understanding that awareness and self-love are the tools we have to accomplish it.
This year, 2012 has been a year of pondering upon life for many. Going beyond the fear that some have propagated as a result of misinterpreting the Mayan calendar, it feels to me like something is changing, something has changed; business as usual is not any more. There is so much happening, so many structures collapsing and others emerging that we must stop and ponder upon ourselves and our participating role within this framework: how does my art contribute to it or take away from it? Can I keep reporting on what (seemingly) is “out there”, the wars, the poverty, the bizarre quality of much human behavior… or should I stop for a moment, invite a bit of silence and sit with it, and feel. So much of our creation is the product of un-inspected, compulsive (and frequently unaware), survival messages from the unconscious amongst many others. If our thoughts have participated in the manifestation of the world we experience, as many traditions and modern science seem to converge on, I feel it is an act of responsibility to look closely at what makes up these building bricks and, as much as we can (or are willing to), share our findings and our process with others. Perhaps in that way we’ll realize we are not alone, and, that what seemingly separates us is only our silence.
Thank you for reading.