Here is another meme photo I took for the school yearbook – #eatingmoney
This boy is my favorite model because of his hair, of course. Unfortunately he got a haircut last week and so, I won’t have the opportunity to take anymore shots like this for however long it takes to grow a foot of hair back, which would put him in high school or college by then.
The photo represents a fleeting moment in time, one that can’t be replaced, although photographs can be duplicated, as long as you still have the image on a computer or thumb drive.
A few months ago I shared that I’d repaired my painting Dream Time, but what I didn’t tell you is that around the same time my friend Joyce visited from Binghamton, NY, and I gave her a replacement Scrabble tile for the painting I made for her from this series. I didn’t want it to seem as though all of my paintings are falling apart at the seams – they are not, by the way.
The thing is that any additive sculpture or combine style painting utilizing found objects could come undone at any time. It could be bumped into or it could be a simple case of fluctuating humidity in the space where the piece resides.
My last post generated an array of opinions about the destruction of art. People in agreement with me and others so opposed to the idea that it was pretty intense! This happened mainly on www.linkedin.com where I shared the blog post in about a dozen art groups.
I really love the passion people brought to the table. I also love the comraderie of artists, that we all in one way or another are aware of the impact (or the hope of an impact) our art will bring to future generations. I wonder now how artists feel about the repairing of damaged art?
Joyce didn’t ask me to repair her Karen Tashkovski original, but she knew I probably had extra tiles in my art supply arsenal. I am not keen on repairing my work the way my cobbler fixes the heels on my favorite boots. While I try to use the strongest adhesives I can find, often the whole shebang can be very experimental, and I can’t worry about how my art will be displayed once it leaves the nest.
When I’m making art, I do admit to thinking about the compliments I might receive once it’s done, which puts me in a positive frame of mind, but I feel extremely in the moment and present while I’m creating. I’m not thinking about one hundred years from now.
The only time I do, ironically, is while working with encaustics. The wax will eventually harden and become one with the wood surface (and by eventually we’re talking a thousand years) and it will become the most everlasting type of artwork that exists.
Unfortunately, any time before then the wax is fragile and must be handled with care, something of which the art teachers who hung the Scholastic Art exhibit (in January of this year) and the visitors to the Whitney Building at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, NY were not aware.
My student’s silver key winning encaustic painting was terribly damaged during the show. Whether it fell from the wall or was touched, or perhaps it was the humidity in the building – I mean I don’t know and I’m not suggesting blame, but it was tragic.
The student does not take art class anymore, but I’m hoping she will be able to come in after school to rework it. The entire neck is gone and the feather part is cracked, like the plaster walls in my house. We used my personal encaustic materials so I’ve brought them back to school and will get to layering the uncolored wax on it to build the canvas back up and have it ready for Ellie when she’s ready to do it. The issue is that the wax takes time to heat up so it’s not a fleeting fix but a planned we-will-do-this-thing and make everything right with the world.
I think I took this damage harder than she did. I felt responsible even though I could not protect the art when it was not in my possession. She worked very hard on this piece and she was very proud of it! Now she must rework it, like the fraggles on Fraggle Rock. Whether or not she repairs the painting, it does not diminish the fact that she won high honors for it, but I think it’s difficult to accept that the art will not be the same the second time around. The hope is that it will be better. Yes, I’m ready to believe that!
Which brings me to the latest art tragedy: a sculpture by Cy Twombly was just knocked over by a visitor to the museum in which it was displayed.
Conservators will be repairing it. He died in 2011. But if he were still alive, I can’t imagine anyone would ask him to fix it.
Twombly is famous for creating these scribbly abstract expressionist paintings and my favorites are the ones done on chalkboard because they could easily be erased. Have you ever seen the scene in I <3 Huckabees when Dustin Hoffman’s character leans on the chalkboard painting in his office and he erases it with his jacket? And of course, the irony is that he is supposed to be an existentialist detective! OMG, I love that movie.
I am always questioning why things are the way they are and how these disjointed circumstances will eventually weave themselves into the story of my life. I even have an existential coincidence!
Now fashion, that is an art form that isn’t supposed to be everlasting. Colors fade, fabrics disintegrate. We are always looking for something new and fresh while still holding onto our loved possessions because of sentimentality or some such other unreasonable abstract.
I am now selling my art as fashion on redbubble. So if this blog post has convinced you not to buy my artwork in case of damage and the subsequent wrath of Tash (you really haven’t lived if you haven’t received that tongue lashing is how it goes), then maybe some Karen Tashkovski original leggings would be the way to go.
You buy them, wear them, break them in. Wash them, wear them, wash, wear infinity – until you throw them out. No artist fix or conservators necessary!