People are going to have to change, and soon. Nobody likes a know-it-all, and lists are only looked at if they’re formatted like inspirational internet memes, so in the hopes of not being trite or bossy, I’ve taken up art. My art is non-confrontational and pleasant to look at. It’s often curious, absurd, slightly macabre, or decorative, and I like to think it makes a subtle, long-lasting impression on those who observe it.
The message I’m sending isn’t about what to think or how to live, but simply to think at all. I want people to feel like there’s nothing to “get” when they experience my art, and instead to just simply like it without knowing why. It will stick with them. They will recall what they’ve seen and they’ll make different decisions. Maybe my art will calm some of the mean-spiritedness in people. Or maybe they’ll buy fewer products that are wasteful or harmful. They might even just be inspired to behave more fastidiously, or to think things through before they come to a conclusion.
I use whatever materials are appropriate for the message I’m trying to send, and that could be anything from silver and sapphires to gummy fruit and chocolate. I sometimes paint or draw; other times I build big structures out of wood and plastic. I like to knit fancy cables, set cabochon stones in bezels, or cast forms in plaster. Sometimes I do some graphic design or use printmaking techniques.
The point is to do it well and to get it done. Flaws are not “on purpose” in my art. They aren’t part of the message and I avoid them at all costs, even if it means working around the clock or starting over.
My current project, “Human Soup”, is a camper-sized cylinder inside which someone can stew. The container is still being built. It is a departure from a real can in the way that it is clad in clear fiberglass instead of metal. The awning will be the label, screen printed with the logo and a picture of the soup. “With Chunks!” it will say.
Previous projects include a big painting of a cow, a collection of ancient artifacts made out of sweets, and a ball gown knitted from plastic strips and floating on balloons. I don’t know what changes these pieces have brought about, but I like to think that there has been a positive impact on the audience.