But, seriously, I exited last Spring Semester running full bore, nay, full on double bore all the way, with a body of work that was conceptually evolving faster than I could produce. Connections were being made between motifs/characters in my narrative style paintings to my journey in rediscovering my identity in this post-divorce/post-family-estrangement situation. For the first time in my life I was completely on the outside of the world that formed me and could see associations with the styles and icons I intuitively chose for my artwork.
As far as the donkeys and mules go, they are a reference to illegitimacy, burdens. The oppression of the yolk speaks of a lack of freedom and choice in working life and being subjected to a master. Having these animals in an imposing, almost dizzying, and slightly obnoxious grid field weaving in and out and on top of the portrait creates a visual environment that honestly speaks of being born into manipulation. I'm not quite sure what my colleagues think of this approach. It seems that they are more inclined to praise only the things that are pleasurable to the eye. I suppose my definition of art is much more liberal in that it includes the possibility of the eye being offended and that most likely the artist has conceptual purposes for making the offense.
I couldn't imagine being emotionally healthy in a world where the only appropriate artistic expressions are non-offensive pretty pictures. Its similar to being force-feed drugs to calm you or only being able to talk in one tone of voice. Its crazy. Robot style. Art is exhilarating because it speaks in visual languages that are beyond number, and each one is unique with its own tone and voice. Im hoping to see more out of my colleagues as far as artistic bravery and self-honesty rather than trend chasing and professor pleasing.
An example of an almost obnoxious pattern field. Im finding that wallpaper has been great inspiration.
Im also curious about super busy visual fields that aren't necessarily gridded. Layering these tiny flowers an insane amount might get the viewer close to being uncomfortable, which is where I want them. Very seductive and slightly uncomfortable visual environments are the aim.
This ceiling is in a room that I saw in Cardiff Castle. It completely enveloped people in a dizzying visual experience that was disorienting and imposing. It was wicked fun.