The two pieces in this blog entry are the last two I did before my TBI in December of 2007. Like I mentioned in previous entries I despised these pieces until I uncovered their prophetic meaning. While I made them I was very aware that I was working subconsciously; digging deep much like an archeological excavation of my psyche. That kind of honest searching doesn't come easy.
The first one entitled 'The Chaos of Nothing' still hurts when I look at it. On the left side there is a young woman looking deep into (the viewer's) eyes. She has a scarf on her head that looks like the colors of a globe. Below her is the word 'Nothing' and below that there is a compass that when you look inside the word 'Chaos' stares back at you.
The second layer is a cityscape in black and white with a big white arrow and the words 'direction, forward, move'. A singular green tree is scrawled into the otherwise colorless cityscape using oil pastels. Underneath is a big red question mark. Next to the question mark there is a 'sign here' sticker, (the kind a realtor puts on a contract). The vintage postcard in the upper right corner with buildings penciled onto it also has written in Mrs. H. M. D.'s beautiful cursive 'We plan now to come straight to you...' It is postmarked 'Texarkana', Mar 1938.
I framed the last six art pieces leading up to my TBI using oak doors because each one metaphorically was an opening to the next phase in my life. Though this piece is somewhat sane in it's design it speaks to my frustration in searching for an artist community. (I really wanted to 'sign there' but my tormenting self-doubt stopped me.') "Why" I was demanding to know, "isn't there a Milepost 5 in Eugene?". "How am I supposed to do art when I don't have a community to support me?"
I was deeply tormented during this time. The next piece is the last one I did before I 'went down' for 5 days into a state of heightened electrical brain activity. (I will never forget the hallucinations I had as I lay there on the floor waiting for someone to discover me before I died.) In all probability the piece was never completed, although now it would be an 'artistic sin' to alter it. This piece in particular has a disturbing and chaotic feel to it although the word is not used.
I have since named it 'Instant Asshole' because those are the words most apparent in the piece. Though it's difficult to see there is a map of the bay area on the left side of the piece just below the Pop Pop firecracker wrapper (used on a Rickie Lee Jones album cover of the same name). A creepy doll face is split in half with the definition of insanity typed into the space in between. There is a Mexican 2000 peso bill with 'run to where this time?' written on it in the lower right corner.
In the upper right hand corner there is a head shaped balloon that has a square mouth and a small eye releasing a tear drawn onto it. After my TBI I realized this piece (even more so than the others) was trying to tell me that soon my head would expand out like a balloon and cause massive damage to my brain.
'The universe' in her loudest voice answered my months of questioning and self doubt by returning me to the state of an infant. (I didn't even know how to swallow when I regained consciousness, much less walk, talk or tell the time).
All of these pieces will be up in my show at 'The Voyeur' on Blair (next to Olive juice) opening the last Friday in August. I will be posting more art from my photography days and the work I have been doing in the past 3 years while recovering. Thanks for reading and as always your comments and questions are most welcome. yona c. riel
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