It’s never not strange to put up art somewhere out of my house——where it’s usually made. There’s a rawness to the process. Exposed nerve endings. Like the stuff hasn’t grown calluses or a thick enough skin to withstand the outside world yet.
I always think a hang will take an hour and sometimes that’s all it takes. This show took six. I was totally spent afterwards. It’s unclear what was so draining. It’s not exactly the salt mines to work pushpins into a wall. Perhaps the weight of the past two years caught up to me. While these collages aren’t about this plague, they’re undeniably borne of it.
I was all wrong. Thought no one would come see this show but they have. Saturday, Mark and Susan came. Then Noah, then Frank. All people I know over thirty years, going back to art school. I’m lucky to have these friends I go so far back with.
Sunday I had plans to make an audio tour of the show and write up this newsletter for Monday. Instead, there were visitors nonstop. Some I knew; others were friends of Laura’s. Supporters of Compound Yellow. They all wanted to talk. They also wanted to spend money. I didn’t expect to sell anything from this show but now I have. Enough for at least a month’s bills. This is one instance when having low expectations paid off in spades.
There are artists who thrive on fellowship and talking shop; I’m not one of those. Many of Sunday’s visitors were artists themselves and wanted to hash it all out. I’m rarely up for it. Over the years I’ve gotten better about being polite when asked questions I don’t want to answer or broaching topics I have no interest in. But I can’t fake enthusiasm in this part of my life. It’s too close to what really matters. Makes interactions with other creative types awkward sometimes. Hoping I did okay and no one was offended.
So much of this business is an internal battle. The pictures are hopefully the positive outcome of a fraught process. They need to live their own lives. Revisiting the moments of their creation is a thing I rarely want to do. Especially with strangers.
Am I being touchy or ungrateful? People show up and want to know what the things I made are about and I won’t tell them. I share fragments. Bits and pieces. I don’t want to guide their thinking. Have no clue what anyone who isn’t me could or should take from what I’ve made.
I wonder who will show up next weekend and what they’ll ask? Could be you.
[I made a page of process art for a book cover design on my site.]