Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Comments on unfinished "Self-Portrait at 33"

K.L: holy shit. literally. that is incredibly moving, alot to take in at first glance. You are truly an amazing individual, an incredible artist and a striking storyteller. wow. that's all. wow.

Ross: Thanks K... Although I don't believe I'm an incredible artist since it seems that everything seems to have frayed ends... Never polished or finished or near... I think my artwork is a metaphore for my physical reality... I was thinking about this the past few days about my lifetime expectations of myself living with this and what it truly means for me, whether or not I think about it... We're (those with this illness or syndrome) are not meant to complete a lifetime or to relax in their own; always seeing death hiding somewhere in the shadows, below the bed, around the bend. We know it will appear... in many forms, at any given moment. I live life in half denile. I lived it in more intense half-denile years ago before becoming ill again married to Margarita, living here in Mexico without any recourses, knowing that part of me had died and part of me had been re-born and suddenly becoming incredibly health conscious. I wanted to be normal in childhood and adolescence and in some way pretended I was until my last surgery in 2001 when it was impossible to pretend anymore, since the doctor "slipped" or lied and I no longer could impregnate someone. Fortunately the surgery didn't make me impotent or maybe I should have just... at 32 years with my contemporary women in their primes paying so much attention to the tick tock ticking of their biological clocks... But, that's my life and the seemingly spirit of my art: incompletable. It just doesn't make sense. And it seems I'm finally pulling off an adequate self-portrait... granted, 10 or 11 years ago when my body was almost "fat-free" Thanks for being so supportive. Let's see when I return to this.

Mr. Rainbow: Transformation - such a powerful and complex painting with mixed energies and feelings

Ross: Wow! Thats a very interesting analysis. Thanks Mr. Rainbow. Great last name be it real or pseudonymn... I believe humans have grand potential for evolution, change, transformation, although many don't believe we evolve or prefer living in one of many styles of boxes, be it self constructed, socially, politically or familialy constructed...

Tiger Woods: Love the painting Ross!  Powerful Stuff,,,and many Artists feel their work is never complete...

Ross: That's always reassuring Tiger!

Ms. Robideau:  I see Frida in your piece and love it. Please, please finish it when you can. There is a community still rollin with no colon that needs this to represent our unique trait. PS I would buy this.

Ross: Ms. Robideau, in the beginning, the arms were hanging along his sides, and then one of those evenings last week I decided to do something with them. I remember when my younger sister had mentioned to our doctor that she wanted them to place her colon in a jarfor her to take home (thinking about it, very logical, since afterall, it was hers). I guess she didn't know that the colon is 4.5 feet long. She had her surgery at the age of 13 also, 2 years after mine. And I was amazed at her audacity or jealous that I hadn't thought of that! Our doctor just smiled at her like a loving grandfather; and he was warm with us in our bi-annual check-ups for the years afterwards, until he ceased being... In any case, that evening I placed the colon in his hands, the painting became a truly complete "masterpiece" in my mind (if only for me; the paintings and drawings have always only been for me--circumstances). And, yes, I saw Frida, although my paintings have always been "stream of conscious", semi-intentional, they seem to develop themselves. If there is one thing I could have given to Frida in my respect for her spirit, her life, her strength and... (I have the words somewhere within)... I've always felt it a trajedy that she had been born in such a sexist culture in the shadow of the highly trained and skilled, yet artistic coward of a husband Diego Rivera. Mexico has never known a truly artistic spirit as was Frida's and I highly doubt it will; psycho-cultural restraints. Ps; I've never sold a piece of art in my life... didn't study art, have never been in artist circles, not even in New York City where it suddenly appeared in 1997. For some reason all of my friends were writers, actors, dancers... For some reason I didn't meet painters And here in Mexico..., at least here in Guadalajara, where an incredible Guggenheim Museum was planned and then moved to another country due to political stupidity (when Guggenheim had offered to pay all expenses of the construction of possibly their most extravagent project, various friends of the Mayor, including the mayor, entered into negotiations for illegally developing luxury homes in the ecological reserve along the canyon the Guggenheim would be overlooking. In the end, the Mayor's "enemies" began a dirty campaign and the Guggenheim pulled itself out of Mexico; no one made millions from opportunities indirectly connected with the museum and Guadalajara is without an incredible cultural and tourist attraction...), I don't meet artists either...

Savannah: This is awesome, great job!

Mrs. Moilanen WOW

Scarborough Fair: Lots of valid comments here Ross. It definitely made me think of Frida Kahlo and it can be difficult to know when a work of art is finished. On the other hand, I've had artist friends tell me that you know exactly when you're finished, so I guess we're all different. I draw and every time I look at an old drawing I'm tempted to take out an eraser and touch it up. Thanks for sharing this.

Ross: Scarborough Fair, nice to hear from someone from Westchester County Brings back memories... brief, vague... but memories all the same... Gorgeous woods... Actually, this painting is painted on what originally was an attempted seascape, expaining the blue and what may look like leaves, but are small fish. The abdominal region looked like a fishbowl until a few days ago. I wanted to keep it, but didn't see the reason... Until the past 2 months I believed that all drawings and paintings should be respected and kept in their original form and worked on until they worked. But, looking at paintings and drawings that would be almost impossible to improve (to make function) just causes negativity. And, with lack of money for the amount of supports necessary for supporting my "ADHD-like" constant change in focus or interest, storing paintings that I am sure I will not show (if I actually will have that opportunity one day--I'm 44-years-old living in Mexico) renders the storage of them basically obsurd...

Alicia Dolphingirl:  Your painting is very powerful ... although is very colourful there's a huge sense of suffering in it, it's very explicit . I really like it, it's you.

