Friday, September 21, 2007


From the Archives

(March 2005) I’m texture girl today in slightly nubby brown raw silk slacks, a moss-colored mini-wale corduroy shirt, a taupe silk jacket with a large shell button, and my favorite brown leather monk shoes.

Have been looking around my office because someone told me that she was once asked in an interview, “If I went to your office right now, what would it tell me about the way you perform and organize your work?”

Hmmm.. Well, a pal met me here last night and we wound up staying for a good thirty minutes because she wanted to explore all the art in here (and there’s a lot of it).

I have a large Mondrian-style rug comprised of squares/rectangles that are any number of shades of brown or orange or dusty pink. My window ledge contains an orchid that doesn’t look so healthy, a vase of fading daffodils, and a nude sculpture of a superhuman man that I molded out of concrete a couple of years ago. He looks like a ruin comprised of a gallic head, super-strong torso, and the tops of his massive thighs. His legs and arms are broken off and taper into fat coarse wire. I left wire in his neck exposed too so he looks a little like a massive Borg, eager to tell you that you will be assimilated.

A large Pollockesque painting that I made some time ago hangs on one wall and there’s a Mexican tile table and two simple wooden chairs beneath it. One chair has a red wool horse blanket that someone brought back from Texas for me hanging on it.

Twenty-four dried white roses in a large orange Mexican hand-blown glass pitcher sit on the tile table (and this is probably revealing more than I should tell ANYyone about me but here goes: I carefully taped the date of every month that Mud and I had been together on the stems of these roses for our second anniversary and attached a beautiful paragraph about love and white roses extracted from Jeannette Winterson’s Written on The Body to the vase.

When I broke up with her (after discovering her Yalie affair), she grabbed the roses and threw them into the trash can with a level of drama that only a red-headed actor can really pull off, then stormed out of the house. I salvaged the roses, removed the month labels, stuck them in the pitcher, and placed them in my office at work because, well, they look really cool here—or maybe I like punishing myself with bad memories.)

A large, Picasso reproduction hangs on another wall. A bookshelf covers a third wall and writing proofs and assignments that need to be graded line the floor beneath it. Each project has a chunky bolt on it to keep the papers and deadlines in place.

The shelf is mostly lined with books, but I’ve got a bottle of balsamic vinegar (for my salads) stashed in between them and an emergency stash of Thai rice soups, along with a couple of cans of mandarin orange sections—you know, emergency food for when I forget my lunch and don’t have time to pick anything up—too. There’s also a Russian harlequin doll from Malevich’s painting Sportsmen standing on one shelf.

Another wall is practically covered by a large 7-foot-tall cork memo board that has all kind of weird sh!t attached to it. My favorite is a large, chunky piece of sky-blue foam construction insulation with the HUD building code stamped on it that resembles a modern-day suburban fossil. Other items include a flyer advertising a long-ago Anne Sexton poetry reading at Harvard; a silhouette cut-out of MLK with his arm raised; a blue poster of Gandhi; and one of my favorite poems taht I scratched onto a piece of gray paper:

by Nicanor Parra

Let’s not fool ourselves.
The automobile is a wheelchair
A lion is made of lambs
Poets have no biographies
Death is a collective habit
Children are born to be happy
Reality has a tendency to fade away
Fuck!ng is a diabolical act
God is a good friend of the poor.

Several magic-marker drawings that my nieces and nephews gave me, 2 Storybook People sculptures that I purchased near RISD, a CD that I wrote a poem on, a photograph of a billboard that says ”what matters most is how well you walk through the fire" (Charles Bukowski), a Guerrilla Girls poster citing all the tongue-in-cheek advantages to being a woman artist (“No. 3: Having an escape from the art world in your 4 freelance jobs”), a Rilke quote, a poster-size close-up of Shoney’s Big Boy, a short story that a friend’s child wrote entitled “The Mostr” (Monster), a photo of Holocaust prisoners below the words ‘Never Again’ (cut out from an ad for the Holocaust Museum), a “His toughest teacher has always been poverty” sign, another that reads “Now we know why guppies eat their young,” and another one that reads “A truly great sentence has music coming out of it”—Rhoda Lerman.

There’s also postcards of various paintings from various museum shops, a poster that asks “How Will You Know When You Have Enough?”, a picture of George W. Bush as Uncle Sam that says “I want YOU to attack Iraq while I sit on my well-exercised ass,” several holiday ornaments, a silver pine cone, nametags from various conferences, family photos, and a large curling strip of metal that came off the top of a eighteen-wheeler that drove under a RR trestle that was shorter than the truck. (This hangs from the top of the memo board over several pieces of art work.)

Who even knows what all that says about me? Maybe that I'm eclectic and like found art.

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