Friday, September 12, 2008
"I don't want to set the world on fire"
I was reading my old journals again, looking for inspiration for this blog post. I think the only solution for today is to go back in time.
In a previous post, I mentioned that my art created towards the end of my education was painted inside the pages of discarded books, and how much I enjoyed working in this manner. The works were small and on paper, created during pure inspiration and filled with stories and characters.
Today, I found my comment book from my 1999 B.F.A. terminal exhibition from the University of Oregon. Inside on the painted white pages, I let one sentence from the original text remain,
"I don't want to set the world on fire."
But, this is not true, and you know I already have the matches...
What follows is a spontaneous review of my show I found inside my comment book, written by my old friend Hayyim (Howard) Cohen. We worked together side by side in little cubicles selling the newspaper in a tiny downtown office, and became fast friends. He would share his New York Times Arts section with me during breaks.
Megan by Hayyim Cohen
"Combining subversive parody, red (life), black (nothingness) and white (blinding light), duct tape to shut out the noisy excess, upholstery tacks, and the dead bodies of obsolete technical books, Megan Chapman (see your dictionary- "Chapman" means seller) creates lyrical southern "talkin' blues" between the pages of discards (found objects) she collects from the free bins of the Smith Family bookstore in Eugene Oregon.
Providing at her B.F.A. commencement (the beginning of her life as an artist) a comfortable pink sofa with fresh green throw pillows, a little Gene Autry and "A Sunday Kind of Love" musical background for a gathering of "found" people who "read" her books often with whimsical smiling faces.
Megan nails the defunct corpses of old books (now frames for her poems and designs) on the gallery walls with the tacks she loves, this is interspersed with machine blowups of her photographs, which add a nice contrapuntal theme to the shards of books behind the sofa and on the coffee table. Megan is a southern woman and now she has a B.F.A. to nail to the wall when she goes home (tell your Maw,tell your Paw I'm gonna send you back to Arkansas-population 40,002). It is all here in the art, the depths of introspective experience, from one who knows how it all fits together in the package. It's a "found" life for the pack of us, don't you think? Megan has definitely found something...To do and to make a difference, and she does it all with southern hospitality to boot!"
I am so fortunate to have this nugget, and like the art closed up in those old altered books, I thought this needed to be aired out and shared. My friend, Howard did this on his own accord, and I am grateful for his tangents and details; his writing helps me to remember myself at that time, as well as the show and the atmosphere. His words bring back everything about the experience and are even better than a photograph.
Have you ever considered having someone write a piece about your art? Think about asking a friend or fellow artist to write a statement or a review of your work. Perhaps your friends have already left you helpful comments. Have you thought about asking them if you could edit and use them to promote your art? I bet many of you have these nuggets hiding in letters, emails and blogs, just waiting to brushed off and put out there to a larger audience.
Let's set the world on fire...
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