In 2008 I applied (with an artwork) to ride on the Newark Star-Ledger Munchmobile, a feature in which readers ride a van with a giant hot dog mounted on top and eat. Our theme that day was Route 46, a major thoroughfare running East and West from NYC to rural Sussex County. That day we ate bagels, pizza, Jamaican food, bar food, hot dogs…it was a very long day. I’m still friends on Facebook with some of those people. It’s easy to bond in a small van with a very full stomach and we all had a great time that day. I did this poster and sent everyone a copy.
After Possible Cultural Contact
Whenever an opportunity appears to incorporate an idea I’ve been thinking about–well, I’m all for it.
Starbucks to the rescue again.
So: I wanted to take a crumpled paper and stitch on the folds and see what happened. Crumple controversial Starbucks ad, smooth it out, embellish with black and white stitching. More random art….I like it.
As to the controversy: I think the desire to talk about race is a sincere one. And necessary. But asking baristas to discuss tangled issues with customers already late for work who haven’t yet had their caffeine fix…hmm. What could go wrong?
On the other hand, a coffee shop in the Bronx which was part of a Parsons thesis project somehow successfully incorporated the issues of race and class and gentrification into its reason for being. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/30/nyregion/before-starbucks-a-south-bronx-cafe-used-coffee-orders-to-talk-about-race.html?emc=edit_ur_20150330&nl=nyregion&nlid=59959181&_r=0 ) Perhaps it’s not a problem best addressed on a corporate level.
Race. Where to have this conversation? How to begin?
At least the Starbucks campaign produced one definite result: people are talking about talking about it.
And it gave me a chance to make some art.
art: crumpled and stitched Starbucks ad from NY times
haiku: randomly chosen headline words from same section of newspaper
“On the clear understanding
that this kind of thing can happen,
Shall we…? (at least) dance?”
invitation courtesy of Rogers and Hammerstein
Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who’ve made her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer
–Joni Mitchell (Little Green)
I had a lot of ideas for where to go next, and decided to do each color with each other color to start. First: green. It does look like spring to me.
Back in the day ( early 90’s) I used to perform at children’s parties. I did a bunch of foam board posters that we used as visual cues. This is one for Earth Day and I’m including part of a song we wrote (to the tune of Chim Chimmeny:
The earth is as lovely as lovely can be,I love the sun and the moon and the sea, they’re part of our world come and see them with me.
Sometimes I look at the world in despair, all of the garbage is strewn everywhere, I try to clean up and recycle my trash, because if I don’t t’would be gone in a flash.
You get the idea. Happy Earth Day.
I haven’t been painting much, so I decided to at least do brush and ink with the second skull in my bones book. And I’ve never tried to paint with my left hand, but why not? (that seems to be a theme these days…) The left hand painting actually turned out OK. I like the less-labored feel.
I then painted one on rice paper, but with my right hand. Somehow less skull-like and more human, perhaps because the angles got smoothed out in the process.
Then…what the heck?…I tried painting without looking at the paper. I think this might be better in the future on a very large piece of paper, as I was worried about painting off the page, and I think that constricted my movement somewhat.
Oh Mary, she moves behind me
She leaves her fingerprints everywhere
Every time the snow drifts, every way the sand shifts
Even when the night lifts, she’s always there
I’ve had an idea for awhile to draw all the Marys I can find in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Like Buddha, she has inspired a lot of great and moving art.
Mary belongs to a long tradition of the Great Mother that includes Mother Earth: she nurtures, protects, and heals. Her appeal is universal, and not confined to Christianity.
You can read all the lyrics to Patty Griffin’s wonderful song, and link to hear her singing it, here: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/p/patty+griffin/mary_20105316.html
Oh Mary, you’re covered in roses, you’re covered in ruins
You’re covered in secrets
You’re covered in treetops, covered in birds
Who can sing a million songs without any words
I also want to do something with that vivid image someday.