Thursday, September 6, 2012


You may ask, "Hey Layla, what's up with the building materials?  Are you making an ark?"  The short answer to this question is no.  The long answer to this question is also no.  Building an ark in a 630 square foot apartment is ridiculous, now I need you to focus.  These sheets of plywood will soon cease to be mere lumber...they will be magically transformed into fine art.  Very fine and rare art that you read about in expensive leather bound books.

This art is so rare in fact, that it must be made upon super shitty wood that averages out to be around $8 per 32"x46" panel because the artist wants 'to keep it real' and also had to buy gas, dog food, toilet paper, and english muffins on the way to the wood store.  (Side note:  Q:  How do you get Home Depot-esque employees to scatter like roaches?  A:  Ask them to custom cut sheets of plywood).

So what's lighting the fire under my ass for this batch of paintings?  Two things:  words and a fort.  I'll begin with words.  I've switched my obsessive Western movie watching to obsessive obscure memoir reading.

Here is what I've read so far:
Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent
I'm Down by Mishna Wolff
Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? by Thomas Kohnstamm
I Drink for a Reason by David Cross
Bleachy-Haired Honky Bitch by Hollis Gillespie

In the docket:
Trespassers Will be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn

As you can tell, book titles play an enormo role in my selection process and yes I do judge a book by it's badass cover.  What these books have in common, besides telling a weird yet rad story, is the brutal honesty in which that story is told.  "To hell with subtlety!  To hell with friend's and family's feelings and good social standing!  I'm going to expose my deepest secrets and most embarrassing moments and not give a damn what people think of me!" they say and I dig that.  The authors have balls.  Some of them literally.  I want more of that attitude in my art.  I want my work to have more balls.  Whoa...wait...nope I'm sticking with it and I'll say it again;  I want my work to have more balls.

(Hang in there, I'm almost done.)

Second motivation...a fort.  Yesterday was my Meemaw's funeral.  She was 87, hilarious, and did super awesome things in her life.  During the service a couple of family members shared stories of her awesomeness, as they did so one story popped into my head and hasn't left since.  I built a fort on her back porch when I was about 7ish.  It was made out of a huge cardboard box from a refrigerator or some other large appliance and it was one of the greatest events of my life.  I felt so safe inside of that fort and the space outside of it felt just as protected.  My engineering and interior decorating of the fort was highly encouraged.  I knew I could stay in there for as long as I wanted to grow my dreams big and strong.  I want more of that feeling in my art.  I want my work to be like that fort.

So in conclusion I want my work to have more balls and feel like a fort.  That's a tall order but here goes...

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