Category: Collage / Assemblage
I just finished this collage called Transplant. I did the original collage in 1999, made some changes to it in 2005, then cropped and mounted it this past week.
Page from a mixed media book illustrating re-sequenced excerpts of various poems by T.S. Eliot.
From “Portrait of a Lady”:
“Ah, my friend, you do not know, you do not know
What life is, you who hold it in your hands”;
“You let it flow from you, you let it flow,
And youth is cruel, and has no remorse
And smiles at situations which it cannot see.”
While every picture might tell a story, sometimes the back of the picture hints at several others. Scrawled, scratched and painted on the back of the painting now titled Comfort Zone are the following notations: MAY 2001… Reworked 6-10-01… Re-Worked Again August 2002… “Typhoon”… 2005 NOV… COMFORT ZONE 2007.
I don’t have photos of all these various states, but I do have pictures of the two most important states.
First is Typhoon:
Typhoon is a self-portrait. The title was taken from a fortune cookie fortune which is part of the painting (the long rectangle in the dark area below my hand). As the painting was reworked, the “Learn Chinese” text became illegible.
A key element of this painting is an image of a house, a recurring motif, and I think a symbol of the search for security. Additional images of note are a person swimming (above the peak of the house), a pair of disembodied wings (bottom right), and the Page of Pentacles (also at bottom right).
The image in the center is a Photoshopped photo of myself, playing my electric guitar circa 1999-2000. For the record I am a terrible guitar player, but I bought the electric guitar shortly after the end of a long relationship, and wailing way on it was somehow very comforting. I doubt my neighbors of the time would concur on this, but I digress.
The center of the painting was alway problematic. In the first iterations of this painting, the center was a void. Then it housed the above image of myself. And finally (?) it houses the image of a friend:
I took this photo back in 1990 as part of a final project for a photography class. The theme of the project was artists in their studios.
The painting is now called Comfort Zone:
It may seem odd to change a self-portrait into a portrait, but it makes a certain sense to me. At the time of the completion of Comfort Zone, she occupied a similar mental space as I did when this painting was first conceived. The painting feels more finished than it ever did before. Will I change it again in the future? I don’t think so, but I’m not willing to bet the farm on it either. Stay tuned.
From the press release: “Conrad Wilde Gallery is pleased to present our season-opening exhibition, Parts of the Whole featuring five artists working in collage and assemblage. The exhibition opens in our Main Gallery with a reception Saturday, October 6th from 6-9 pm in conjunction with the Central Tucson Gallery Association’s gallery walk – The Big Picture… Parts of the Whole is a celebration of the interconnectedness of that which seems fragmentary, unworthy of notice, lost or elusive. Tucson favorites David Adix, Catherine Nash, and Margaret Suchland will be featured along with New York artists Greg Stephens and Jeff Sundheim.”