artistic statement

This is one of those things I’ve debated writing about. On the one hand, it’s really funny. On the other, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But it’s too funny not to share with you, so if the person this is about ever stumbles upon this blog…sorry. I really don’t know what else to say.

I received an email a couple of nights ago from a guy who said he’d run across some of my work and found it “truly creative.” I’m assuming he found my email address on my website. I have no idea where he might have found my work (if he actually did) since theatre kind of exists in the moment. Unelss someone is passing scripts around. He said that he too was a writer (and a painter) and wondered if I’d ever like to get together for coffee.

He told me his name and suggested that I check out some of his work online. So I did. Not because I ever planned to meet this guy for coffee – come on – but more out of curiosity. I found a few of his poems. They were…how shall I put this…they were the kind of poems that guys write to get laid. And his paintings (mostly) were studies of different women plus a few that featured the same man. I’m assuming the paintings of the man are self portraits. So I started getting an image of this guy that may not be at all correct, but it makes me laugh.

I picture him as around my age, maybe a bit older. White. He’s standing in front of an easel painting his latest image of a girl. The girl (she’s in her early-to-mid 20s, the age at which females are most susceptible to this kind of bullshit) is reclining on his bed, half covered by a sheet. As he paints her (from the neck up, though his eyes keep drifting downward to a part of her body he would probably refer to as the “secret place where woman- and girl-hood collide”), he recites snippets of his poetry. The girl is half glad she’s there and half wondering if he might be a little gay. She doesn’t care because he’s painting HER. Just a week ago she was working in a coffee shop, bored, and now a writer, a PUBLISHED poet, is painting her. She hopes she can keep the painting, but only if she looks pretty. If she looks like one of those twisted Picasso faces, he can keep it.

So I’m laughing to myself about this created little man in my head when I stumble upon his artistic statement. This is where my writing ends and his begins (though I wish I could claim the following as my own because it’s just so fucking perfect). You’re welcome.

As an artist, I am an excellent teacher, and the viewer is my student. I teach concepts that cannot be spoken with language; they can only be felt and experienced.

My paintings are literally endowed with consciousness, and will communicate with the student, if they are prepared to listen.

Contained within each painting is a piece of the student, waiting to be discovered.

I am also an unteacher, unraveling the limiting ideas taught by traditional education. I ask only that each student discover their own ideas about identity and selfhood. Each student, therefore, must unlearn what they think they have learned.