Saturday, June 07, 2008

Art inspiration

It's unfortunate that I am still trying to figure out what I want "to be" when I grow up.
I know I have to focus on examine those things that make the breath catch in my throat.
The problem is that a lot of things do that.
I tend to get confused, to walk in circles, to be afraid.

I think, in retrospect, art was probably the path I should have walked.
I suppose I still can.
I know that the epitome of what I am lies in trinkets and photographs.
I love the idea of making art by stitching together three-dimensional items, and by telling a story in images.

That's why the work of Lisa Kokin speaks to me so clearly.

"1963" table-shaped sculpture of sewn found photograph, 6-1/4 x 5-1/4 x 5-1/4, 2000

She says, "I am intrigued with other people’s photographic recording of their lives both for the generic quality they possess -- the family and social rituals, studio portraits, vacation shots -- and for the feeling of sadness and nostalgia that acquiring other people’s memories provokes in me. I feel somehow that it should be illegal to own them, yet since they are for sale it might as well be me who buys them.
Sometimes there are inscriptions on the back (“Susie, 7 years old”) but more often they come to me stripped of all identity. I sit in my studio and speculate about the nature of the photographed people’s lives. I will, of course, never know the truth, so I feel it is my job to give them new lives and rescue them from the obscurity they would be headed for were it not for me, humble servant of the arts. I try to invent an altogether different identity for them but of course, in the final analysis these works are more about me than any of the hundreds of anonymous individuals who appear in my work.

"Vestige" sewn found photographs, batting, paper, 51 x 16, 2001

"Baby" reminds me of memory jars
Mixed media sculpture, 18 x 12 x 7, 1995

Thank you, yet again, to Art for Housewives, for continually introducing me to art and ideas that make me stop and say, "wow".



Blogger kt said...

Barb, you ARE an artist.

You make wonderful creations with all sorts of things, including your artfully chosen words.

10:00 PM  

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