This work was part of a series of still lives I did around the home of some friends near Forest Park in St. Louis. I was quite happy with it at the time because, in addition to a number of other techniques, I used multiple lighting sources in a complicated pattern to assure I had both illumination and shadow from two directions – that subtle use of light I like to think sets my work apart. Having once created it, however, the question arose, as it arises for almost every work, “What the hell do I do with it now”?
So, I added it to an art book along with the rest of the still lives created for this setting, titled the work ‘Sex and Romance’, presented it to a number of friends and left it at that.
To put this in context, I have hundreds of works I consider exhibit quality. Most of them exist only in digital on my hard drive (and backed up to two others). I have produced in the analog only a few dozen of them on exhibit quality metal plates. Metal is the gold standard of finishes. Although I will still reproduce a work on photo paper for those who request it, I don’t consider that exhibit quality, and the only guarantee I give for exclusivity are works on metal.
Back to ‘Sex and Romance’ sitting lonely on my hard drive. One of the galleries I exhibit at announced a new show on the theme ‘Icons’ – “…the power of symbolic imagery and the legacy of humanity’s pursuit of the ideal in representative form…”. The thought occurred that nothing is more iconic than sex. Nothing is obsessed over more. And I began to consider that this work would fit the theme. I went back and forth – producing work on metal is not cheap, and there’s no guarantee it will ultimately be accepted for exhibition. It seemed to me the work required an ornate, classical frame, which drove up production costs even more. I decided to retitle it after one of the Greek Erotes: ‘Himeros, Erotes of Uncontrollable Desire’. It was all coming together.
The produced work is sharp, it really is, and has been well received. It’s very worth the trip for a viewing. What I find fascinating is the serendipity behind its production, so separate from the act of creation. Every artist faces two different processes; one to create, the other to market, and they don't have the same rules, and don't follow a predetermined logic. It is unwise to be caught up in the many, many works that go unseen but for a brief posting on-line, which is not to say I don't. It is not personal; it is not a judgement. But it is not easy to be so detached. Each creation seems like as child waiting for the right circumstance to be born into the physical world. Like actors waiting for a breakout role. Like kids killing time in a backwater town waiting for the chance to escape to the real world.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.