As the only woman in a house of three to five males (depending on when my stepsons are visiting), I am often subjected to hours of movies I would never choose myself. One such movie I have unfortunately had to see numerous times is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. All I can see in this film is the poor green screen effects, bad lighting, and cheap props- especially that crystal skull which looks like a piece of plastic stuffed with aluminum foil. I’m sure the storyline is sublime. But, my favorite line in the movie is by Cate Blanchett who plays the Russian Irina Spalko who “vants to know” everything the Crystal Skull has to tell her. I like to walk around the house sometimes and tell people “I vont to know!”
So… I VONT TO KNOW!
I created a survey here (it’s only 21 questions) to find out a little bit more about you and how I can SERVE you ! (hint: I’m going to start offering e-courses!)
Here is the link-a-roonie! Or, you can just fill it out in the little window below.
As a gift for completing it- I will give you a code for 40%, yes 40% off of ANYTHING in my Fine Art America shop!
And thank you, my friends. Thank you.
The exhibit, “Sweet”, by Elisa Contemporary Art, who represents me in nyc, is on in Bridgehampton this July- Aug. 4. Go out and see it if you are there! Here’s the article in Art Daily.
I cried. The art teacher at Kingswood Elementary in Brandon found and read the tbt article about me to all of her students, they emulated my work, and then wrote me the nicest letter. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, for sure!!
noun \ˈfe-tish also ˈfē-\
: a strong and unusual need or desire for something
: a need or desire for an object, body part, or activity for sexual excitement
: an object that is believed to have magical powers
I was talking to my friend and she mentioned that many of my mandalas and ideas for future works are somehow based in fetishes. Yes, it’s true. I agree. Part of the process for me as an artist involves a lot of thinking and considering the WHY behind the work. Sometimes it can get in the way of the actual making– often the work has a mind of it’s own and you can only see it’s meaning after it’s complete.
In regards to fetish (which is often erroneously used in only a sexual sense), the definition sheds some light on the work for me. A “strong and unusual need or desire for something”- yes. This is part of the paradox for me in using man-made objects in my work. For me, the mandalas are about bringing a spiritual aspect to consumerism, acquisition, and the constant state of wanting–more, more, more. I’ve been fascinated with “stuff” for years. How we covet it, how much we want, why we want it, and how much we produce! I have a love/hate relationship with things- many times in my life I’ve moved (I think around 25 times) and have either had to pack everything up, or sell it, or some combo. Once I actually reduced all of my belongings to 6 boxes. How freeing! But then, I accumulate again! At the same time, I love design and beautiful objects and see their wonderful purposefulness in our lives. Fetish, though, may be a bit different, I suppose. It’s a strong and unusual need or desire for something. How strong, I guess, is the question. I still think it relates somehow.
The other part of this definition I relate to my work is “an object that is believed to have magical powers”. As a little girl, I had a collection of rag dolls that were completely REAL. I’m sure many girls did this, but I kept up this belief for a bit longer than many of my friends. I called them my “kids”. They each had specific personalities and I took my little rag doll family very seriously. In fact, I still have Selina and Joy up in Nolan’s closet, despite their torn limbs and tattered faces. They still have magical powers up there, I know it! When I took my first photography class in college, I photographed a lot of objects and my professor made the comment that I portrayed these objects as if they had life. I still give meaning to some special things around my house- I mean, everything has an energy of some sort. Everything is connected an everything matters, to some extent. Doesn’t it?
Why am I blogging about this stuff? Because, why not? It’s part of the process. And I want to share it.
Tell me about your relationship to material objects. Do you covet or abhor? Or both? Does anything you own have magical powers?
“BE who you already are…DO what you want and HAVE anything your heart desires.”
From Denise Duffield- Thomas, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch
Words I’ve been thinking about in conjunction with my mandala series and the process:
Surprise and Spontaneity
When I have an idea, I have to run with it. And that’s exactly what I did!
After I started making the mandalas out of candy, I thought- I want to do this with EVERYTHING!! Yes!!!!!
And then I thought I should probably narrow that down. A bit. Ideas kept coming and I really wasn’t sure where to go.
Inspiration came from a comment my photographer, Robert Sargent , made when photographing one of my mandalas- “You’re really bringing out my addictions here.”
Hmmm…. a series of mandalas on addictions/addictive behaviors! Lots of possibilities! Bring the light to the dark! Merge them… play with the sacred and the profane.
And of course, I had to start with the one I thought would be most fun- SEX!! And what better way to depict this than through TOYS!
A wonderful local store and staff allowed me to come in and open so many packages and create this mandala out of all of these — things.
So, here’s the first in a series. Not sure exactly where it will lead, but it’s starting!
What do you think??
Just as I wrote the title of this post it reminded me that I still really want to see Behind The Candelabra, the HBO movie with Michael Douglas playing Liberace. As Liberace says, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”
Back to the Candalas. Many people have told me that when they saw these they thought I was just playing around. And I was. I mean, that’s how it started.
I was working on a piece for a client that involved painting on boxes of candy with no need for the contents. When I removed all of the candy and saw all of that wonderfully colorful sugary stuff in the container, I didn’t want to eat it. I wanted to make some art with it! And immediately I turned back to my old friend the Mandala.
According to Wikipedia, Mandalas are: Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल Maṇḍala, ‘circle’) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. (There is much more to know, but for the sake of brevity, that’s a start.)
Years ago I had heard about Mandalas- the kind that are made in sand by Tibetan Buddhist Monks that take days to create and then are blown away to the show the impermanence of life. Ever since then I have been fascinated with Mandalas and the concept of impermanence and have used them in my process or my work.
So, it seemed only natural to use the candy to create a mandala! The candy is like the sand and I arrange it onto a piece of paper. My photographer friend comes over to shoot them and then poof, they are gone! Only the photograph remains.
I really see these as sacred as well as silly and fun. The candy- it’s on one hand so innocuous and child-like and yummy, and on the other hand it’s just junk food full of artificial colors and wax and who knows what. I like that dichotomy. The mandala is like a prayer, a meditation, a divine design, a portal to the wisdom of the universe. The two coming together create a third thing- something totally different, making the profane sacred, the delicious divine, the enticing now exquisite.
Let me know what you think of these mandalas. I’d love to know! Oh yes, and they are all available for purchase in my SHOP!