24x30 Acrylic, art resin coated with canvas.
At some point, it’s inevitable. Maybe at a point of self-realized identity, any time or age really, and for different reasons of varying intensity and life circumstances. We start to tuck parts of ourselves away - to fit in or stand out - or to look a way we don’t feel instead of how we actually feel because feeling and looking like you’re feeling is just so vulnerable. Maybe I thought I wouldn’t be liked if they knew I felt like that. Or maybe that’s what it always was. The fear of looking how I felt.
I wanted to be a bright pretty sunbeam in a baby-cut yellow t-shirt stamped with a purple unicorn screen print and glittery butterfly clips in my hair. Or like a cartoon candy raver because when you looked at those people, dancing in the lights, there was never a contemplation of what it felt like to be them. Only a focus on what they knew how to consume and piece together, and the way it made them move - to me it was magic. All I knew how to want to be was someone else, somewhere else, that knew how to look like life didn’t hurt under the lights, let alone in the dark.
Drugs gave me that. Until they didn’t. The drugs always take away anything you think they give. It all was a crash to say the least.
Sometimes I think I was born in 2003 on a basement floor in a house I can’t remember the house part of. The spirit I was born with that went through all of that - it was all too much - and a higher being switched into this body the night the original spirit left. The new spirits task. To clean up the mess and express the frequency of becoming 5th dimensional- from nothing - through art and connection. There's really no such thing as me, only what I express.
Sometimes I think that there are lifetimes of ocean worlds and armies of ghosts inside of me and every once in a while one steps forward so that I can paint a canvas of that specific being going out into the world in physical form. There are other times when a mass of spirits all step forward for one canvas. How many figures do you see in this? Maybe they are all me, shape-shifting into you because that’s all I know myself as.
Or maybe one of my favorite places I hide is fantasy and imagination. Maybe if I don’t make the art or write the stories it’s all just bleak, sad, and traumatic. I hide in self-deprecating humor and in making you think I think I’m less than you so you feel more comfortable being yourself. I hide in the mystery of talent I don’t know how I got. I hide in smallness, fear, and obsessive work ethic defining my value. I hide in my story and survival. I hide in the ocean, deep diving as hard as my body will allow through the waves because when I feel the most fucked up, I know that going into the ocean erases all of that built-up panic. I hide deep in my head in a hot room with a mirror right in front of my own face for 90 minutes a day. I hide in my cool car and behind my rainbow-colored hair and in all of my mismatched, ripped-up, inexpensive, very old paint-covered clothes.
I hide in detailed memories and blank blocks of time that only exist in the way my body physically reacts to an unexpected sound or movement. I hide in daydreams of the future - or sometimes dark violet waves of the anxiety of the responsibilities of freedom. The figures that appear in the movement of the art always let me know what direction I am trying to hide in. Lately, it is everywhere, as everything.
What places do you hide?