Sunday, April 12, 2015
Done with the decay
I had the great fortune to spend 4 days in Toulouse France over the Easter holiday. It's been a while since I have had the time to wander the streets of a new city, absorbing the new surroundings. I decided to share this shot of a friend's home wine cellar.
For the first time in many years, I realized that I had no desire to document buildings in ruins, nor collect souvenirs of the neglect to incorporate into my art work. I found myself standing next to this old fire house (shown below), next to the mortuary of l'Hôpital de la Grave, in the Saint Cyprien quarter of Toulouse. I had a languid impulse to shimmy a brick free to take home. After all, there was no one around to scold me and I had plenty of room in my bag for a true touch of the sun-burnt brick that gave La Ville en Rose it's name... but I thought, 'nah, - leave the decay just where it is, just where it belongs.'
This is a new sentiment.
My works of art have often incorporated relics of buildings in various stages of decay. My aesthetic sensibilities are changing because I am changing. All eloquent explanations aside, my work is always biographical - whether I like it or not, whether I recognize it immediately or not.
More than once have I heard at an exhibition of my paintings that it looked as though it were a collective, not a solo show. Some called my toying with a variety of media as schizophrenic, unfocused.
Now, particularly after dedicating 10 years to one cohesive body of work, and knowing that I must make a shift in order to make honest work, I feel comfortable doing what I need to do in this moment. It's refreshing to accept that sometimes the artist knows best what muse they must follow.