Getting High with Arts and Sports
'We are all in This Together' CM 30 x 30 IN 12 x12 ,
From the collection 'World on a Wire' presented in washinton D.C, 2011
October 4th, 2022 Sex and the City once and again.. Every time I open the computer, look at my notes and start organizing the blog content in my small head, I cannot help but seeing the image of Carrie Bradshaw in that cult series of Sex and the City. If she was a real person in the midst of a turbulent life, she and I would have so much in common. This comparison makes me smile, because while the tv-show moved so much a generation and opened up new, more honest coffee table conversations, it’s exactly what I aim to do, revealing the conclusions of a bohemian thinker. I may not be able to turn the world around from its bad habits but I wish to rock the foundations a bit - even if in small circles. If this is my mission in life, then so be it. I’m happiest when feeling the freedom to explore, analyze and lastly to express it all in a highly compressed form - painting or writing. And like mentioned before, observing takes the biggest part of my job. Next comes the inspiration based on those observations. The final touch always comes from the audience. My work is not complete until someone, even one person, inhales it and feels it speaking to them. And when you come to think of it, wouldn’t you agree that it’s not a fast process? This is a slow commodity, as it should. And if an artist wants to feel really old, they look back through all the years of practicing their profession, adding up all of the hours of this process and VOILA one finally comes to the realization that you’ve actually worked 24/7 all your life!
Chanel and the twenties utopia - by the artists for the artists On Lisa Chaney’s book about Coco Chanel (yes, that almost 500-pages one) she cleverly sucked the reader into a scene from the twenties' golden days. Those were the days that probably many artists would love to have - at least partially - back. It was an era of early freedoms for bold artists, and in many cities in Europe, especially in Paris, it didn’t matter what society class you were born into. Artists and aristocrats of various nationalities, owning a spectrum of backgrounds and sexual preferences, partied in the same cellars, drank, danced and had the time of their life naturally mingling - together without prejudice. The bohemian artists were accepted for who they were deep down, their ideas and products were always the talk of the day, and the exchange of thoughts between different types of people innovated the society to move forward. This curious attitude toward the cocktail of different ’forms’ of life is what art is all about. Our job as artists is to shake and stir, let the dust (or the drink) to settle and then look around if anything has changed. We do not want to work for nothing, a zero outcome. Of course we want to see emotion (as we are trying to depict them) which works as a booster for an attitude change. The hopeful aim for a change of attitude in human behavior is many times what artists shoot for. We’ve been banging our heads against some seriously hard walls ever since the beginning of times, trying to message the great public, those deciding what the priorities should be and those who are borderline artists themselves. And who is not an artist? Being an artist is a state of mind. It’s about being observant, tolerant and compassionate yet seeing deeper and giving criticism to where it deserves. How would the world look like if we all had an artist state of mind? What if we ALL got high on celebrating life, preserving it and expressing our emotions freely and just like artists, truthfully to ourselves?
We are all in this together In 2011, I had the privilege to hold a solo show in Washington D.C. The title for the show ended up being ’World on a Wire’. At the time, breaking news about the BP oil spill was all over the press. Intuition hit me in the face. This nightmarish, sad event at sea had to be the subject for the show. I decided to use some of the seashells I’d collected from the shores of the Carolinas and demonstrate how something as beautiful as that can end up polluting the world - in the hands of a human. Ever since human-made disasters have continued and while it started to look hopeful in terms of progress, we’ve suddenly taken two steps back. These days it's difficult to stay hopeful and positive about our future, since it seems we have not learned from our past mistakes. Earlier I wrote about the absolute necessity of evolution in all aspects of life, giving attention and dedication to where those are needed. However it’s looking almost contrary right now. I wish the news weren’t true. In the stream of news I mostly see the absurdity of it all (especially the updates from the war in Ukraine) camouflaged in talking heads, vomiting sentences that to me make no sense at all. Don’t we have better things to do than to report on war that should not have happened in the first place? Nonetheless the current situation hits me again in the face (like intuition, in the previous event) and calls for action. What could I possibly do to offer an input that would matter? The truth is, that we can all do something, regardless of someone saying that one person cannot change the world. Anything has to be possible. We need to create a movement that has substance while involving everyone on this planet, also offering inspiration and motivation for change. Ideas anyone?
Best things in life are free It is a known fact that creating art of any media, especially the planning and executing stage might take an artist to another level of consciousness. I’ve called it drifting, some call it ’high’ or just being deep in the process of creation. This is actually necessary for the work being meaningful for the artists themselves and to further resonate with the audience. It’s also mandatory for the work process to flow. It is thus also called a 'moment of flow’ for this reason. This flow-level-of-working is when the best strokes, best lines, notes or other creative ideas are born. For someone who does not use creativity as their primary tool, it’s a phenomena difficult to understand and empathize with. This ’flow state’ releases a cocktail of chemicals for an artist to continue without interruption, since the body does require less sleep, food, drink etc. We survive fine without. The worst thing an outsider could do in this period to an artist, is to question their work hours, sleeping and eating habits etc. And if there are children in the family, a responsible parent artist has the other parent or a babysitter at hand to keep everyone happy and fulfilled. Naturally there is prioritizing to be made when combining an artist's life and a life with kids. At best it’s a way of life, sharing inspirations and philosophies with children, offering them a broader world view, appreciating the best things in life which are actually free. Arts and sports While there could be many bridges to unite arts and sports, I’d like to share one example using my own family life. My eight year old daughter loves swimming and especially free diving. Doesn’t matter if it’s the pool or the lake or the ocean. She is obsessed to say the least. The more she gets to be under water, the more she needs it. She gets high on it. She was first just addicted and then it became an obsession. The feeling of being under the surface of water, being IN the water, where the element is the opposite from being on land. For her it’s the above mentioned ’flow moment’. She is in another world where she is treated with another mix of chemicals giving her security, excitement and happiness at the same time. This is why her face is glowing on the shore. She is happiest as her emotional needs for all positive things are merging, lifting her up higher every time. And it’s also because she knows her loving parents are there to support her in anything she loves. Shouldn’t we also agree to lift each other and support our loved ones on their chosen passion? For whatever they’ve chosen as their mission in life, it’s most likely because it gives them the natural high.