The Evolution Continues

There are 3 stages of the process I am exploring.

1. I usually document in the streets and take the photos back to the studios to become paintings. This fall a gallery asked for a prospectus for a photo show and it forced me to look at the work. I saw something I had not been paying attention to. I started to modify the compositions in small ways on the walls in the streets. It was small little things. Then in November, I was diagnosed with HIV and a list of health issues. It really threw me into a depression. I was walking home from the doctor and saw one of my usual spots and I lost it. I just felt like if this was going to kill me that I have even more urgency to push my work. SO I walked up to the wall and started deconstructing the entire surface. I sculpted the paper and formed compositions.

It was the most invigorating art experience of my life. Like full circle to when I started taking these photos 10 years ago not sure where to go with it. This is what became the Angeles  en Mexico series now at 160 photos (attaching some here). The idea here is that in the time of receiving bad news my brain shut down and I asked the universe to help me. All these people showed up out of nowhere and carried me through doctor appointments and sat up with me. They’ve been bringing me food (even though I can’t eat – hjaja) and keeping me company. But also the angels are the assholes who push their stigma of HIV onto me and say stupid things. I figure the universe sent them to me to confront the same messages I have internally. Anyway…that is the first part of the project I’ve been working on since about December 1. 

2. Next is going into the studio. When I remove the paper from the surface I bring the scraps back to the studio. I finally found a perfect surface to experiment with collaging and painting those pieces. Instead of printing the photo and working from there – I am also going to be working from the physical artifacts I bring back from the streets. Funny, my big concern has been police. I was working on Tuesday in the streets and I got stopped by a police officer. Fortunately, my Spanish has improved enough I was able to have a full conversation to explain what I was doing. He wanted to ticket me but for what? I wasn’t littering as I took it all with me and they posts were already illegal – so I am providing a service to the city. The next thing though was the team of hooligans who work for the companies to hang. They showed up also but that was a battle I did not need to fight, so I just moved to a new place to work. 

3. So now I poised to start the collage process. The idea is to work on panels to mirror how billboards are constructed here in the city (photo attached). Work in smaller panels and then put it together in the street on an actual billboard. This is the exciting part for me as my goal has always been a complete life cycle. I want the street to be the gallery and to document the piece as it wears back down in the elements of nature. This has a whole new set of issues. Finding the billboard, negotiating in spanish, promoting, documenting process, documenting the deterioration (eventually the art won’t exist anymore so the documentation is key).