This is a high drama post, in case you couldn’t tell.
A couple friends on Instagram have started sharing photos of art in their home using the #artdomestic tag, which was totally their idea and very sweet of them. (How did I not even think of that?) Here are a few shots:
So, if you use Instagram and you’re interested in sharing the art in your home, please use the #artdomestic tag so I can find it! And say a little something (or a lot something) about it. Curious minds.
I missed the last two months because it was my birthday and I didn’t plan properly, then in I went to a friend’s wedding in May and, again, didn’t plan properly. My apologies. I’ll try to be more consistent.
While I was in Portland visiting said friend, I had the mildly upsetting experience of becoming reacquainted with really old, awful paintings of mine, like when you are happily shoveling fresh blueberries into your mouth and suddenly one of them is so sour it momentarily puts you off eating anymore because your mouth is so offended.
Robert and I have the artwork of many friends in our home. A couple of them have expressed the desire for us to put away their old paintings and drawings. (Okay, so, mostly just Geoff.) When I came back from Portland, I emailed my friend to tell her I’d happily give her a new painting if she gets rid of the old paintings. Burn them, re-use the canvases, I don’t care. After I sent the email, it occurred to me that I never thought I’d be making such a request and, to date, I have personally only honored that request once when it was made to me.
Here is a friend that clearly values these paintings — they were hanging in her house without her previous knowledge that I would be staying with her — and they are examples of a short period of my life before college where I was desperately trying to develop some artistic skill and direction within the examples of Frida Kahlo, Egon Schiele, mythological storytelling, and Tori Amos. I find them to be embarrassing on their own, and caught myself telling other guests at the house that I didn’t “make work like that anymore”, even though they clearly didn’t care much either way.
So then would it be “okay” if they were juxtaposed with new work? If the fear of misrepresentation is gone, can the embarrassment simply be the harmless embarrassment most people feel about decisions made in their youth? Can it not just be appreciated as a fragment in time that is both lost and ever present? Can I be thankful to my friend for caring enough to keep these paintings through multiple moves spanning ten years or so? Or would pairing them together only heighten the uncomfortable transparency of not only the old work but also the new?
I don’t know. But it all kind of makes me feel like an ass for complaining. After all, it has not ever been my task to tell people what to think or feel about my work, and the life of the art beyond the artist, gallery, or museum is the whole damn point of this series. It’s unreasonable to say to someone, “This object you have in your home, I made it and I don’t like it anymore. Get rid of it.”
Thank you, Marissa.