Q: When you set up your figures to photograph, do you create a story?December 22, 2012
A: I always did so with my “Domestic Threats” paintings, but not with my current work. As I set up a group of figures to photograph, I would make up a story about what was happening between them: what the Day of the Dead skeleton I bought in Mexico City was saying to the frog/fish/human mask from Guerrero, for example. I was a big kid playing with my favorite toys! The stories were the spark to get me started on a new project, but I usually forgot about them afterwards. They were necessary, yet incidental to my creative process, which is probably why I have never written them down.
Years ago I had the experience of being at one of my solo shows when a group of elementary school children came along with their teacher. The teacher asked them to act out one of the stories in a particular painting. Ever curious about how people relate to my work, I didn’t introduce myself as the creator of the pieces hanging on the walls. I no longer remember the details, but their interpretations soon had me laughing. It is a constant surprise to hear from people encountering my work for the first time what they see in it, especially when those people are young kids with wild imaginations!
Comments are welcome!