Overheard at The Self Portrait Show
Visual Art Exchange | Downtown Raleigh, North Carolina | © Christy Hydeck
Right there -- yep, just beyond that pretty window -- is a fabulous, non-juried exhibition at the VAE Gallery right here in the heart of Downtown Raleigh, NC ... and yours truly actually got my piece down there... just in the nick of time to be a part of it.
You heard me correctly : On.Time.Yes, me.
Go on, I'll hold while you dish out the applause -- cause we all know, that making a deadline truly is a miracle right now for me; given how many directions I'm being pulled at any given moment. Oy.
Here's the nitty gritty on this fabulous, diversified exhibit: (copied from here)
People You Know August 1-28, 2008
Self portraiture is a time-honored tradition. Painters like Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Kahlo documented their artistic and biological maturation through countless portraits and interpretations of their physical selves. People You Know is a non-juried exhibit of self portraits, featuring artwork that creatively explores the artists' likenesses.
When I initially saw the call for artists on this show, I was ecstatic since I actually had just received back one of the pieces that are featured in the upcoming Mixed Media Self Portraits Book. (If you missed my post on it, take a gander over here..)
Which is also why I can only show you a tiny portion of it until the book is released. The nerve of publishers making you sign those pesky contracts...
One of the things I most enjoyed at tonight's reception was remaining anonymous. Standing around listening to people comment on my piece... I abso-friggin-lutly LOVE the honesty that I hear this way, when people aren't afraid to hurt my feelings. I have pretty thick skin, and when I create any piece -- I know there are three reactions I will inevitably receive upon sharing it:
" I LOVE it! " or the inevitable, and less desirable "I Hate it!" and let's not forget the ... "I could really care less; I just don't get it" remark.
All of which are a-ok with me. It's just part of exposing yourself, it's unavoidable (you know what they say about opinions..) besides, I rarely create anything seeking someone else's approval. Creativity is one of those sacred kinda things I do for me. Mostly, anyway - sometimes, bills really do just need paid.
There I go, getting sidetracked again -- My point being, I know I did something rightIf my piece evokes any kind of emotion from the viewer. If it makes people feel. Whether it's happiness, sorrow, that squirmy-kind-of-uncomfortableness we all experience at some point, humor ... or anything in between -- if what my lil' hands created gets a reaction, any reaction - if I somehow made that connection with another soul, made someone think - I feel I was successful. That's all there is to it. Simple, eh?
My piece is placed in the middle of the gallery, on it's own panel. Kinda cool, almost seems prominent (or it just didn't fit in with the others on the wall...) ... but I'll just delude myself into thinking that's something of importance. Why Not?
Anyway... you might be wondering what I heard tonight as I stood there looming and invading people's conversations with my eavesdropping... here's a small sampling of the remarks overheard.
- <deep sigh>"mad brilliance"<typical gallery head nod in understanding followed>
-"I just don't get it"
-"The artist is definitely tortured inside, conveyed so well."
- "I want to learn to do this!"
- "The depth, and layers to this... wow."
- "Umm. Ok. Weird."
- "Now that is truly original. Unique."
You get the idea --- people loved it, were freaked by it, fascinated by it. By far though-- the best reaction I witnessed was from a child, who I would venture to guess was around 9 years old...
" DADDDDDDDDDDDDDDYYYYYY ... what IS that? ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww... creepy, I'm scared!"
I couldn't help it, I was chuckling..and chuckling to myself.
UPDATE: Book has been released, and I can show it to you!
I think the coolest part of it all was watching how nearly everyone - really - it amazed me... stopped in their tracks to turn and study it. It definitely got some attention, and drew stares... which is ever so satisfying.
The self portrait piece I titled 'Raw'; well, It made folks curious. It made folks feel.
P.S. Go check it out if you're in Raleigh, and let me know what you think! I promise, to share more photos once the book is released and it's all legal-like for me to do so:-)