a new challenge?

March 26, 2013

There's something about the gallery world that tends to be very sterile. I find this to be true most definitely at the higher ends of it. The successful artists at this level seem to create the same painting over and over again, with slight alterations. This is probably due to the more commercial nature of these galleries, so, it's understandable. But, from the beginning of my creative journey, I've never really felt drawn to that. The idea of it always felt rather soul-killing to me. I do enjoy creating things in a series and making work that belongs together, but then I like being able to challenge myself in a new way. And this usually means learning something new.

So besides my current interest in doing installations, I've been thinking a bit about the next chapter on my art journey. Recently I came across a project, headed up by a local artist, to improve the look of Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica. I have always thought Lincoln was a fairly ugly street, and it turns out that the rest of Santa Monica feels similarly. So lately there has been movement growing, via a task force, to beautify the area in many different ways.

Evan Meyer, the artist I mentioned, is organizing efforts to do this through art. So far, he has coordinated the painting of several murals along the street and is planning other interesting projects as well. When I found out about his efforts, I started mulling over the idea of designing and painting a mural myself and decided to contact him. This would be a really cool challenge for me, as it involves working on a larger scale, which is what I've been focusing on of late. But this project is particularly appealing because it is community based. I have long held an interest in public art - I find it so appealing. I like that it is part of society, part of everyday people's lives, and out in the open. Art in galleries can sometimes feel so rarefied and exclusive (and like it's carrying the weight of some sort of superiority complex). That just doesn't fit my personality or outlook on life. But public art does. It seems to be an equalizer. Something that is accessible to all. This mentality is somehow hardwired within me.

So, I've just started to dialogue with Evan, but I'm beginning to feel some excitement about new possibilities and new ways to be challenged. I love growing in life (whether artistically or in any other way), and this seems like a step in the growth direction.

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