Picasso’s Bastards

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Picasso’s Bastards…

That isn’t even a fair comparison, Picasso. I say that having never taken an art history class and having the most basic comprehension of abstract art and abstract expressionism. Yes, I can spot a Jackson Pollock, but if you wanna get granular about it, that’s only because Ed Harris played him on screen and who doesn’t love Ed Harris?

It’s about art, though. I’ve always been surrounded by artists, some of exceptional talent, but I never really considered myself one, but for a few good writings and a handful of poems. But I think I may have expanded a bit in the last few weeks when I picked up a paint brush to see what happened.

The blame goes to Recovery Queen and her art show. I made a cake for the show the first year, since that’s another medium in which I am quite comfortable. That was the cake Janot said, “Girl, you can’t bring a cake and not expect a Black man to eat it,” and turned it into performance art when he marched over a cut a big hunk out.

janoctI laugh whenever I think of that night.

The second year of the art show, I didn’t submit anything. I encouraged, er, prodded, a few other people to be in the show, but my cake game wasn’t as strong so I sat out.

Recovery Queen bugged, er, encouraged me off and on during the year. She’s an amazing artist, so I figured it was easy for her to say, “Everyone’s an artist.” And then I realized, everyone is an artist, just like everyone can sing or everyone can dance. It’s a little about the degree of how well you do it, but more about having the guts to actually give it a shot and see what happens.

There was an idea floating around my cranium. It was tied to something one of my favorite professors told me once when she said, “Your ability to see the big picture will be your greatest blessing and your greatest curse.” Yes, the big picture. The ability to connect the dots and see how things fit. A great skill. Great enough to make me want to rip my hair out at times. When I think about that big picture, sometimes it is oriented toward a specific issue or problem, but this time I was thinking in terms of my whole life. I’ve never had trouble getting in the helicopter and flying around above my life to see where the gaps are–I haven’t ever been that good at doing anything with the information. But for the “Bid Picture” art project, I thought about hovering about this whole life and really examining the emotional pivot points. What formed me? Where are the befores and afters? Where were those physical places and how did they make me feel?

I settled on five spaces to explore, some good, some terrifying, and some a bit of both. Intellectually, I have words to describe the spaces, but I guess it’s just something I want you to consider coming to see at the show. The spaces are called, “The Place Where People Loved Jesus the Right Way,” “The House on Potter Street,” The Bronco,” “The Brownstone,” and “The Girl on the Run.” They are just little canvases with cheap, acrylic paint slung on them, but I was surprised at the intensity with which I went at the work. There is definitely a lack of skill on my part, but the work is honest.

If you are interested, the 3rd Annual Recovery Art Show will be held September 4 at Exposure Gallery in Sioux Falls.

Jules Schoolmeester

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