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Art is necessarily of the self. In its conception or its execution, it must always stem from the maker's lived experience. Lived experience is, in turn, interpreted by the self, but that self is informed by many others. Yet, the self can at best only consider these others, not become them, and therein lies the rub. I am not interested in myself per se; I care deeply for the others in my life, but by the nature of this life, the work becomes about me, looking at them. This is the closest I can get.
In this way my work is not only documentation of the other, but also personal catharsis: personal in that I can only document how I see others and how that seeing changes, but not others as they are, and cathartic in that this seeing and changing yearns for documentation.
Cathartic aspects of the work are not totally intuitive, and can be explained. The disconnect between others as they are and others as they are remembered by us is inherent but difficult. We desire that the two meet, an unfulfillable request. The realization of its failure comes at any time of separation, and it is inevitably traumatic. Expressing this trauma is in part the easing of it, as its expression demands consideration of the other once more. It brings the other closer to us. It breathes into the dead, and converses with the living.
Often, I miss people. Painting makes me miss them less.
“If I try to describe him here, it is to make sure I shall not forget him. To forget a friend is sad. Not every one has had a friend.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“In reality, he knew that he was basing this conclusion, not upon the phrase itself, but merely upon certain equivalents, substituted, for his mind's convenience, for the the mysterious entity of which he had become aware.”
“I no longer hear her voice; I do not see her face. I suppose I did for myself what psycho-analysts do for their patients. I expressed some very long felt and deeply felt emotion. And in expressing it I explained it and laid it to rest.”
“I might be using memory from ten minutes past, but I'm also using memory from fifty years past. You paint it. You pick up big brushes. You paint it.” ~David Hockney
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Fauber, Jacob, "Two People Twenty-Four More" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 232.
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