Ross: And much suffering in denile, possibly the only way to survive, although, maybe just possibly denile creates incredible creative restraints... Why share your difference, your weakness, your illness, your "dirtyness", your shame? But, one canNOT live truthfully avoiding themself, pretending they are someone else... It's difficult. A difficult paradox, dilemma. I'm sure a great part of my leaving the U.S. was a running away from myself. Granted, there are many other valid reasons for leaving your country of origin, as I know you know... And you've left more than one... I think it almost impossible not to find fault in the socio-political culture and history of the country or community within which you are residing...

What about Wanda: 

As an artist I totally get what your saying.this is your inner self coming through in your painting..acrylic? Right? This is a self portrait of pain and I see that...it's not finished because you aren't finished accepting and working through what's going on, or what's not going on in your body.ive done the same thing..started but not finished..I have three oils waiting to be finished..will they, I don't know..I feel anger in your brush strokes..it's raw and it's wonderful..and I like it

Ross: Nice "meeting" you Wanda When I first started painting in Brooklyn back in 1998, people said, "your style is so Van Gogh! or so Picasso Blue Period..." I hadn't studied art or art history and knew of Picasso and Van Gogh. But I decided to look at them, especially Van Gogh. I read part of the biography of Van Gogh and wasn't able to look at my paintings; too much anxiety. I found that my drawings (and paintings) tended to become too dark and heavy; how I dreamed of being able to use much lighter tones... It is very difficult for me and I work consciously towards lightening, although truthfully, I don't understand how people do it... Forgive me for my long-windedness... What I'm getting at is that I totally understand you; anything I wish to hide will appear in some form or another in my painting; the anger or rage and possible fear. These days I intentionally work with reds and oranges. But they generally don't work for me, especially orange... If one thinks of selling their art, they worry about what the viewer will see or feel... All subjects of rage or violence or political injustices are shunned, especially in the U.S., where it seems that everyone seeks silver linings. I have this thing for crucifixions... A few years back I had painted a crucified pregnant woman, since the crucifixion is more symbolic and metaphorical than is literal and the people who historically suffer most that crucifixion socio-politically are women. Using Mary as a vessel to create a son of God and then continue calling Mary a virgin, perpetuates that crucifixion... Perpetuation of the worst type of sexism. She is pregnant. She will give birth to many males who will perpetuate the crucifixion... Which is more than ironic or absurd... it's a backwards way of relating towards life, degrading the bringer of life and the cultivator, who truly teaches us and nurtures us and protects us... However, in order to share those ideas, we must offend people's eyes and ideas or senses... And, sometimes that seems counter productive, since it isn't popular. I tend towards being the least popular person in the crowd, since I say what I feel/believe and don't believe in B/S... not a good networker, since I don't believe in playing the game...

Miss Renee: Thanks so much for sharing your artwork. I can relate a lot to your painting. The yellow in the background speaks to me like vibrant energy in the distance, that I, personally, cannot seem to reach anymore since my surgeries. The energy is around me, but always feels out of reach. Maybe it will come back with time. Also, I like that the heart is strong and solid-colored in your painting, symbolizing to me that we continue to love & give love, inspite of the turmoil within our digestive system. Love prevails, through immense challenges. Thanks again for sharing your work!! Hope you'll continue to do so.

Ross: Somehow we must prevail Renee. We've had the surgeries in order for continuing the struggle. I wish our lives were without all the turmoil. But, I imagine that is part of the lesson that each and everyone must live and learn within this lifetime. Although we can't be "normal" or carefree as others, I believe we owe it to ourselves to find the light within ourselves. Love? It is a very contraversial and confusing subject, confused mainly by 20th century disney influenced fantasies that all stories have happy endings... But the true love is what you find within yourself and around yourself; it's what you truly cherish about yourself regardless of your physical health, limitations and discomforts. It's part of your self-respect and what you have to share with others and what you appreciate from others... Painting causes me a lot of stress. Almost all things creative seem to drain me, with the exception of cooking. However, sometimes I believe it is something I must do, as if it will take me somewhere... It did take me somewhere; it helped me understand that there is a whole other reality outside of what we can understand physically or scientifically; that we are not just our bodies and their limits or their strengths. Some people believe that love is the inherent energy of creation. I believe it is the inherent desire to help (nurture) another person achieve the best for themself without expections of interchange. As for love for oneself... You must learn to be good to yourself; I'm not talking about splurging on your favorite foods but truly giving yourself what you deserve and what you truly need. Some of those things are self-respect, putting yourself and your situation into true perspect (being fair to yourself), and avoiding causing additional harm to yourself (unnecessary stress produced by certain thought processes, etc). It is all within you. I'm not saying that you will not feel bad or down. But, you must find personal experiences that show you that, although you experience this or you've experienced that, your life is truly good; you are truly good. You are a survivor who endures something most people don't endure. You've learned much and you are a thoughtful and caring person. But there are things within you that make you shine regardless of the situation and regardless if certain people or other people don't see it... Nothing of illusions of grandeur. They aren't illusions. Most of what causes us suffering in the U.S., Canada, many European countries and some Asian countries in the 20th-21st centuries are modern cultural illusions and fantasies about image and how we should be (how we should perform/success). You can't compete with the fantasies or illusions or expectations; they've always been unrealistic caused by mass media and Holliwood promoted super stars. So, you put things truly in perspective and remove the illusion and you cherish yourself for who you truly are, not for what you think you should be or should have been and not for the illusions they have about you. Thanks for your appreciation. I hope this wasn't too long-winded.

No comments: