This is from a poem by my friend Aimee Herman. I found myself talking to her in the kitchen recently in the falling down farmhouse in Nebraska, where we both are attending an artist residency.
Aimee is a poet and performance artist in New York. She’s the rare type of person who actually makes me feel comfortable talking about myself. She asks me about art — and we talk about showing work and all of the emotions involved.
Aimee can walk on stage, read a poem and undress at the same time. She’s strong like that. She tells me that she feels out her audience but is willing to push them a little, to go somewhere that may challenge them.
As I talk about my experiences showing paintings, I have one of those out-of-body types of experiences. Why do I sound so negative? What happened to me?
I used to be the one who was enraptured with art, always planning a show or gathering friends for an event. Suddenly, I’m sounding like I hate art, like I hate galleries, like I hate showing work.
I know that there are numerous reasons for my current state of disenchantment — but that’s not where I want to be or who I want to be. Instead, I want to be, as my high school art teacher said, “childlike but not childish.” Wild and full of wonder, love and light. That cannot co-exist with all of this negativity and bitterness that I seem to feel.
So the reason I want to start this blog is to reconnect with my old feelings about art, to highlight the artists that I believe in and to document my life among the artists. I am the one having the identity crisis, I suppose, and I want to fix it somehow.