Art is a bloated bag of bullshit. Pregnant with pretention, popularity competitions and false muses. I gave it up officially in 2003 after a 10 year run. After I left my ex.
My long term ex is a fine art painter. He subjected me to Jackson Pollock smeared floors, the dusty smell of dried, caked paint hardening a litter of brushes, and that nasty substance known as paint thinner — noxious if I left the windows shut all day.
Not to mention art shows. Attended by anorexic, existential depressives. And those whinging milky art fags — you know who you are. There I was, planted in a throng of pomp with a frozen smile chiseling permanent grooves in my cheeks, being dictated by the circus. These shenanigans paralyzed any chance to absorb the talent surrounding me.
I grew tired of gloss instead of realism. That the art world wasn’t about the work, but how well one could write a proposal for grants, flatter a gallery owner or edge out another artist.
Then I grieved. Clutched a wine bottle, threw the covers over my head because deep in my sarcastic, flippant guts, I love art. Art moves me. Makes my mind swirl with possibilities. The whys. The big ‘yes’ of the universe.
Here I am in China teaching, writing, going about my life. And believe it or not, besides attending festivals and skipping through gardens, I also do mundane things.
The latest mundane thing was going to my Chinese bank. China is still in the thrall of a building frenzy, so across the street from my bank is an empty lot, where a building was bulldozed some months back. A concerte fence surrounds the property to show the illusion of productivity. WE ARE BUILDING HERE. STAY AWAY.
I seem to withdraw money frequently because over time the wall changed. Week by week, panels of street art magically appeared.
I became obsessed with the wall. Waiting for the next, next, next.
Until, I burst. My roly poly art belly broke water. Giving in, I ran across the street one afternoon and stared. At every single detail.