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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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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Love, Loss & Living Fossils

April 11th, 2015 § 0 comments

Is six years long enough to wait? They say it takes half the time of a relationship to get over it, and yet like most things we overestimate our ability to understand and process, and perhaps it is more honest to say it takes as long as the relationship itself. I’ve often thought the luxury of having left instead of being left is that I don’t regret you nearly as much as you must regret me. I am allowed to remember what I like, to pick through my memories without bitterness, and when I do I choose to think of the youthful adolescents we were when we made the most sense. Perhaps our entire relationship was like the final scene of The Graduate. Married, escaping eagerly toward a new life, Benjamin and Elaine look at each other while doubt creeps into their eyes, and a partner in crime begins to look more and more like a stranger.

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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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