Why did you choose an Octopus?
Why did you choose to paint him with a sitar?
If you’d like me to make something up in order to sound deep or contemplative and moody, I can. However, usually I just paint. I just paint, then realize something looks octopus-like, then I paint some more, and realize this octopus needs to be doing something. Then I think of a guitar in it’s tentacles, but that seems so boring and expected. Cue a George Harrison song, and a sitar-playing octopus is born, so I just paint.
I used to wish I had some deep philosophical reasoning behind the paintings I make, so that when people stop in front of one in a gallery, they read the artist’s blurb and look back at the painting in awe thinking, “it’s so profound” or, “this artist must be smarter and more philosophical than I, because I have no idea what these words mean, and what they have to do with this painting, but in order to save face as an intellectual art connoisseur, I will nod my head and say how profound this is.”
I have often been confused with some artist’s blurbs about their paintings, and sometimes I think of what it would be like if I chose to bullshit my way through a blurb in order to sound like a profoundly deep artist:
This painting represents the 8 tentacled monster inside of all of us, writhing and slithering through the dense ocean of uncertainty. The sitar, protectively cluched tightly against the body of the octopus, represents the yearning to be the creator of our lives, and to construct an environment of beauty around us, no matter the opinions or rejections of those around us. The eye of the octopus stares straight at the viewer, daring them to object to the song it is about to play.
That’s not bad. I just made it up. Is this how artists create their blurbs about their paintings? Or do most artist plan it out, have the foresight to think about how each element of the painting will have meaning, and to execute the painting according to this plan? If so, I am not this kind of artist. I am one who creates, doesn’t worry about why or what or if it makes sense, and then afterwards, I get to decipher what my unconscious was trying to say.
Last night we went to the reception at the AR4T gallery in Laguna Beach. The octopus was joined my about 70 other pieces all with the loose theme of Art and Nature. Great Gallery, great people. I highly recommend a visit if you are ever in the area. This show runs until November 30th. I met the woman who bought the octopus. I am glad it’s going to a musically creative home. Happy travels, octopus!