Thursday, December 14, 2006


recent work

i'm up early with worry about getting everything done. why yes this piece is large and tilted and still needs work!

i have my last crit today at CCA, potentially ever! i have to get my application into berkeley MFA for tomorrow, on my dear girls birthdays. an early shout out jesse & bek!

i had a harsh crit the other day whereby i felt so confused and worse yet i didn't have the belief in my art at that moment to defend it. i was allowing what the teacher was saying about my paintings to be the be all end all. i admitted to exploring and not knowing what i was doing and i think that is the wrong answer for the crit, but one that i feel is essential for my own curiousity and growth which drives my artmaking. the irony about it all is that i think i came across as not caring and projected a belief about my art being light weight.

art is so wrapped up in identity that it is hard to separate from my own feelings of self worth sometimes. i don't want to be a tortured artist, but i'm consumed about what and why i'm making art and what sort of artist i want to be.

i was talking to a friend about the idea of suffering and how sometimes it feels like a choice. she was comparing the analogy of a sapling pressing up against a giant stone and how because of the tension it actually helps to push it upwards. that is art school in a nutshell. there is so much friction that you are forced to grow or jump ship. i also started thinking about my current body of work, while unresolved, is about a similar tension. i'm interested in the idea of coping mechanisms and how all living things adapt and grow. often with abandon under dire circumstances, like cacti in the dessert. i find myself particularily interested in the tension between fragility and resilience. forever i have painting damn birds and wondering what it is... trendy yes... but also how fierce and yet fragile. i also read kiki smith saying that she believed birds to be symbols for the soul to paraphraze, which i like.

the interesting part about writing my essays for art school is that i'm realizing how my entire life is linked up with art making: from my upbringing...appreciating even more my mom's pratical craft and drive to creatively re-use and re-invent... understanding that my own interest in leading art classes with women in prison, girls in juvi and homeless children has been to offer a space and time for expression and a coping mechanism, and for myself making art is the same. i like pretty colors because they make me happy, but that does not make me less serious in my pursuit. maybe that's even an interesting part of it... i'm painting explosions in pretty colors. trying to make war pretty and feminine and then maybe it will tranform into people sharing cupcakes?

i worry sometimes that art school is killing my naivety and freshness in making art.. maybe so... but that mind frame is also buying into the suffering mind frame more than the idea of growing pains. when i look back to what i was making 2 years ago at the beginning of school and what i am tackling now... it is a tremendous growth and yet i do see confusion because i have so many more tools in my tool box. i want to incorporate what i have learned and become solid with my language around art making so that i don't stop believing in myself or the value of art making. in the meantime i'm just gonna get through today and tomorrow.

until then xo,


lisa said...

oh that painting is GORGEOUS. i love the colors and composition. i have missed you and love your words about your experience. makes me so appreciate what you are going through. would love to catch up in january and talk about art and life more.

jenny vorwaller said...

oh mati.

i wish i were there to give you a hug and washaway all those bad words....

i have lived art school through you all this time (: and can't beleive it's here. and how much you have gone through...

this painting is evidence of your fresh approach, i see no loss in all the hardships and growth that you took on,


its impossible to separate the art and you, i've tried, it makes no sense!

:) hope you are well...

thinking of you all the way down here...


kelly said...

mati....your art is exactly that.
your art. it is happy, gorgeous,
colorful and inspiring. i am in
awe of your vision. hang in there.
i remember many tough critiques. you will remain standing...we always do!

creative chicks unite!

shash said...

oh so nice that you're posting again. and what a post! i always love to read what you are thinking about in relation to art and life.
and i love to see your new art as well.
(you're very welcome for the card- just a little hello from me.)
congrats on being so close to the end of school and on applying for grad school!!

china said...

lisa s said...

mati.... all this says to me is how serious you are... and what a great place to be in... it may not seem like it - but you are WIDE OPEN - you can make any change, any leap, any step you want right now.

think of the confusion as good. it means you are searching. and searching can be the best part.

art school can only take away your freshness if you let it.

just paint mati. paint away!

Fiona Robyn said...

found your site via others - I really like this painting. thanks for writing.