Eleven Years: Searching For Magic

September 17th, 2017 § 0 comments

I don’t know that it’s possible to find faith when you’ve been raised agnostic from birth—a word my mother quickly taught me as a child—and yet I’ve always found spirituality in art. I tell my critic friends that the closest I’ll ever come to God is sitting before a Rothko painting: for me, that is a religious experience. The sense of wonder and majesty, that feeling of being so small without feeling helpless or lost is captured within so many of my earliest artistic memories.

And I’ve always believed in a kind of unknowable fate, in connections you simply can’t explain, the idea of lives running on parallel tracks, crossing once in a moment of pure destiny or incredible chance. I’m drawn to a romantic sense of the inexplicable, to stories about meeting people too soon or too late, even in alternative lives, as though life was a wonderful Choose Your Own Adventure. It’s not difficult to realize that these ideas are a strong undercurrent of meaning and exploration in my artwork.

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Ten Years: A Decade of Love

September 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

It’s strange.

I would die alone; yet it’s the others who would live my death.

– Simone De Beauvoir

On a forgotten notecard tacked to my art board are the hastily written words from sometime early this spring. Jon, this year has been about love. Types of love, types of men. Strangely, it’s already September, and I have taken down the notecard. The weather this year is more manic than usual, summer one day and fall the next, but it’s fitting for a rocky year of struggle, rejection and realization. The loneliness is ever-present, and death feels cruel again for the first time in almost a decade: maybe even grief is cyclical. Tonight, I’m listening to Nick Cave’s new album Skeleton Tree, of which I’m sure you’d approve, drinking a glass or two of rosé, of which I’m sure you wouldn’t, and thinking of you.

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9 Years: The Anatomy of Fear

September 17th, 2015 § 0 comments

Lying in bed, restlessly sleeping beside an unfamiliar form, through the open window and into the quiet darkness of the early AM hours in Queens, gunshots rang out. No shouts or scuffle followed the cracking sound that reverberated like echoes, sending waves anxiety and terror shooting through my body. By the time sirens could be heard they were distant and far away. Fear, that emotion we can’t control any more than love, longing and grief, has defined a certain part of my year since I last wrote. I hated playing what if games as a child, a pointless and speculative exercise, and yet this type of thinking has come to define too many of my decisions.

The weather over the last week has turned predictably cool. It’s fall, and as usual, I miss you. Another breakup, another loss, the lingering sense of loneness and that overwhelming desire to talk to you make it undeniably September. Understanding, I sometimes think, died with you, and if I am feeling particularly childish and romantic, as I rarely am these days, I wonder if you can feel the cool, exciting wind of fall, if you can remember me, if you know how much joy you gave in such a short period of time. It’s been a long while, Jon, since I knew belonging, understanding and innocence. I can remember with sharp detail the aspirations of the childish girl who loved you, and yet a friend of mine said recently, “I have seen changes in you, but somehow they seemed part of the maturing process, under it all you were still there. Now I am reassessing.”

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A Singular Presence

August 8th, 2015 § 0 comments

I never knew until I was much older why we visited my grandfather so much, having no conception of obligation and little understanding of what my grandma dying meant. All I knew was that every weekend like clockwork we’d pile into the backseat of the family truck and drive from our rural valley—already becoming suburban in the early ’80s—toward Los Angeles. Speeding down the 5 freeway, we’d look for the towering smokestack with word BINGO written vertically down the side. The familiar landmark promised us that we were almost there, and closer still we would singsong the words up potato and down tomato as the truck navigated the Frisco-like slopes that led to our grandpa’s street. Resting at the end of a shady cul-de-sac was his mid-century home, with its familiar orange door, stained glass entry and brick-lined walkway. I can still hear the sound of that deep but melodic doorbell ringing.

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8 Years: The Right to be Forgotten

September 17th, 2014 § 0 comments

It’s been eight years since you died and I’m thirty: the Lissy you knew would have found these things unimaginable. Over drinks at a lovely rooftop bar this summer, basking in warm sunlight, I spoke of you to a good friend and ruefully smiled as I looked on bright side. “At least I don’t have to wait for my soul mate,” I said, “he died years ago.” The older I get and the more we grow up, the more I wonder who you really were. We never got a chance to find out, and I wonder constantly who you’d be now, what you’d say about the world, what kind of opinions you’d have and what you’d think of mine.

The Veiling

The Veiling

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