Art in Service of the Empire…


When I’m intensely involved on new art, the pleasure expands way beyond the time spent physically working on a piece. I walk down the street, imagining what I can do next, experimenting in my mind. I try this color combination and that, discard one idea and take up another. Thinking in both images and words, and not quite either, the one flipping to the other and back again. Then when I get back to the easel, it’s all visual.

I feel somewhat conflicted. I love painting… working with color, but it takes money and space. I see work in museums that I admire, but am deeply troubled. They belong to the elite. The monied elite. They are the property of those who would own every THING and every ONE, who are destroying our public schools, growing fat on their perpetual wars, privatizing every last vestige of the public commons and with it, any sense of community not owned and made serviceable to their interests.

I’ve looked at paintings I’ve done, and destroyed them—because I could imagine them on the walls of corporate board rooms. . I play with the idea that I might go back to doing nothing but constructions… and that, with materials I find… not even Modpodge. Wire and nails from the street and junk yards. What kind of artist am I, that I depend on working within the supply and material conditions of a system I despise?

How am I any better–pining for a nice well lit studio–than those capitalist feeders who produce huge expensive works with grants and contracts gained by doing stuff to entertain the Empire’s ruling class?

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