Every Day I Write the Book, approximately 30″ by 39.5″, acrylic on panel (2010).
Every Day I Write the Book, as a title, was meant to suggest that the story or narrative people tell themselves about what it is they like and don’t like is something like a fictional account that is a perpetual work in progress subject to revision. I generally avoid narrative art, but this piece was made specifically for an assignment by John O’Connell at the University of Utah asking students to attempt to visualize a series of verbal and linguistic associations and connections, in a dynamic process where initial visual associations would suggest other linguistic ones and so on. When I make this kind of stuff I fall into a preachy, didactic mood and start free-associating visual content with some philosophical position I’m trying on for size. In this case I was thinking about the dynamics of attachment and aversion and the protean fluidity and mutability of the narratives we attach to “explain” or “justify” why we do or don’t like something, some one or some idea. Those thoughts triggered imagery of text and literature as vehicles of narrative, moths and caterpillars as emblems of destruction, rebirth and transformation and chattering prose nonsense as the narrative clothes our attachments and aversions are dressed up in. Some other “narrative” or bookish paintings I have done are You are Our Son, Shine (American Exceptionalism), Sleep, Maybe Dream (the little death) and Bellmer.