I was reading today–a book entitled, “The Art of the Everyday: The Quotidian in Post War France,” and had to kind of laugh at myself. So, I tend to buy anything that has the words ordinary, mundane, everyday, boring, whatever on it. Anything relating to the everyday lives people lead. I am aware that my life is different and similar in so many ways to other people. I don’t live in a hut and hunt my own food, but I do wake up every morning, breath, feel, wash dishes, clean my house, etc. Anyway, for some time I have been obsessed with those everyday actions connecting us all. That explains my fascination with reading about it.
So, I found a couple of artists that I know I would totally have been friends with if A. I were French B. I were in my 2o’s in the late 1990’s and C. If I were making the work I make now in the late 1990’s. I happened to be in high school at the time, obsessed with the weather and photographing it as it was occurring. (That was my senior year final project–sounds interesting I know! But not really if you live in Arizona, where the weather doesn’t really happen.)
Onto the essay I read where I found my new friends. Written by Lynn Gumpert, entitled, “Beyond the Banal: An Introduction to the Art of the Everyday.” If you have seen any of my work, you know I should be in this club. Anyway, most of the artists seem to be documenting the everyday. Lots of photographers using their own lives and own families as subject matter. Photographing everyday events like putting on make up and the like. They also named an artist, Claude Closky, who makes assemblage pieces from grocery ads and magazines. So, I was sitting there and thinking, “Alright, some cohorts!” And then a little voice replied, “You are not unique.” And for the most part I would agree.
I have to go on a bit of a tangent to explain this part of my discussion with myself. A while back my family and I had an AWESOME discussion in regards to original ideas. I argued, and was the only one at the table that was on my side, that there was only one original thought. Believing that one thing leads to the next and that we are all connected, how could I not? My father pointed to my art and my ideas and told me I was selling myself short. I told him that it makes my art and my job so much more beautiful. It is made up of all of me and all of everyone else (past and present) all at the same moment. What could be better than that?
So, the thoughts I had today, after wondering if I would find my present day cohorts, was, “do I want to find my present day cohorts?” Artists survive on being original. It takes a great deal of effort to impress a viewer and even more to get them to stay a while or come back later. What would happen to my psyche if I found someone who did art exactly like me? I think I might be shattered. I know she/he is out there. But, for now, I don’t want to find them. That is so against everything I believe! I’m such a hypocrite sometimes.