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Post-consumer material – Redefining abundance

After I moved the studio back home I realized how heavy were some of my paintings, how much room they take to be stored, how much money I had to spend just to make them, and what’s going to happen next? I would die one day and my kids will have to sort through all this heavy stuff. I was disgusted by the whole art endeavor, I wanted to stop. It didn’t make any sense.

Spring came. My spirit was light. Finally, I didn’t HAVE to be an artist. I didn’t have to make art at all.  The idea of exhibitions made me sick, the self promotion, bla bla bla, The idea of being part of the MARKET, made me want to stop once and for all. After all, I have a job, I serve a community ….so why bothering doing art?

Then, I created a “meditation/it’s ok to make a mess” space in my home. At the beginning, nothing happened. Then, out of no pressure, I started looking at things. I thought “I can repaint the same painting over and over and take photos of the process” . “I can re-carve some of the old boards”. “I wanted to do some collage with poems”. One morning I felt a desire for three dimension exploration, and I just grabbed a box of cereals form the recycling bin. I cut through some shapes and assembled them with tape. That was kind of fun. So I said to myself, “I should keep those boxes”. Once I had accumulated a full bag of them I started looking at them, I noticed the different shades of gray and brown, the way they are die-cut to show the product inside, the tabs that keep them closed.

Then, I decided to make a collage with the boxes. First I would open the boxes flat and remove by cutting out any spots where the glue had tear the cardboard.  Because the cuts were often rounded shapes, the boxes now looked half way between the mechanical and the organic….

And here I was again, creating things , derived from a pile of waste, just because I looked at a box without thinking of it as a box, but as a tree that was cut many years ago and was ground to pulp and transformed into a box just to become pulp again….. and all that using human energy, human lives to move all this things around in boxes. And I thought, may be there is a spirit of the pulp, the fiber of earth that is going around and around in a sort of purgatory, ant it wants to be free or visible or something…. or maybe it’s just me that doesn’t know what to do when I have some free time and decided to make free art with free material.

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