Friday, January 1, 2010

Twenty ten

I like the sound of the year 2010. It sounds a little sci-fi, like we're really entering a new age of technological advances and space travel. Except that was really what the last decade was about, even if space travel is not really something that most people think about much. Every once in a while we hear about the space station, or the Hubble telescope, or what's going on on Mars.

And what was the last decade called? Some call it the aughts, but that really means "lack of anything" rather than zeros. The New Yorker has a piece examining this difficulty. A decade is a long time when you think about it. If I say (as I do, but only if I don't care if you know how old I am) that I was born in the 40's, it might suggest that I was around during W.W. II- but actually was born well after that was over. If you're born in the 60's, you could be the same age as our president, or you could be just barely turned 40. You could say you grew up in the 60's, and that might suggest you were born in the 50's. Anyway, it's not particularly important, except that we like to put the decade in a package that is easily described. No problem describing the 50's, 60's, 70's or 80's...but the 90's, the 00's? It's too pluralistic to make those generalizations anymore. Or maybe things just move too quickly nowadays. Maybe we should break it down into groups of five. Or maybe three, or maybe just talk about years individually. What was 2001 like? Well, it wasn't a bad year until September, and the morning of the 11th was a day of blue sky and pleasant weather. Now anything good that happened that year is obliterated by what happened later. Maybe we should just talk about months!

I'm starting the year on an optimistic note. After a slight scare that entailed a biopsy that I much rather would not have had to go through (although, like most things here, it was about as not-unpleasant as it could be) I am living into the 10's (now that does sound ridiculous) with hopefulness and energy. This past week I had a meeting at William Siegal Gallery, and it went very well. They took two pieces, and will see what kind of response they get. So everybody, tell your wealthy art-collecting friends to consider buying one, or both! The gallery, as you'll see if you look at the website, is a little unusual in that they mix ancient artifacts with contemporary work. It's really a gorgeous space, and I thought it would be an interesting context for this new body of work, which was framed beautifully by Beth the mad framer. I had such a nice meeting with the gallery director and her assistant, who is a wonderful artist himself and is a Yale MFA. We talked about the presentation, the imagery, the content, the scale...all things to consider as this work evolves. I'm really happy to get away from the constrictions of the symmetrically patterned pieces, although I may bring some of that back in at some point. For now, I'll be in New York with no studio and four classes a week to teach (involving four days of commuting) so with months of not working on this series, it may change a little when I get back to it.

I was invited to a Buddhist ceremony for New Year's eve, but I decided to go out to dinner with friends (allowed myself a margarita for celebration, and had very good fish tacos and sopapillas) then watched a movie (500 Days of Summer---eh) and fell asleep after my neighbors tooted those awful sounding plastic horns for a few minutes around midnight. My car was picked up this morning to make its journey back east, and my days here are winding down.