I look at pictures I made even a couple years ago and wonder who made them. This doesn’t happen all the time——some stay all too familiar——but oftentimes these days I catch myself doing a double-take. It’s an odd feeling. I know factually that I’m the author, but it looks like the work of a stranger.
This also happens with some of the recent commission pieces. I have to access dormant processes in order make them. It’s like borrowing someone else’s brushes. I complete one of these and the buyer seems to like it, but I wonder where it even came from.
Journalism too. It’s me forming sentences and paragraphs, describing, opining, etc. but it’s just not the same as what I write not to order. After Old Style was done, I had a notion to put together a collection of journalism. Then I read back through it and changed my mind. It’s not that it’s bad; only that there’s a sell-by date to most of it. There’s no need to kill trees or even revisit most of it.
This all occurred to me the other day when I brought some large framed drawings home from a restaurant that was supposed to put them up but didn’t. Hauling them inside from the Zipcar, I stopped a second and took a look and wondered whose they were. I could probably make a convincing copy, but I doubt I would ever organically choose to do one of these again.
It’s difficult to track how the work changes over time. Usually it’s an inperceptible evolution. Like aging. You think you’re always the same, then you wake up one day and realize you’re old. In the case of my painting though, a radical break came during lockdown, when I no longer had access to bars, coffeeshops, or CTA buses and trains. A huge source was suddenly unavailable. So I pivoted into collage. I don’t know that there’s a way to retrace my steps. I don’t know that I want to anyways.
Aside from the drawings I brought back from the restaurant, there are many many other pieces here that I need to find homes for. Because the longer they stay, the higher the chances they’ll be fodder for the collage meat-grinder.
If you’re in the market for a cityscape, roomscape, or portrait, drop me a line. Unreasonable offers encouraged. They do no one any good being here. Besides, pretty soon I won’t even remember who made them and will take them out to the alley.