I was told a story many years ago about a musician who was big in the sixties. When I say big I mean BIG as in HUGE!!! His family and his staff had one major goal at the time I was told this and that was to side track this person from making new music and going on tour. The world had moved on, their work while still wonderful in its own way was no longer relevant and everything they put out would lose them money when all they really had to do was sit back and let the revenues from all the film, tv and commercials that use their work and the still constant radio plays around the world, fill up their bank account. This person although still vastly creative was much better off by not being so. The thing is, there is no off button to ideas. Well, if there is, I haven’t found it yet and I’ve had a bloody good look for my own personal one.
I was reminded by this yesterday, I met a world famous rapper, of course I didn’t have a clue who he was and had to look him up when I got home. A freind of mind is this person’s p.a. I recognised something very familiar with them, they were in their own little world, their focus darting about all the time and they shot off and came back again numerous times both physically and mentally in the length of time it took to drink a cup of coffee. I recognise it because I can be guilty of it myself, hopefully to a lesser degree, orbiting others in your own world of ideas and imagination so fast that you only come into contact with everyone else every now and again because the flood of thought sends you racing off again. If you make it to a certain extent (whatever “it” is) you can afford people to buffer you from the world, if you don’t or if your path to get to be doing what you need to do to stay sane is a long one, you are seen as being mad. People make allowances for ‘creative types’ if they are making people money. If not, you tend to be avoided and that is the best case scenario. I used to pop in and visit a freind of mine at work whenever I went shopping in London, he worked in computer animation and the post production unit that was his base of operation was just off Covent Garden. One person who used to turn up a lot was well known for making videos for Bjork amongst others. The guy was rail thin and stank but his work was amazing, truly mind blowing but he had blown his own mind in the process. He was a lovely chap, but without employing a minder he would be a shut in somewhere or, worse still, on the streets. The world is not kind to people who think too much.
So here’s the problem. I have a show in September, I am also running a few workshops at a local gallery / museum that run at the same time. I need to get public liability insurance and a criminal record check done both of which are time and a faff and need to prepare merchandise to go with the show, little things people can afford such as cards badges and the like. I’d like to have a new silk screen made up at the printers and get some t shirts made and also some tea towels and then there is the framing…
The theme of the show is “Dweeblings in love (and other matters of the heart)” I have taken my main inspiration from the heart procedure, the lead up to it and my slow recovery. I have gone on a journey, both psychically and mentally, trying to wrap my head around how narrowly I avoided death earlier this year and the modern miracle that is non invasive surgery and my mixed feelings of discomfort and wonder at what was done to me and the medication I had to take. My mind has been following many paths through the Japanese art of repairing precious ceramics with gold, through catholic sacred heart iconography and am currently pondering the chemical similarity between anti blood clot drugs and rat poison. As usual, all the while I am doing all this, I politely tolerate being patronised and patted on the head by people who look at the seemingly overly simplistic nature of my painting style and see it only at face value because the grand theme that has run though everything I have done for decades now is this, the art world is a bit of a racket and very few people understand it beyond what they are told to like or pick up anything more than the very surface of what they see. It is as much a business and as fickle in nature as fashion and while there is plenty of genuine talent, there are also some right wankers about. As usual I am merrily pointing out where the Emperor’s stubby todger is as he is not actually wearing any clothes. As is my nature, I am currently shooting myself in the foot so often that I am rapidly running out of toes. The tea towel I want to produce and sell in the restaraunt / cafe is based on old Victorian poison bottle labels, probably not the best thing to have around while trying to get someone to order food. Then there are all the drawings of hearts which jolly as they are are probably way too graphic for food consumption.
The worst problem though is the framing, I have been working mainly on paper for the last few months and they all need framing and every frame costs money. Plus to make matters worse I’m still doing them. I can’t stop!!! I can’t stop having ideas, I can’t stop making links I have ideas for a few more paintings every time I am sitting down working on the current one. Even now, I have just idly scratched my arm and the thiness of my blood and skin has caused a small trail of blood to run down my arm and I’m thinking of rivers and river courses and maps and how that would link up to images of veins in anatomy drawings and how I could find maps with amusing road names and overlay them in blood and gold. Aaaaaaargh! It just doesn’t stop. But it must stop, or at least for long enough to catch up with the admin for what I have done already. I have no minions to mumble at to make these problems go away or to explain things to people who can’t speak fluent Chris. I just have to take a deep breath and stop for a while and hope my brain doesn’t explode with the backlog. So if you are passing through St Leonards in the next couple of months and you should happen to see a red smear on the wall and bits of brain and skull dotted about, you will know what has happened. Chris had one idea too many.