Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Use Electric Light


Today I was driving back from the prison, through the barren wasteland of Highway 46 and off to my left it was this double handful of crows rising in a great circle over the desert scrub. Maybe fifty black rags climbing into the white sky. To the right there was two great black crows perched upon the top rung of a telephone pole, shoulder to shoulder, one leaning against the other, as if tenderly.

And for a disconcertingly long moment I could look down upon the desert from where those crows flew and upon my blackened back felt the searing heat of the sun and I felt I knew who was with me, above and below and could hear their thoughts in the hard small vault of my skull. I was bone hungry and the baked dirt below me held the hard beating heart of something that drove me near mad.

It was a too fleeting to register that completely. It was a taste of steel in my throat that was gone before I could name it.

but it thrilled me.


Do not ask to be spared.

take what you've got coming and ask for more.



Blogger LKD said...

Many of your collages (is that what you call them? if not, what term do you use for your art?) bring Diane Arbus's photography to mind. These last 2 images of yours especially conjure Arbus for me.

Are you a fan? Or do you consider her an influence?

If it's not too much to ask, maybe you could divulge how you happened upon this particular form of self/creative expression.

I'm curious.

5:45 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...


I love Arbus. And I steal from her relentlessly. I think what it is is the twin motif and the freak motif and the love for what is misshapen and odd, and that is what I covet. And since I don't have her talent, I do something different, which is to steal shit and cut it up and put different things together.

I have come to where I am and what I'm doing in a very organic and unintentional way. I can trace it all back very easily, but to anyone else it might seem haphazard.

All I do is when I see something that resonates with me I take it and put it in a file. Then when I want to do art I look through my files and grab whatever asks to be grabbed first. I work with that in Photoshop and I add elements and backgrounds and other figures until something clicks.

I try to be uncluttered and to limit myself to two or three source materials per piece.

Then I make some composition I like or really what happens is a composition asserts itself and I watch for it and when it arises I stop what I'm doing and let it have its way.

Then I fuss and muss and layer and scrub and blend and work like a crazy man to make the disparate elements hold hands. The lighting is essential to gettting it right. The source of the lighting has to be consistent.

Then when I'm happy with that, I start throwing layers on top to dirty it up and make it more organic, which is really fun and for me what makes the piece live or die.

I will have something like fifteen or twenty layers, then smash it down to two or three, then one, then I will double that layer and blend a bunch of effects...


It is collage, I guess.

That's what I'd call it. Or digital photomontage, but that sounds like ass.

All I know is I love it bad and I don't give two shits if I ever do more than make them and put them on my blog for people to see.

That's all I want.

If I had a big enough house with enough wall space, or my own gallery space, I'd print them up big and frame them and hang them and live with them all around me.

But I don't, so they live on the internet.


Blah, blah, blah.

But you asked, so there you are.



7:27 PM  
Blogger LKD said...

Thank you for explaining your method. Every piece does appear incredibly layered upon close examination.

I guess what I really want to know did you start doing this?

I mean...the very first one you ever created. You just found your way to this means of expression accidentally? Or there are other artists using similar methods/means of expression whose work you admire and that prompted you to try it out.

I guess it's kind of like that artist who created those wonderful shadow boxes. What the hell is his name? I mean, it fascinates me how the human mind/heart/soul finds its way out and into the world, how the I says "I made this, this is who I am, this is what I see, this is the world, my world."

9:15 PM  
Blogger tearful dishwasher said...

Oh, that.

That's pretty easy, I guess. I wanted to make art, I wanted initially to stage photographs to create a mood, but I could never get any models, so I started shooting little toys and figures and using photoshop to put them in different backgrounds.

That sounds like method again.

I don't know how to explain the impulse, except that you know it from writing.

Oh, Maggie Taylor is a big influence, and I love her work.

All I really know is that it brings me immense pleasure. It's how I play.



6:19 AM  
Blogger Mim said...

Your register the sense of singularity and connectedness happening all at once. So alone and so with it.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Jewel said...

wonderful stuff! i often imagined you did it via photoshop but was unsure. love love your art! i did a few a long while ago with stock and personal photos. yours are more polished. here's one:

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

holy christ this is fine writing!

5:41 PM  

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