MoCA. Museum of Contemporary Art. They had their annual pin-up show on Thursday and somehow I was hoodwinked to participate. Nonetheless, I accepted the challenge and this drawing was my submission. The show is really a clever way to get memberships. Anyone…really anyone can walk in with one piece of artwork…no larger than 12×16 for the price of a $15. membership and tack it on the wall with four pins. Hundreds of artists (emerging and collectable, crazy and not so crazy) flock to this event for a chance to hang art. Hundreds more show up for the night’s festivities. It is a museum for more conceptual art so I tried to step a little farther out of my box, although I think I always have the door open in my box. At the drawing board, I wasn’t sure what would transpire on the canvas but surrealism/symbolism emerged. Creation is a funny thing and for the most part…it just happens without a real plan…you start the process and voila, another idea, then you have a half human / half bird unfurling one wing behind a cat sleeping in the bird’s lap….go figure but it’s for MoCA. MoCA is all about making the viewer think a different way. Not so much technique, style or skill but more about content and concept .
This process reminds me of a painting by Andrew Wyeth, ‘Christina’s World’. Wyeth began the painting as desolate terrain with The Olsen farmhouse on a hill. The painting was considered complete but a moment of inspiration; Wyeth decided to include Christina crawling through the grass. From that afterthought, he created one of America’s most iconic Paintings. Christina had a degenerative muscular disorder which worsened with age. She refused to use a wheelchair and preferred to crawl. One day Wyeth saw her crawling through a field and knew this was his chance to finally paint Christina. Wyeth always thought of painting Christina in her pink dress and now knew it would be in the grass of the Olsen house painting. Wyeth had a deep admiration for Christina’s determination. The small details of Christina’s body would imply her solitary strength.
The Olsen House is located in Cushing, Maine and is now owned by the Farnsworth Museum and is open for public viewing for a small price. The painting itself remains as the most popular pieces in the MoMA collection. It was this after-thought to place Christina in the painting that sky-rocketed Wyeth to the highest placement as an artist.
While”unfurled” is not conservative realistic surrealism, it is a mysterious afterthought.
“Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.” Jorge Luis Borges