LETTING GO OF UTOPIA
How many ways can one approach mourning? I've tried to jest at it, deconstruct it, cover loss in trashy glamour and glitter and reassemble it so the source material is only hinted at. An assemblage of Instagram snippets and sad wry and sour jokes and heartbreak.
Still, loss cuts through everything. I keep trying to title paintings Failed Utopia. "Used that one already" my husband says, "or some variant of it. You want to name every painting that." And it's true. California is omnipresent, a grounding, overlaid with other landscapes, Utah, Cambodian beaches, Dubai. Misplaced animals stand as totemic witnesses to a world eroded by an accumulation of insults both large and small. And I'm letting go of the hope of ever seeing it any other way. Damaged landscapes, pulled apart, puzzled over, persevering with a litany of scars.
Painting as protest when I've already admitted defeat. The good guys lost, it gets hotter every year, and I'll drive home from the opening in my SUV, V8 engine rumbling. Because it snows sometimes where I live. Because what difference would it make. It could have been better than this. I want to say we've given up. Sometimes it feels like we never even tried.