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.

Sep 28, 2010

life's work

i've been thinking a lot about limits lately. and art.

perceived limits.

how all the artists and writers i admire have highly multi-faceted practices. they don't just write or just paint. they embrace a wide definition of what art is and can be. and what it can be made with. and i'm so attracted to that. i'm so compelled. just turned ON but that expansive, inclusive, generous view.

and then a few nay-sayers arrive and start trying to infect me with all sorts of dualities that i simply don't agree with, that i find no real foundation for. the nay-sayers that shout oil paintings are better than drawings and why would you waste time crocheting when you could be painting and writing? i thought you were a painter?

for awhile, these interferences accomplished just that: interference. but i've decided that part of being an artists is simply being yourself and ignoring all that chatter. because those nay-saying remarks, those limits, those expectations are not critique. and therefore need to be thrown out and turned a blind eye.

the really wonderful, happy circumstance of my life at present is that i have no one to answer to, no one to argue with about these things, no one to sell my ideas about art to. i can sit, alone and quiet, and hear the crunch of the road i'm on. i can find a site of stillness where i know, beyond any doubt, that i am moving in the right direction for me, for my practice. and it's become important to track down like-minded people who really do truly care about the job artists do and believe in its relevance. this blog has been absolutely wonderful in that regard. completely. my instances of fear and doubt are becoming less and less frequent as a result of this practice, this weird electronic landscape.

but is it weird? it doesn't feel weird. i take it back. it feels good. it feels happy.

thank you for travelling over to Gaga Stigmata yesterday. i hope you liked the work. i hope they are good images regardless of what your art opinion is of Lady Gaga. she's become very interesting to me in the passed few months. very compelling. the image she's made. the images she continues to make. and there's just something about that Hair Bow.

also, when it comes to music, anytime someone gets labeled "poison for the minds of our youth", you can be sure i'm going to take a better look at what they're up to. ;) and it's especially scary to me that she's been labeled as such when her dominant message is to love oneself.

but i guess that is a dangerous message somehow... if we all loved ourselves a little bit more (love, the opposite of indulgence) we probably wouldn't waste time caring about the kind of car we drive or who has the hottest boyfriend or how thick our wallets are. if we all loved ourselves a little bit more, our social values would definitely begin to shift. education and culture and walking through life with respect and kindness... ethics... would become much more prevalent and important within our society. maybe even come to be viewed as necessities?

somehow this all leads back to DIY culture in my mind. how it shatters a lot of those perceived limits. how it is the best antidote to consumer culture available to us right now. relying, every step of the way, on buying survival puts me in a very weak position. and i'm talking about the basics- food, shelter, clothing. i have to buy a place to live and buy the food i eat and buy the clothes i need to cover my body. i have no choice but to participate in the system.


after making the most recent banner, i realized that i already have a skill that can be used to satisfy one of my basic needs- clothing. and with autumn's arrival, i decided that rather than buy sweaters and scarves, etc, etc, etc... i'll make my own. i'll buy yarn instead. and lead a more artful, more creative, more compassionate life that way. i want the objects in my life to have some type of meaning... and i just don't find the meaning i'm looking for in mass-production. can i find a way to love myself enough to figure out how to be less reliant on a system that keeps artists down? yes i can. i totally can. it takes time but i've become willing to spend my evenings with my crochet hook (and learn to knit too!) so that i don't have to buy a blanket or buy a pair of mittens. i'd rather give cash to the people who make the supplies with which i can use to build (truly build, with my own two hands) a life that i love and feels good. making my own sweaters is a good way to begin. it's a start. it's a start that takes a stand too. and i think artists and craftsmen who do this need to be supported as well. i think it's wonderful to buy t-shirts and stuff like that from the artists on etsy and places like that. a t-shirt can carry a lot of meaning sometimes.

i'm not going to choose between painting and drawing and crocheting and writing. i'm going to do them all. i love them all and they all feed each other. having a wide practice makes life more interesting, more beautifully complex. it erases dualities and strictures and just opens the world up. a sweater could be Art, for sure. a sweater can operate as a billboard. just like the banners do. fashion is Art, so why not?

one of my favorite art pieces ever is Jenny Holzer's t-shirt project. body as billboard, clothing as a warning label. i love it.

talk about a ton of bricks, right? t-shirt as Art.

thanks Jenny. :)


Elisabeth said...

Wonderful thoughts here Angela. I agree with you, you must do whatever feels right for you irrespective of genre or method or activity.

Creativity is in the eye of the doer, not only in the beholder.

Hannah Stephenson said...

The righter it is, the more the strands get unified.

You know what I mean?

The stuff I make overlaps more and more...and sounds like you are also experiencing this.

angela simione said...

elisabeth, i cling to your last line here. i want to write it down and pin it to my shirt, like parents did in the days of kindergarten- notes to the teacher wore on the chest.

thank you. this is a truism i need to keep close. :)

angela simione said...

hannah, yes! i've noticed that too! it is a fantastic feeling when i become aware of all those connections piling up, piling up.

lately, there has been a surge of that feeling and i have been grateful to have it. that voice that begins to emerge that says so clearly "all of these things are connected" and i stop feeling lost. :)

thank you!