Friday I hang an art show that no one may see. The latest viral spike has forced us to cancel a planned concert and opening, but we decided to put up the art anyway. I’ve never made anything with an audience in mind and I’m used to getting no reaction or feedback, so making an art show for no one isn’t as strange as it should be.
I’ve been making collages for going on two years now. There’s a chance I would have gotten to this path without lockdowns or plague time, but it likely would’ve taken longer. The fact I couldn’t draw people on the bus or at the bar hastened the need to change things up. Now I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to just painting what I see.
I’ve had to take old drawings and paintings out recently to show to potential buyers and they feel almost foreign. Like they were done by a distant relation I used to be close to but have since drifted apart from. I can’t entirely disavow these pictures if for no other reason than that they can make me some money, but I have a hard time imagining wanting to return to the mindspace necessary to make them.
This may just be a function of being deep into something else at the moment. Throughout my decades of painting and drawing, I return to themes again and again. This collage thing may just be another method added to my bag of tricks or it may swallow all that came before it.
The value of putting up a show——whether anyone else sees it or not——is to get the pieces out of the house. To see them in a different context. Art looked at in the room it was made is often skewed or maybe completed by what surrounds it. Taken to a different room, it has to live or die on its own. I make each one with the hope it will speak to someone other than myself. They’re not meant to be monologues or one-sided conversations.
Compound Yellow is an art space in Oak Park. They hold concerts out in the yard and have a two-story out-building for exhibits and events. I’m putting up my collages on the first floor. It’s an oblong space with no windows, so all there will be to look at in there is the art on the walls. I wonder what it will be like to be in there with twenty or thirty of them. I may need to leave and walk around the block sometimes.
Starting Saturday, January 15th and ending Sunday, January 23rd, I’ll be available to meet anyone who wants to see the show whenever they like. I plan to be there both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, in any case. Just email me or Compound Yellow to set a time.
It would be a shame if no one saw this but me.
[I reviewed Licorice Pizza.]
[RIP Peter Bogdanovich. Watch They All Laughed in his memory.]