The phases of "preparing an art show"

phase 1: Shop for frames. Buy weird ones, big and small, from random antique stores and thrift stores. It will take several days. Claim that you must do this before anything else can be done.

phase 2: drive two hours to the nearest art store. Stock up on art supplies and $6/sheet watercolor paper that is completely worth it.

phase 3: clean out a room in the old house for your "studio". Scream and make faces all day at the dozens of spiders you find, like a hapless little girl. Shriek and run up to the house and get Nick when you find the big black one in the desk drawer. Feel free to exaggerate its size and coloration. When the room is finally clean, furnish with stuff found around the old house: old album covers, a swan-shaped vase for your brushes, candles, a lamp. Tack pillow cases over the windows to keep the heat in.

phase 4: burn tons of incense and stare at frames and paper until you can stand it no longer. Bring pen to paper. Produce 2 pieces and feel satisfied and relieved that you still possess some artistic ability. Or at least basic use of your hands.

phase 5: spend most of the day drawing and painting. Produce 3 more pieces, get excited, you feel some momentum gathering. Scream when you see that the cat has walked all over your $6/sheet watercolor paper. Draw stupid-looking cats over the muddy paw prints. Write "cats are stupid" next to them.

phase 6: Another whole day in the "studio". You're used to this now. Just relax and let ideas come to you and paint whatever you like. Say to yourself in a shrugging way, "eh, what the hell," Make it sortof your motto.

phase 7: sleep very little. Play Grand Theft Auto late into the night.

phase 8: realize suddenly that you hate everything you've made. Hold up one of your pieces and say to Nick, "maybe assholes would buy this." Gaze dejectedly at the glowing green lamp that looks like an incubating alien fetus.

phase 9: when your self-motivation and confidence betray you, choose a new adversary. Allow your resentment of cats be the solitary fire that drives you to continue. That paper is really expensive and you're not about to let it be covered in stupid-looking cats.

phase 10: write up list defining the "phases" you have undergone thus far in your efforts to prepare an art show. Do this to delay the terrifying task of actually continuing under these conditions. Try to remember your motto and the shrug that should accompany it.

1 comment:

  1. so.... this is your artists' statement, right?

    esPECIALLY the "maybe assholes will buy this" bit. it's a great tactic, employed for decades by cosmo: insult the consumer and lower their self esteem to the point where they'll buy a used toothbrush if it promises a "better" life.