If you know one of my other halves, DeVo, you’ve probably been delightfully inundated with my macabre sense of humor and repartee. It is no wonder then that I came up with such a hard-to-swallow namesake for this blog entry, but it is such an appropriate moniker.
Last weekend I endured the dubious albeit bittersweet task of selling my art work to friends and then total strangers. The latter came in droves, and I felt much more less comfortable about selling myself to them than I had in the past with people that I have become accustomed to.
I have always thought that selling my work is like handing over your stillborn baby to someone who is sterile. I think to myself, “Perhaps they can breathe life into this priceless, belabored work of art that will never be finished, no matter how hard I try.” Every painting I’ve sold, I miss dearly and regret having given up, but at the same time, I know they are better loved adorning the walls of their appreciators. I wince at myself in hindsight every time I have one of my cliché artistic battles with myself where I threaten to burn all of my paintings in one big heap, mystified by the smoke and flames of work I deem pieces of shit.
None of it is ever a waste of time though. Painting is so very therapeutic. Perhaps this is why most (good) artists are completely insane. That along with their self-medicating affectations, they silence that proverbial beast that roars inside the talented.
There will never be an auspicious tool or weapon with which to kill said beast, but at times, if you woo it, seduce it in the proper manner, and let yourself lose control, you can tame it for a while, look it in the eyes, pet it and feed it for a while, and allow it to get some much needed rest. Much like the plight of love.
I ended up selling approximately 20 paintings (I stopped counting for fear of caring too much). Now I am left here, in the apartment where I thought I was going to finish my novel, wanting to be on stage again, wanting to choreograph some more, and still missing the marriage that I gave up for all of this. Their siblings are staring at me- all that oil, gouache, watercolor, pastel, the sperm and egg of all my little quadrilateral embryo and fetuses. I was planning on selling all of my tools just to prevent myself from painting, to focus on my one true love, the written word, the biggest beast of them all. I didn’t. They are sitting in a box just to my left, personified, their screams so deafening. And I can’t help but to ask myself, “Why fast when others are starving?”. Well, I guess you can’t really control your own artistic metabolism, no matter how hard you try. It’s life that fuels art. Surely, not the other way around.