Tonight is the soft opening reception for a display of my paintings, drawings and fine art photos at the Mondo Bizarro Cafe in downtown Sacramento, starting at 6PM. This show materialized from a conversation at a Memorial Day barbecue after a few too many sangrias, when I agreed to show a bunch of my work for the month of August. I never seek out exhibitions because they take a lot of effort and time to put together- not to mention opening myself up to criticism and rejection. It’s really about time I start putting it all out there, so, thanks Mike and Becca (for both the sangria and the convincing)!
I have enough work for about 20 solo shows, so narrowing down what I wanted to show was difficult, especially because it all had to look cohesive and tell a story. When I saw the space at Mondo Bizarro, it inspired me to show a lot of my large-scale paintings because of the colors and style of the interior- the long turquoise wall was just perfect for the saturated yellows, azures and oranges in this particular series. The painting style of these pieces is kind of surrealistic/abstract, which I think went well with some of the holga photos and digital exposure combinations I’ve done with photos. When deciding on a theme, I struggled at first, but then it hit me- this will be a sampling of work I’ve done all in my 20’s- and it sort of tells the story of that decade in my life and my artistic journey. Okay, I make fun of people who get a little too deep about art, but thinking about it and seeing the pieces together ended up meaning quite a lot to me.
When I was 20 years old and in college, I rejected a lot of things about art. I rejected photography as a real art form. I rejected graphic and web design. Anything that wasn’t tangible, anything created for advertising or business purposes. If you didn’t make something with from raw talent with your bare hands, it wasn’t for me. Even interior design was an inferior form of a creative expression! Wow, the opinions I had. Apparently I was dead set against anything that could make me money in the future. Throughout the years I learned, as most people do in their 20’s, that what you think your life is going to be like isn’t exactly how it turns out. Most of us end up on a different path, and sometimes it’s a better one than we sought out in the first place because of the lessons we learned from our set-backs. Funny that I ended up with a career in the interior design field for many years, then got hit hard (twice) from the economy, did some web and graphic design, and eventually bought myself a camera and traveled for a bit, and discovered that I was in love with taking pictures. I figured out that it wasn’t the art form that made you different, it was your perspective that set you apart. All of those things I thought were too easy for me are actually the hardest to make yourself identifiable from the rest.
I’ve always seen my creative processes as my therapy, and so showing my work and opening myself up to commentary made me uncomfortable. Yes, I majored in art in college, and endured years upon years of critiques, but there’s a big difference between people who know how to give criticism, and the general public. Therefore, I was very private about my work and mostly stuck to putting it up in my friend’s houses and my own. Over the years as I changed and grew as a person and found out more about who I was, I started to open up more and more to the world. I was less afraid of life and people’s opinions of me, and I think it says something about who I’ve become that I have a business where I create art for people, and I share it online for everyone to see. I used to be afraid to share who I was. I’m not really afraid anymore, and I’m not worried about what anyone thinks. In fact, I’m finally proud to show it.
The soft opening is tonight, and it will be open for second Saturday this weekend (the 13th), and throughout the month and part of next month. If you’re in the area, drop by and see it if you get a chance. Everything is for sale, so if you know anyone looking for all difference scales of artwork- spread the word!