“Three Times Art Made Me Jump The Tracks”

I am in the studio today. First day back after three days art handling. It’s as beautiful day outside. I don’t feel like I’m missing out though, because if I don’t get quality time painting, everything else I do will feel like it’s hurting me or unenjoyable. It’s hard to explain that to my friends and family. I know one person who (probably) feels this way, friend and video artist/author Erica Schreiner. Sometimes we take walks together as breaks from studio days, and it goes unspoken that neither of us want to stay longer than an hour or two, because we have to get back to it.

Video still from Erica Schreiner’s BYE DAD (short film, 2021)

And so this post will be short because as I said, I am painting today. And listening to music and podcasts and the conversations of people walking by. A USPS delivery man dropped off a package, I felt annoyed at being interrupted, and he had the kindest eyes that pierced my heart. I said “thank you so much!” because it was a pink package from my Mom. I hope he understood that I love him as a human in that we are all connected. Do we feel that way when we have a strange interaction with a person who is the 1%? Or a person who is our superior?

THREE TIMES ART MADE ME JUMP THE TRACKS is a request by Jerry Saltz (art critic) on the podcast ART TALK I am listening to now. I have met him twice in my New York City artist lifetime, once at a group show when I was 20 when he smiled and said “Keep working”. Once on facebook when he said he is keeping me as a friend but deleting a lot of others. And once at a tour he was giving at The Frick that my friend and artist Julia Michal took me to. He is so excited about art, and he is 69 now.

#1 Matisse cutouts at the MoMA. A retrospective of towering collages. The last and final phase of his life and art. Bound to a wheel chair, he said the sensation of cutting the paper “felt like flying” and he created a panoramic of a swimming pool because he wished he could be swimming. It still makes me misty eyed to think about. David Bowie called Mick Ronson the week before he died to discuss plans for his next record.

Matisse, Swimming Pool, 1952, paper and gouache

#2 Sarah Slappey at Sargeant’s Daughters gallery was the last art I saw before the lockdown in March 2020. I was working for a production company that builds walls and art spaces for art fairs. It’s 12 hour days and I was wrecked, but I saw the gallery when I was walking home and stopped in. I don’t know if it was my exhausted mental and physical state, but the bulbous, unimaginably 3D, gradients and figures, their play on foreground and background, sensuality and grotesque, all pierced my heart. Maybe like the USPS delivery man’s eyes. Slappey is from Columbia, South Carolina which I feel a connection to because it’s in the middle of nowhere in the Carolina’s. I am not naive, I know she is just a person.

#3 Marilyn Minter’s new paintings that I do condition reports for at work mesmerize me over and over. They are so huge and heavy, but they have to be because of the materials she uses. It’s not show-boaty. I’ll write more about her later. <3

paintings by Marilyn Minter, 2019

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