Into the Mirror (Remembering Marisol)
Breathing words into your mouth
I listen but
life keeps interrupting me
echoes of a light
drifting between talk and time
standing next to myself
I went to see Marisol’s exhibit at El Museo del Barrio last year. No photos were allowed, so I didn’t get a chance to document it myself for future reference, but a lot of both her sculpture and drawings are available online. These are large assemblages–human size and bigger–so the impact is also bigger when confronted by the actual piece. My collage was inspired by “Women Sitting on a Mirror” above.
Marisol Escobar died on April 30. She had a multicultural upbringing; her parents were Venezuelan, but she was born in Paris, and lived at various times in her life in Europe, South and Central America, and the United States. The various obituaries and articles cite many influences on the development of her art; de Kooning was a friend and lover, and she appeared in Warhol films.
So it was with interest that I read her interview in the Smithsonian Oral History archives. It seemed the interviewer was attempting to put words in her mouth: that’s where my poem began. Her answers and statements are much less direct about the origins of her ideas: “To my mind I found this piece of wood in the street….and then I visualized it this way.” That’s pretty much my experience with making art.
I was going to use excerpts from her answers in the poem, but words, too, have their own ways with me. In the end the only one left is not even direct: she spoke about wanting a sculpture to look like he was standing next to himself, and I kept that intriguing idea intact.
The poem is also a response to the secret keeper’s words for the week:
Words: | DRIFT | BREATHE | LIGHT | HOLD | LIFE |