I just woke up, not being able to sleep so here I am blogging at 4am. I’ve been consumed with the standstill my figure drawings have come to and I can’t seem to let it go. My mind has been racing and so consequently I can’t sleep. Over the past few days, I’ve been wondering whether my impulse to scrap these figure drawings was simply a form of procrastination, and that eventually I would get over it. After talking to my husband about it last night, it’s become alarmingly clear that indeed these figure drawings aren’t working, so as painful as it is, I’m going to go ahead and scrap them and start fresh. I don’t want to work for the next year in denial about this work.
I think what has been bothering me is that the figure drawings weren’t doing anything new conceptually. They seemed to be trying to do what the 50 self-portrait drawings already did, and I felt like it was purely a matter of just executing the work at this point.
Lately it seems like a lot of former and current students have been privately coming to me seeking advice, Many of them have expressed feeling broken and falling apart on the inside. I’ve been telling them my latest theory on the world: everyone is fucked up. Everyone has something in their life, whether it’s their own personal issues, an issue with a family member, etc. that is difficult and trying. Why did I come to this theory? Because when I talk privately to my students, I am surprised at what comes out. Even the students who on the outside seem so fearless and solid are in reality barely holding it together. When I talk to my close friends, many of whom look successful and happy on the outside, they all express feeling like they are coming apart at the seams. It makes me think of that quote “Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” In my experience, this could not be more true.
I think about all of the years that I had to hide my depression, having to act happy on the outside despite feeling so turbulent and out of control on the inside. This is what I want to talk about in my new work. Falling is now officially over, and this is now a new project, called Hiding.