"Catharsis" 8' x 8" colored pencil and paper collage on board.
This is "Catharsis" my piece for the annual JRB Small Works Show opening Nov. 5th 2010 in Oklahoma City. It will be hung on a grid with around a hundred other artists creations on 8" x 8" canvas. There is an etymological link to the word Catharsis that is "to shine light in dark places".
I have always been fascinated by the ideas behind the word catharsis. The first time I heard the word it was because it was the title of an art show I attended. I didn't much care for the work, the artist was obviously working through I great deal of pain anger and resentment, something at fifteen I didn't really relate to. The canvases were torn and stitched back together with surgical stitching thread, they were abstract but were very obviously wounds inflicted on the waxy canvases. Perhaps the concept this artist was trying to convey was healing, but to me still to this day it just seemed like fetishizing pain. I think humans often get confused and romanticize pain. It's a very bad habit to get into, it tends to result in suffering hanging around much longer than is necessary.
However since that first encounter with the word catharsis I have learned how much more it means. It is to cleans, to purge often by confronting directly the troubling issue. Perhaps to release through living, to meditate upon what might more easily be avoided. It's rather twisted really, in a good way.
This piece is a little tongue in cheek, humor is the best way to address difficult ideas, issues, etc. It's hard to feel threatened if you're laughing. So this was sort of a first meditation on ideas of self reflection, and confrontation... I've been pretty self portrait-centric lately, I am always telling stories in my pieces, though don't ask me to tell you those stories, so often they are hidden to me until years after I've completed a piece, but I realize that I am telling my own story, through images, sometimes the objects in a piece are true representations of the story, other times the repetitious task of creating the work, the mark making itself is the story... one of me getting lost mentally, emotionally etcetera, in line patterns and drawing rhythms, you'd be amazing how important that is.
so... that's a lot of text for such a wee piece, but it's part of the foundation of ideas that this next body of work will be built on, so... off we go!