My studio is unusually clean for this point before I have a show that opens. I’m in good shape and it seems that its just a matter of tying up loose ends. Thirty-five years of getting ready for a show gives me the wisdom to know that it never goes quite that easily. But for right now, I’m just excited ……give me a few minutes and it might turn to dread. And that’s the dance I dance until I take it and leave it at the gallery. It’s always a bit shocking for me to see my work, separated from the clutter of my studio and hung on a pristine white wall. It’s a feeling of being totally naked in front of a crowd of people. That feeling of being naked intensified by presenting a new body of work that is a real different body of work than what I’m more generally known for.
Last summer I did what I thought were a couple of odd ball pieces. I have always thought of my work as having a narrative thread. Instead of a narrative being buried in a gumbo of images, texture, color, and text, these “odd ball” pieces were decisively simpler in their language. At first I couldn’t embrace it. And in those moments of self doubt, I wondered if I had maybe lost my way. It certainly would not have been the first time I’d thought that about a piece that I had been struggling with. But one piece is not a direction so this felt different.
After a week or two, it occurred to me that it is always a leap of faith to have an idea and then try to bring it to fruition. And for me as an artist, it is necessary to follow your intuition. It’s in the not knowing, I push forward.
Recently I was speaking to a long time friend, Rodney Rogers about this new direction. And I was expressing my concern that the work was a radical departure from what I had been doing. Rodney smiled and reminded me that a lot of the forms and shapes that appear in this body of work or the same types of forms and shapes that I have used over and over again for thirty-five years. He said, “Look at this piece, “Where the meandering thread becomes part of the greater notion,” it’s basically the same form as in the bronze piece, “The Bureaucrat,” you have out in the backyard,” and he was absolutely right.
Sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees when you are in the midst of it all. So yeah, the work is real different, but it didn’t just come out of nowhere. Not sure where this journey is going, but for right now…it feels good.
But that’s the making of it. Putting the work “out there” is a whole different matter and that is where my title comes from. Anticipation and Trepidation……. every artist I know goes through these cycles leading up to the unveiling. You would just think that after thirty-five years that going to one’s own openings and holding court that it would somehow get easier. I’m here to say that it hasn’t.
My show opens at Kirk Hopper Fine Arts September 5. The name of the show is called, “CHANGE.”
If you are in Dallas, please come out and check it out.