For current posts, scroll down past artist's statement.

The Muse's Storage Box

The Muse's Storage Box
Copyright Diane Lou.

Alchemical Dreams and Disparate Realities

Rust and bones, broken toys and old text, game boards, gears and nests. Even as a child such odd, unwanted items evoked a pit-of-the-stomach response that bordered on exhilaration.
While I make no attempt to conjure up specific feelings in the viewer, the ambiguous juxtapositioning of familiar materials creates art that evokes half-forgotten, dream-like visions that beg to be interpreted by the viewer. There is a sense of deja vu (the already seen) tempered by a sense of jamais vu ( the never seen, or the illusion that the familiar does not seem familiar), and this contradiction asks the viewer to dig deeply, to look inside her own repository of wisdom, intuition and experience to find her own meaning in the familiar objects she sees.
The once-private discards of people's material lives that I collect for my art seem to carry universal memories with them, memories that can engage and mystify the viewer. Their beauty lies within the rust, the erosion, the wear, and the mere fact that they were once possessions.
I play with abandon and with no forethought. Each piece of detritus seems to suggest to me a relationship with some other piece, and I begin to put them together and wait for the mental "buzz" that lets me know I am proceeding as I should. Even at this point, I continue to remain in the play state and will not allow myself to direct the outcome of the piece, a process that requires complete trust. The outcome often mystifies me as much as it might any viewer.
Remember when, as a child, whatever was in reach became the instrument of your creative exploration? That is my life. A rusty, flattened piece of metal on the street, a gnawed bone by the roadside, a unique twisted branch from a tree, a fallen nest, a broken egg, a snake's skin, a dead butterfly...all will be added to my collection and eventually have their beauty honored in one of my pieces. The resulting art creates a new story with its own imagined history, one that invites the viewers to lay some claim on it by allowing themselves to be enveloped by the sight, the history, and the ambiguity of the realities before them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Harvee Riggs...

I didn't know of Harvee Riggs until his recent unexpected passing at a too-young age, so my appreciation of his work is just now happening.  One of my Yahoo! groups (Assemblage Artists) mentioned him, so I googled him and found his website.

His found object assemblage art fit my take on what it should be, and I was motivated and inspired by seeing his work.  Then I read his artist's statement, words that could have/should have come right out of my own mouth because they so fit what I do too.

Here it is:  "I create my mixed media works intuitively. Arranging objects, typically within a box, I explore and discover what is possible and attempt to create the jamais vu, the never before seen. Unrelated objects acquired at different times and from different places, seemingly by chance, are assembled into new, dynamic, apparently inevitable relationships. This medium and method favor an unconstrained freedom and allow a mystery of coincidence to unfold." ...Harvee Riggs

At times I am annoyed with wordy artist's statements which seem to baffle more than explain and which are filled with art-speak gobbledegook, but Harvee's statement perfectly describes what he does in a few perfectly chosen words.  I also loved learning the term, "jamais vu", the never-before seen (contrast with deja vu, the previously seen).

An aside: If my posts are few and far between right now, it is because time is being spent with a loved one with cancer.  I'll post as much as I can.

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