Sunday, December 30, 2007

We Did Meet Once

After speaking on the phone with my sister it occurred to me, my faux biography not withstanding, I do actually have a strong confessional streak. This is the streak that gets film stars into deep water. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that some of our best actors successfully maintain a form of privacy in their private lives. I like to think the paparazzi respect them enough to leave them alone. I feel little sympathy for those who do get dragged across the coals by the press. I suspect they have brought the problems on themselves and with a bit more intelligence and imagination could’ve kept the wolves at bay. Pure naivety I know. What do I know?
I was prompted to write this missive by something I did today. I chucked out a lot of old addresses, addresses scribbled on scraps of paper, index cards, torn from mailed envelopes and so on, addresses gathered over a score of years many of which have long since become redundant. I could never quite part with them as if they were charms of a sort that I might eventually put to use. Some were those of people I met briefly, shared a meal with, friends of friends I enjoyed enough to exchange names with but who I never saw again because we were all too busy to cook a meal and invite people over. Others were the names of art directors for magazines who might, if I’d been together enough to make them aware of my existence, have hired me to do an illustration. Their names sitting in a cardboard box in a corner of my studio reminded me of the communications I hadn’t formed. Getting rid of them is a relief. May those I briefly befriended forgive me. Better to be a memory than a scrap of neglected paper. Anyway that is the confessional part. It is a weight off. I briefly considered creating a piece out of all those addresses and calling it “We Did Meet Once”, or creating a really spectacular screen printed limited edition postcard and sending it to all the addresses I had even if I wasn’t sure the person or persons were still at the given address or job. I think it might’ve felt cathartic. As it is I feel a little bit sad.
I’ll go paint.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blue Letter

picture writing
When it works it works. There is always mystery and surprise. When I draw (be it with a brush or a pencil) I am trying to subvert habits. The habits that persist despite such attempts are doubly compelling. Why does the big weeping man keep coming back? Why are bowls of wild houseplants returning again and again? The answer is not simply that these forms are meaningful (I am not sure the houseplants mean anything!) but they do serve as pauses between flesh and blood, nature versus lumpen form, dead wood versus teddy bear, comma before the big thought, period after the little whisper, silence after too much noise...

Grey Letter

russell christian
Typed drawings coming soon. That said...I must embark on some educated essays in which I attempt to explain the nature of my work/play or write somewhat automatically. I enjoy diving into the stream of conscious but do not expect this to be of much interest to others. How much fun to see others swimming in a freshwater lake when you yourself cannot get there because you're sitting on a fast moving train?
The Grey Letter was created at the same time as the Blue Letter. Working on a few forms all at once lightens the burden of having to wring meaning out of them. Meaning is such a loaded word. Why bother drawing if it means nothing? Equally why impose meaning on an image? I enjoy the tension between saying something intelligent (I am not opposed to this!) and simply bringing into existence. The process is an endless one of creation and destruction-nothing pious about it-all very workaday.

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Doing Lines

Asemic writing