Side by Side
I go back and forth on whether I use it constructively or just as a distraction, but I’m always going through lists and folders of images, quotes, and songs I’ve saved over the years. Some as far back as when I was 12 or 13 (I’m 26 now). Since I have SO many files that I love and don’t know why, I really enjoy seeing them over and over again, and the best way for me to do that is 1) print them out and put them in a kinda studio journal or 2) print them out and rearrange them on my studio walls. I have to have them printed and in a physical space so that I can constantly reference them easily without having to search for files names or scroll down for ages in big folders. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind for me. Just like the cauliflower I keep buying and keep putting in my refrigerator doors and always, always, always, forgetting to eat it.
Another reason why I need them physically laid out somewhere is because I’m not sure what I’m looking for with them. Are they direct inspirations for sculptures? How? Texture ideas, possible color combinations, an affect I want to mimic or fight against? I’m never sure. Why do I like them and obsess over them? No idea. But, having a lot of them side by side presents a clearer understanding of them than any of the inspirations would alone. I actually feel that way about all art: you need context to understand, and context comes from seeing multiple sculptures by an artist instead of just one sculpture alone, listening to several songs from a band instead of just a single, watching a few movies by a director instead of just basing everything off one film, etc. And just like when I see all of my art together, primped and polished in an exhibition, together they expose a lot to me. My personal concerns while making them become loudly, proudly, embarrassingly apparent. Witnessing the evolution of my tactile, formal and personal, psychic obsessions is exhilarating and, honestly, pretty shattering too. So much that I can’t articulate in words secretes into these painted rocks that I put on display in a gallery. At the same time, I’m pretty articulate with words and have a good command of understanding wherever I’m at in my life. But then I see 11 or 12 sculptures that I’ve made over the last year and feel my brain crash into my gut and the back of my head get blown off – there was still SO much going on that I didn’t know about. Know about, at least, in the way of words.
Keeping this inspirations around reminds me of what appear to be my consistent concerns and ideas, but also how they can keep their freshness when I reorganize them around each other every so often, or not looking at some of them for years at a time.