Arts, culture, ideas & expression of a few wild art monkeys living in an arts loft in Jersey City.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2002-2010 The make me or break me years

. Just about every New Years I'm completely in the dark as to where I will be going and how I will be ringing in the New Year. This yr wasn't any different, as I toiled over choices, not feeling connected to either choice and not exactly knowing why. It appears that over the years I have developed a guilty responsibility to keep my celebrations & progress balanced in perfect harmony. That is to say; if I feel I haven't been doing what I'm supposed to do, then I don't deserve to be celebrating as often. My mom used to restrict how often I went out, often telling me "you had enough fun this week". I remember thinking what a ridiculous reason to not allow me to do something; b/c I'd be enjoying myself too much. Despite my thinking such; I carry that with me I suppose. Self-checking every so often to make sure that I'm working as hard as I'm playing. These days I prefer to think of going out for drinks as miniature celebrations. Sure, everyone drinks for different reasons, some to celebrate, some to forget, but for me going out with friends and spending your hard earned money should have cause. You should feel content with how much you've done with your day, week or month so that you can truly cut loose and unwind. If you don't have that sense of contentment, self destructive behavior can ensue. There are so many angry or sad drunks out there, why be another one of them?

So when 2011 approached I briefly considered what kind of celebration I deserved for how I spent my year. A low key familial celebration or a balls to the wall/ all out brawl of a night out.. Neither seemed to appeal to me. Instead I thought of the bills, the garbage, the unfinished paintings and construction I would be taking with me into 2011, leftover from 2010. It wasn't a celebration worthy feeling. In fact, it made me feel unfocused, because I knew I had time in 2010, but didn't use my time as wisely as I could have. I imagined myself knocking even one of those incomplete projects off my list and how much more rewarding that would feel then shitshowing it out on the town.
I got more done then I expected spending my NYE in the studio and it would probably go down as my 2nd best NYE to date, simply b/c it was the first NYE that I actually contemplated the year before. This year was more then that actually, bc this year I found myself contemplating all the years before. Snapshots of all the little steps that led to this time in my life. Every failure, every success and all the subtle lessons that develop your personal philosophy for life. I had been fighting for so long to forge a life for myself against the odds of the outside world and those obstacles I created myself from scratch, that I forgot to stop slashing at the reeds in my path and turn around to see how far along the path I had come. Choosing Art as a career when you haven't yet been discovered is a risky choice. You're destined to face obstacles and demons you hadn't considered the moment you naively imagined your names in lights and across magazine covers being declared as the next great American artist!

...I guess it's been 8 winters since I first came to Jersey City to lease a giant empty warehouse with dreams of becoming a successful painter. 8 winters in a cocoon waiting to be something. It took 2011's arrival for me to realize I could put down the machete for a minute and realize the path has been forged and I am already here. This is what it feels like, this is what it tastes like at this point. It's not at all what I imagined, and it certainly can get better, but its wonderful all the same.

*Untitled Painting- Dec 31 2010

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