Nipple in a Can
Here is a sampling of some of the art work I brought back from Michigan. My folks have been storing work for me since I split for NY in 1991. I have not seen this work since that time. This group was done just after I graduated from Graduate School. I was rebelling and exploring Gender identity. They break down into girly pink satin work and masculine icky tar and contact cement work. I was burnt out on painting at that time. Trying to be nasty and punk, to be anything but an intellectual art school product.
One of my dearest friends at the time had just come out as a Cross dresser. The idea of what was female and what was male were topical. Painters were generally guys in art school. It was considered a macho media. We painted big and ruff. Expressionism was in the air. Large scale, bold, loud work was all the rage.
At the same time I was doing these little constructed pieces I was also doing large scale tar ones. I remember one was a pair of one piece long-johns (you know the red kind with the trap door in the back). Using resin I mounted the union suit to a board and drilled screws in it, like hairs sticking out or the fabric. It was huge and heavy and kind of cool. But mostly I did these smaller works.
Quiet, objects, intensely female or intensely male. Art porn, with out the porn. Nipple in a can: You pop open the can expose the nipple, get off and have a smoke...
So here is the thing, I have this group of work. The ones just before it were based on counting to 100 (sounds familiar). They were basically color studies large scale, in oil, some on metal some on canvas. Counting to 100 over and over. Before those I did self portraits in a quirky style, expressionistic with lots of humor and color (I will post them next). Seeing them now, the ones that remain. I can finally see the connections. Like a bunch of holes have been filled in. Themes and compositions that remain a constant, when everything else around me has seemed to change. After all the miles and all the crazy shit I have lived through, there is a constant.
This may have been the long way to get here. To my Thanksgiving post. We traveled many miles. Slept on floors. Frankenstein met his dog cousins and peed in new places. We ate and laughed and drove and ate more. Now that we are home. We have completed a circle and we may not say it out loud. But in the end, some holes have been filled, connections reestablished. We are reminded for better or worst who we are.
Around circles of life...