painting by moshe sherman

It started with the collaborative poetry and visual art project I began with my friend and painter, Moshe Sherman. I wrote poems based on his art, he drew sketches based on my poems, and some we just created in the same space as each other. An extension of this project found me recruiting various friends to write out my poems by hand.

A couple years later, I had the idea to incorporate the text directly into the artwork, and began my text-based art projects. I wanted the poems to be as much a visual art as a literary art. I am still developing these, but one project included a poem written on lottery tickets hanging from a stick (hard to describe), and one of Moshe’s drawings blown up 16 x it’s size with my poem it was based on written within the drawing.

More recently, I took back up calligraphy, and have been incorporating that and other handwritten typography/fonts.  My latest ventures in this area includes putting my poetry in calligraphy over top of my mixed media collages. I am not sure what my ultimate goal is. I just like to blur the lines between genres, I am interested in more than one medium myself, and it provides another way of looking at things. Does anyone have any links of people doing similar things? I am sort of up a creek without a paddle on this, and I don’t want to reinvent the wheel. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor?)

In my art, as in life, two or more seemingly opposing ideas or images are held close together and exist as one poem. I make use of this to make social commentary, to show the human impact on the world, and to illustrate the complexities of all relationships. I question social morès and norms. I don’t shy away from racial, ethnic, class, and gender issues. My art tries to raise the importance and awareness of the mundane. It tries to bring a focus to single moments in time. It also tries to be an affirmation of life. It does this by remaining grounded in the concrete and in the present, and by narrowing the lens of specificity. My work should have a sense of urgency and be immediate and approachable.

My style is fluid, collaborative, often rooted in story, and at times experimental. A common thread in my work is my quirkiness. Like the subjects and media I juxtapose, I also juxtapose tone. My art can be humorous at the same time as being serious, even tragic. My quirkiness serves a greater purpose, illustrates connections and the beauty of the world.

As Adam Zagajewski says in his famous poem, we must praise the mutilated world. My art beseeches for a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, and an open mind. It questions assumptions and provokes discourse. I try to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary for my audience, because, in my mind, these everyday things are already extraordinary.

In my art, as in life, two or more seemingly opposing ideas or images are held close together and exist as one poem. I make use of this to make social commentary, to show the human impact on the world, and to illustrate the complexities of all relationships. I question social morès and norms. I don’t shy away from racial, ethnic, class, and gender issues. My art tries to raise the importance and awareness of the mundane. It tries to bring a focus to single moments in time. It also tries to be an affirmation of life. It does this by remaining grounded in the concrete and in the present, and by narrowing the lens of specificity. My work should have a sense of urgency and be immediate and approachable.

My style is fluid, collaborative, often rooted in story, and at times experimental. A common thread in my work is my quirkiness. Like the subjects and media I juxtapose, I also juxtapose tone. My art can be humorous at the same time as being serious, even tragic. My quirkiness serves a greater purpose, illustrates connections and the beauty of the world.

As Adam Zagajewski says in his famous poem, we must praise the mutilated world. My art beseeches for a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, and an open mind. It questions assumptions and provokes discourse. I try to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary for my audience, because, in my mind, these everyday things are already extraordinary.

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