Art Domestic: Preserving & Disintegrating

livingroom1Another section of our living room for this month’s Art Domestic post.

livingroom2livingroompratt1We received these paintings from Geoff Pratt years ago, though my husband had the “mask” much longer than that. When I met R, it hung above his bathroom door. He had pieces of Geoff’s work in various places throughout his apartment “because otherwise Geoff will destroy them”. Geoff complained about them whenever he came over, claiming he’d replace old pieces with new ones if we’d just get rid of them.

When he moved to Portland, he offered to let us pick through a stack of framed paintings, which we did very appreciatively and enthusiastically.

livingroompratt2On the adjacent wall, more of Geoff’s paintings with one of his brother Ira’s small sculptures and a card from a friend’s trip to Thailand stand amongst the paintings. Unfortunately, the sculpture is disintegrating despite our very careful effort to prevent any damage. Ira gave it to us shortly after his BFA show, before he moved to Portland.

When I first noticed that the sculpture was coming apart, I was tempted to coat it in something and put it in a box, like an enclosed diorama, but the attempt at preservation would change the work drastically. I decided to let it continue to be what it is. I’m planning to keep it until it completely falls apart.

loud and long and clear

There were things I drew while preparing for Between Two Thoughts (the exhibition) that didn’t make it into the show because they didn’t quite fit.

I don’t believe in “facing your fears”, as people so often say. In my experience, both personally and as an observer, it’s not really about the fear itself. To try facing the fear is not only empty but it’s also impossible. Do not put a Band-Aid on my broken wrist.

Let’s cut it open. Let’s see the bones before they vanish.

Or not.

illuminate this

Yesterday I spent a few hours in the ETSU library with Robert. He did his chemistry homework and I looked at art book – illuminated manuscripts, Hodler, Velazquez, El Greco, Zurbaran, de Lempicka, and Jenny Saville. While scanning pages from an old sketchbook the day before yesterday, I was reminded of how northern Renaissance painters influenced my work. I was interested in the structure – multi-paneled sections of narrative – but also in the visual tools used to explain intangible¬†occurrences. Although most people would probably cite contemporary references for Between Two Thoughts, I’m convinced that on some subconscious level the appeal of earlier ideas were still present.

So this brought me to illuminated manuscripts, which remind me of so many other things. (Click on images to view larger.)

Plus, there’s Mary Magdalene and SATAN in the manuscripts. (I feel the need to say SATAN in all caps because of how I actually say the word. When referring to the Devil seriously, I use his other names. SATAN is only for jest. That’s the kind of relationship we have.)

Oh, and of course, there were horses and dogs everywhere.

My camera battery died before I could record more images, but I plan to track down certain paintings online. Or return to them in the library some other time. I sketched out as much as I could. Mostly monsters and figurative compositions.