** Damn I’m having a hard time peeling off those smiley red wax lips. You know the ones from your misspent youth when donning a pair was sure to produce a chuckle. (even from aunt Mary who is anything but) Another holiday extended family get together has passed into history and my smile is in danger of cramping.
I’m reminded of Frank Zappa’s autobiography describing similar sentiments concerning holidays where he would disappear into his studio before his brain geysered.
On my families side I’ve only got 92-year-old mom who mostly nods, smiles and then inserts some peculiar memory from deep inside her dementia. Small fragments of never forgotten slights or embarrassments, but luckily Karen’s family usually concern themselves with steering me into more profitable and practical pursuits. Though if I'm not quick enough to accept advice conversation rotates to family members who are more practical, profitable or gossip worthy.
C’est la vie. Perhaps material for an artist book someday. Or perhaps I need to reconfigure our Hallmark® lives with my own line of greeting cards with their attendant holidays. “Dada days” speaks to me as a way for families to experience role reversal as the artists get to offer suggestions on how to modify standard occupations. Preferably ones that take as much knowledge and dedication as the arts. The engineers can build nuclear trombones; hedge fund managers trim the topiary and lawyers…well perhaps they can argue amongst themselves with sign language.
I think the problem is that since most people once had a picture posted on mom’s fridge or visited a museum they feel the need to offer suggestions. Or perhaps so much of contemporary art is a very rarified acquired taste that is just inaccessible during a casual get together and thus needs to be simplified. So when I hear aunt Mary ask, “what are you working on?”… The response should actually be what’s going on in my second job; not that I’m working out hypertext links for a series of digital works on the theme of insects so they can be experienced non-linearly. Yes, I should simplify my life with simple wording.
And just in – Bravo Network is holding open calls for reality show artists. Yes, in the vein of Project Runway or Top Chief a new series to catapult an unknown but ‘talented’ artist to the forefront of TV art lovers all across this great nation. I’ll have to pass on this because from the questionnaire I can tell I’m not enough of an eccentric.
Q. Have you ever been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor? Yes No (circle one) If yes, please give dates and details. Use the back of this page or attach additional sheets if necessary.
A. If anti war protest arrests aren’t good enough I’d be happy to commit something more spectacular if I can be on your show.
Q. What if a branded corporation wanted to use your art in their advertising; discuss your perspective.
A. Oh please pick my art; just tell me who your sponsors are and I can suck up like you wouldn’t believe.
No I’ll pass.