Art Attack – If you can’t stand the clutter get out of the studio
It seems my Virgo moon kicked into gear last week, my studio being the benefactor. It had been a very, very long time since my home studio had a thorough cleaning and reorganizing. It was a daunting task, at times overwhelming, but eventually completed.
I collect things – lots of interesting, strange little objects that speak to me; that I just know will end up as “art “someday. It’s what found object assemblage artists do – just ask Mary Springer, the only artist I know who has more “objects” to play with than me.
So having a studio where these sacred findings are categorized, tagged, boxed and stored for easy access is important, even vital, to the creative process. It’s where you’ll find stacked boxes or buckets labeled bones, doll parts or rocks with holes.
As a kid I was always collecting things and arranging them in meticulous order. At school I was dealt an eye-opening blow when my beautifully arranged rock collection garnered an F in Geology because the rocks weren’t identified or labeled. Even then I was more interested in the aesthetics (the shapes and colors) than the science.
In my early twenties I discovered the constructed boxes of Joseph Cornell, the photographs of Man Ray and mixed media collages of Robert Rauschenberg. These art vanguards gave me permission to carry on what I instinctively was already doing – combining objects in an attempt to breathe symbolic life into the inanimate.
The last several years I have been making impermanent assemblages and photographing them. Last week, inspired by my newly organized studio, I embarked on a new series of potential work. These new photographs are an experiment, or at the very least, a disciplined exercise.
Every morning before I take my three dogs for their country walk, I grab an object or objects from my studio, stuff them in my coat pocket and head outside, camera in tow.
The object is to find a natural setting for these objects and snap a quick picture using only natural light, no tri-pod, special lens, or Photoshop. I’m not sure where these simple images will lead – a show, or maybe not. I’ve already posted a few images on Facebook and maybe that’s enough.
What is important is putting my creativity to work every day, despite the result.
I certainly have no shortage of raw materials and have fully embraced the fact that clutter will always be part of my life, but I do hope, if given a second chance, I return to this earth as a Zen Master.