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.

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[My favorite one.]

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Close-ups.

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My binds were released.  I spread my wings.  I could be the art viewer, instead of the art wife.

China bewitched me again.  To boldly display underground art, that’s not government sanctioned? To trump what so many fellow teachers say about China’s youth?  Creativity is continually suppressed; they learn by rote only.  THIS.  It was ballsy.  I wanted more.  In the upcoming weeks I’ll explore Shanghai for more street art and delve into the innermost chamber of the art beast –M50 on Moganshan Lu.

Me and art?  We’re good.  Back on speaking terms again.