these texts are an archive of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area from march 2007 - march 2015. it stands as a record of close to a decade of my life, charting the struggles i faced as an artist, daughter, and lover. messy and chaotic at times, eloquent and poetic at others, these texts are an index i am proud of. it was here in this electric box that i learned how to be honest about my experiences and the person i needed to become. it was here that i first learned the truism that words make the world and how to trust such a beautiful, rife, hard fact.

thank you for meeting me here in such tall grass.

my artist website is here.

Jun 2, 2010


such a quiet.

and a moment of stillness.

and i am less and less concerned with right and wrong.

just effective and ineffective, warranted and unwarranted, what works for me and what doesn't work for me. a stoic philosophy- knowing myself and then living in accordance with what that is/means.

behavior that lines up with belief.

and i acknowledge that this harmony may not always be pleasant or appear beautiful. "beauty" is as subjective as "right". morality is relative. ethics are individual. and i mean that in terms of application. i mean to say that my ethics are for me to apply to myself. that's who they exist for. it is my code, my way, my walking stick.

the big WHY.

these pictures are a document of that wrestling: a catalogue of my attempt to make meaning. accuracy is important. it takes courage and patience. but accuracy about what? my life and what it has meant. it may mean something different in a year, in a month, tomorrow. and so... some sort of exorcism. some sort of reckoning.

self-portrait after self-portrait.

aren't we all just talking about ourselves? giving light to our loves, hates, losses, and concerns.

i don't think a person can make ART about shit they don't care about. captivation is mandatory. the subject must be relevant to the artist dealing with it. it has to be. and it IS if it is any good at all.

when i am captivated i can work all day. when i find the right form, the right image, when everything is married and conjoined and aligned in a way that makes sense to me, that is true to the mess of things or the beauty of things, i will work until my hand locks up in a huge, painful cramp. i do not abandon it. i stay and stay and stay because something honest is going on. and that site of honesty, for however idiosyncratic it may be, is where the reckoning occurs. it is where ART is made.

i can be honest about my own impulses toward blame or self-pity if i dig deep enough to actually see where they come from, if i find the hidden kernel that gives rise to those feelings. but merely to offer an expression of blame, an expression of self-pity, adds nothing to the conversation. it shuts conversation down. all it is is lashing out. it is not courageous. the results are not ART.

but that doesn't mean an artist can't be angry or ugly. you can be. is it warranted? and if it is- don't excuse yourself, don't blame anyone else, keep the responsibility and guilt of it for yourself, let it be ugly and don't try to cover it up or run from the aftermath. stand there. own up. that might be ART: to not run. to not make excuses.

to make a statement and stand by it even if the statement is ugly or offensive is an act of courage that has the capability of causing a reckoning, a fracture, a tear, a split in the seam. "ugly" is relative too. and sometimes, it is warranted. sometimes an ugly expression causes us to notice an overlooked beauty- a situational contingency or symbiosis that supplies knowledge and an avenue to compassion... and those things are rewards.

rewards are not always shiny and warm.

behavior that lines up with belief.

i am changing my attitudes about certain things. effective, ineffective. acceptable, unacceptable. necessary, unnecessary. and only as they apply to me, my practice, my life, my ins and outs and daily grind.

and so this catalogue is only a catalogue. it is not an argument for why i might be right and another person is wrong. it is not a case i am building against anyone or anything. and if i have indited anyone, it is myself. it is either effective or it isn't. and if i can get to that site of honesty where the reckoning occurs than i can steadfastly believe in what i'm doing because i have achieved an amount of courage, i have achieved an amount of clarity, i have done something relevant for my own life. and of course i want the looker to be effected. of course i want to catch their eye and keep it. but i can't dictate that. my tastes, my desires, my needs are my own to satisfy. just as i walk passed paintings, others will walk passed mine. it is no strike against me. the other person has an entire life inside them that i know nothing about. we are not all cut from the same cloth and we do not all share the same beliefs or have the same needs. especially not when it comes to art. i'm more than okay with this and am not beaten down by it. and increasingly, i am thankful for those who do stop to look. who stay a minute and look at the lines and shadows and (hopefully) see a bit of their own biography in the shape and twist.


Anonymous said...

i agree with you!!

angela simione said...

:D thanks, yolanda!