Thursday, January 2, 2014

sex and politics in art

Yesterday, on the first day of 2014, I spent most of the day doing some reading and writing related to scholarly endeavors. At around 6:00, I headed downstairs to my art work area and decided to do some exploring and some collage sketching. I had actually thought on my way down that it is a weird thing to think about what new artworks will be created in the upcoming year. I have no idea what images and compositions I will create. It's exciting! I spent some time like I usually do just sort of looking around and organizing things. I took down a small frame that I had had hanging in the rafters for quite some time. I had a frame that was the appropriate size for that frame, so I decided to work with these to open up the year of creativity. I did some rough sketches that weren't compelling and then came across a couple of images of sculptures that I recently taken from a magazine. After some more exploration, I happened across the juxtaposition of the sculptural and anatomical images you see below. It is a two element collage. I have only done one other two element collage (also shown below) and wrote about minimalist collage in a previous post (btw, that piece sold). I could "spice up" the composition with additional elements (color contrast perhaps), but I like the piece "as is". The fact the title of this piece is an essential component of the work perhaps mean that it could be considered a three-element collage (?). The title is "The Muscles: Brian and Gerry" (3.5" x 5.5"). You can also see below a sketch of the piece with the sculptural element turned over (the colorful backside). SOoo… this composition has obvious gay allusions. BUT, I certainly had no premeditation about making a "gay collage". I really like the piece because I like the patina of the paper and the monochromatic nature of the piece (as well as the way the frame complements the work). I also like the way the two figures look so much like they are dancing. Overall, it's an aesthetically pleasing piece. I found myself thinking "Will people think I'm gay if I show this piece"? (not that there is anything wrong with that). I suspect that some people sometimes think my surrealistic compositions must  somehow represent "how my mind works". And I suppose at some level they do… sometimes. Other times, I am simply putting together images that seem to "work" together -- aesthetically or otherwise. It seems strange to even be writing this much about this piece. For god's sake, it's artwork (and if you're reading this blog, you are not naive about the various natures of art)! With all this being said, I am truly looking forward to what the new year holds for me and my artistic journey (and to see what compositions emerge from my explorations and sketching)! I also look forward to seeing what me fellow artists create this year!


  1. I always admire how you combine such diverse images. They really have something to say!

  2. Thanks so much Jo. I truly appreciate your interest in my work. This piece has sold! My cousin -- a collagist in his own right -- was impressed by the fact that these two diverse images were the same size (something I hadn't mentioned, but of which I was fully aware) and suggested the analysis that the images represented science interacting with art. I rather like that!