Charleston, South Carolina is hot right now – it was easily 85 degrees in the shade today. But Charleston is also ‘hot’; in vogue, fun, topical, vibrant, and pulsing with the energies of the arts, artists and aficionado’s as Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto are underway.
I am fortunate to have found this great city for myself, 6 years ago. I had just spent 4 years in Los Angeles, then another 2 in New York City, when that wanderlust crept in, again. This story is TRUE: At the time, I Googled “The best places to live in America” and on some list, on some site, which ranked #1, there was your typical Broad Street Carriage Ride photo and an article on how incredible Charleston was.
Coincidentally (or was it?) I was hired to edit a tv show in Charelston weeks later.
Fast, fast forward – to the time I arrived here….unfortunately I was locked inside of a television editing studio for the first few weeks. I was exhausted, and not feeling so intrigued. But I forced myself out of my funk, and out to the theater.
I remember it fondly…it was all during Spoleto. It was fun, new, mysterious. That night was hot, too. One of those steamy, early June nights, when the air outside matches your skin temperature, or at least it feels that way, and you feel as if you could be floating down the street.
Charleston’s temperature is still rising. And it doesn’t seem to be cooling down much, either. And I like it that way.
The great sufi poet Hafiz said, “true art awakens the extraordinary ovation.” I love this. I can honestly say, I’ll dedicate my life to this quote and that’s not a casual statement, I mean that. True art and awakening myself, seeing, being radiant and big.
You are safe… to live this dream.
What a mess! I like to get my hands dirty. I love to play on the floor and swim in material. When I say material, anything goes, anything. Crayons, nice fancy oil paint, the finest soft pastels, house paint, spray cans, pencils of any sort, ink, you name it, if I can make a mark and move it around on paper/wood/canvas/cardboard/whatever else I find, it’s usable material.
I’m so used to being in the studio. I’m so used to varying degrees of mess. I spend most of my time, sorting through my mess, rearranging it, creating more, clearing it all away, or surrendering to what I consider the most beautiful part of this job.
I distinctly remember a feeling I got when I put a label on my framed piece in the gallery, I said, “Oh my god, it’s real!” I’m not in a mess I thought, I’m in a gallery and it’s beautiful! It was quite a feeling.
Gotta love your mess. It’s the best part.
Every piece of art has a muse, an underlying current that drives it to completion. It could be something someone says to you, a person, event or experience, some glimpse into what you hope for and desire deep within. It could be a number of things, people, experiences, a model, a friend, another artist. A muse is real and powerful and should be treasured.
In the work, Three Graces, the lovely Lucy Hill was my muse. She is a model I’ve been working with a lot. Her balletic poses, innocent facial expressions, and genuine presence made this piece what it is. Here we are, at the opening night, by a work that was solely inspired by her movements.
I titled the piece, Three Graces, because the three gestures captured portray a sense of offering and vulnerability, a kind of naturalness where defenses and egoic presumptions are set aside. That’s what it means to me.
Every piece of art has a muse. Every artist has a muse stirring somewhere within them. Whether you are aware of it or not, it’s there. And it’s so important to cultivate and nurture. Love your muse, for it is the very spark behind your work.
A short experimental film that accompanies the “You Are Safe” exhibit.
I audio taped every meeting between Tina, Brit and myself, during our collaboration for our art exhibit, You Are Safe. This audio became part of my contribution – an art piece, in and of itself.
This is a 5:00 min. excerpt of a 1 hour and 15 minute audio / video piece that will be exhibited at all times, on a loop, during our show, from May 20 – June 25. Come check us out.