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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time Machine

I'm hard at work finishing up my next graphic novel The Wolf... I've been "hard at work finishing" this book for over a year now, but it will actually be completely done in a few weeks.

So, for no real reason I'm gonna post a bunch of art that I did way back in 1996-97.

I made these the year before I went to SFAI for my MFA. I was very inspired by artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombley and free-jazz and noise music like Boredoms, John Zorn and John Coltrane. I loved using found objects, collage from old books, and exploring memories and dreams and abstract story-telling.

I feel like that period of time was when I was the most "free" as an artist. A time when I was full of ideas and possibilities and enough pre-art-school naivete to think that I could make art out of anything.

I still look back to these pieces for inspiration - they act like a time-machine to my younger self.

"Screaming Fear" 1996, mixed media

"Paranoid" 1996, mixed media

"Specially Built" 1996, mixed media

"You're Welcome" 1996, mixed media

"Souvenir" 1996, mixed media

"1950" 1996, mixed media

"T.V. is my Friend" 1996, mixed media

"Heraclitus" 1996, mixed media

"Harmony" 1996, mixed media

"Revelations" 1996, mixed media


Matt @ Exquisite Things said...


I like that one... But seriously, it's great to see a some of your earlier work. I agree with what you say about the energy and freedom that comes with youth and inexperience; where everything is white hot and full of meaning.

I sometimes listen to old tapes of me and my friends playing music together, doing our very best to write songs in the vein of Death and Cynic when we were 16. It's all stupidly ambitious, and just beyond our grasp, but that's the beauty of it. I still get a kick out of listening to those old dusty recordings.

I wish I had the same energy today, and am constantly working to re-capture that youthful optimism and creative drive.

It's funny really, you grow up, get a job, and FINALLY have the cash to do those things properly, but you lack the time and energy! Sure, I can now afford nice amps and guitars, and we'd have never dreamed of the kind of quality I can achieve on my home recording setup now.

But, like so many others struggling to make art, I wish I had more time and energy to dedicate to it. Ironic really, but the battle continues in spite of the daily grind!


tom Neely said...

I hadn't seen these for over 10 years until a few months ago. Looking at the originals of these paintings brings back memories of every moment of that time: I can remember making every line and smudge of paint so vividly, where every collage cut out came from, all the references and what i was thinking when making it all... even movies I was watching and music i was listening to while working on them.

Art is a time machine.

raighneHOGAN said...

Excellent post Tom. I'll have to agree with Matt. This is really beautiful stuff. I'm very excited for The Wolf, and any of your work really.