Looks like we’ve got ourselves a reader

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.

New Art–Feminist Bras

portrait printed on a bra

portrait printed on a bra

Here are just the beginnings of this piece. I still need to print more women on bras and figure out how to show them. I am leaning towards pinning them along a rope, but don’t know for sure yet. Also, I am considering using underpants as well, but don’t know that those really deliver the concept as well.

portrait printed on a bra

I’m torn between the above image and the first image as being my favorite thus far. I just love the look of this (above) piece. Susan B. Anthony looking so serious on a pink bra kind of gives me the giggles. But, on another note the mixing of sex and feminism that the first picture delivers is also powerful. But, there are more bras to come so I’m sure that my opinion may change. I’m actually surprising myself lately–I’ve started to use colored ink. This has hardly occurred over the past 4 years, so I’m anxious to see where I am taken.

portrait printed on a bra

I will keep you updated.

Process–Original Owners Piece

portraits printed and painted on cereal boxes and milk cartons

So, another beginnings of a new work. I find these days that I am bouncing from one piece to the next every other second. I can’t seem to remain hooked on one work in order to finish it. Don’t know why that is, but I will share another piece I am in the middle of building on.

portraits printed and painted on cereal boxes and milk cartons

These two pieces will be combined with many many other pieces like them. I hope to fill a huge shelf with piles of containers holding products I have used. For now I am trying to print the original owners of the particular companies on the product containers. I may combine them with current workers, board of directors, etc. in the future, but I haven’t decided yet.

I also want to print larger faces on more than one container–make sort of a puzzle.

I will keep you updated on how this process goes and hope to get one of these done eventually.

–Lauren