Burning As a Way to Let Go
In the hallway of the warehouse where my studio is, I curate exhibitions of art. They are not the white cube variety of art shows, but showings of art, nonetheless. Sometimes, I pull from my expansive inventory of unsold work to decorate the walls, and currently that is the situation. My first show of paintings, in 1999, was titled People, and it was a large collection of comedic, cynical, cartoonish oil paintings of people in odd life situations. I was fortunate to have sold quite a few back then, but the luck ran out, and I have held on to the remaining pieces for nearly twenty years now. It is a slightly sad, symbolic, challenging conundrum when I consider my options with this collection. There are some quality paintings there, but after this many years, the “clingingness” that I feel when I think about them is not a positive energy, and I need to transform this dynamic. Over the years, I have exhibited them at prices I set back in ’99, and I have offered them at a “pay what you want.” Still, many are unclaimed, and that leaves me in this predicament. I think about how to get free of them… is it just an inside job where I need to “let go” internally? It feels like more than that. Over the years, I have thought about burning them, setting them completely free, but that just seems like the dramatic move. Then again, maybe that’s the way to true freedom??? By the end of 2019, I will have resolved this… I’ll have to check my sources to see exactly when in 1999 the show was, and maybe host a performance art burn project on the anniversary.