Thursday, February 24, 2011

The effects of prolonged artistry

It's the night before judging.

I've exhausted all of my resources...

This extreme work-a-holicism has depleted me physically as well as mentally... it has even taken the electricity out of my hair.  Either that, or the crazy just seeped back down into my head.

But at any rate, I'm rather proud of my accomplishments (even though I still have much to do!! SO MUCH!). It's exhausting and I'm sick of it, but at the same time it's kind of addicting, just watching something so big, so beyond yourself even, unfold so quickly before your eyes.  I'm left wondering just how have I done all of this?

Artist statement that I posted most recently is the final.  It has the green light from my advisor and quite honestly, I have no comprehension of what's good/bad right now so I'll take his word for it.  Oh, and I officially decided on the title for the whole thing, it's going to be....



Isolation Sensation

I had to decide upon something that reflected the solitary experience of the thing, but not make it sound cliche, alien (as in green alien man), horror-movie esque, or too somber, because it really isn't... at all (surprisingly).  I also had to choose something that reflected me as an artist.  I'm a little over the top for lack of a better word... I just don't mean that in the, "you went too far...." sense.

So there you have it.  I am so hitting a pub tonight.

Ugh, Frustrated...

So when I originally wrote that artist statement that I posted I thought, "eh, a few tweeks... other than that, I'm happy with it."
Then I sent it to my BFA advisor and he was like, "Nope.  Too long.  Too wordy.  Take another stab at it."  Okay, so I'm paraphrasing, but still.  I'm not mad about that at all, just frustrated.  So I wrote it again.  Feeling much better about it, and now I'm back to feeling like I don't like it at all now.  I just don't know.  Maybe I'm just too tired to comprehend how I feel about anything right now.

Here it is: (The title of my piece is officially "Four Walls" now btw)

             Four walls and one entrance.  Many spaces we inhabit share this same basic layout.  Lights, music, recognizable imagery, and familiar objects are also staples to our everyday experiences; however, when these elements are rearranged, only if slightly, our perceptions can change drastically.
            Everything inside is painted and made of common artists’ materials as well as found objects.  These materials are formed or used in unconventional ways, creating something still recognizable, but perhaps something we didn’t originally intend canvas, foam, thread, paint, or teacups to be.        
            Some aspects to life are inexplicable and undefined.  Two plus two may not always equal four and in those instances we do our best to fill in the gaps, making sense by drawing upon what we know and understand.  In the end, my hope is that viewers form their own narrative or perhaps a mere curious conclusion possibly having the effect of self-reflection and reexamination of one’s own expectations for the world around them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dance Like Me

So, I found someone who dances like me...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Mirror of a Decade or More

I spent a considerable amount of time imagining myself looking into the mirror.  Gazing past the reflection, seeing nothing but someone else.  I don't even mean that figuratively.  I don't think about myself seeing myself, or even a misrepresentation of myself, rather someone else entirely.
I haven't been transfixed on this idea for quite some time, but I use to be.

I have an impeccably hard time letting go.

But every time I am reminded I revert.  I begin to question so many ideas.  What makes someone who they are?  Is it was everyone else sees?  Fake hair, fake smile, photo editing, the knowledge of knowing how to hold yourself?  That certainly accounts for something.  I've done it from time to time...

I know that's a lot of photos, but I chose them because I felt they all represented important times of self-confidence for me.  Now, when I look at them, I don't even recognize myself.  That's what I meant in an earlier blog when I mentioned that I didn't even recognize my face anymore.  I don't know if it's because of my hair... I don't know if it's because I'm having gender dysphoria issues, but it's almost as if I want to reject femininity entirely, but I still want to be viewed as "beautiful."  I don't even want to be a boy.  I'm just not sure.  I've played such an important role.

I don't recognize it anymore, but instead I see myself.  I know this is abstract but I'm too much of a coward to just come out and rightly say it.

The confidence, is it fabricated?  I linger between wanting what I once had with so many things, and also wanting something beyond it.  The path I feel I'm beginning though is rarely traveled.  People won't see me in it, and therefore will not understand my trials.  I'm not referring to being a cross-dresser, or even trans-gender.
I've struggled my whole life with feeling like I'm at least bearable to look at.  And now I find myself realizing that it doesn't matter, but beauty is tempting.  It gently caresses my cheek and is at my fingertips.  I could blow the world away... but I would be suppressing a vital part of who I am, by ironically revealing what I can be.

I just don't know right now.  I may just be a cliche... rebelling against gender roles and expectations... but why has it become a cliche to begin with?

Part of what I'm suppressing is my competitive nature.  I want all people at all times to see what I am fully capable of.  If I want to be a biologist, damnit, I could... and I would be the best damn biologist in my field of study.  If I wanted to pick up chicks or dudes, I could do it... and I could do it better.  If I wanted to be the master of Deviant Art, I could do it... If I really wanted.  If I wanted to be a model, people would shit their pants at how beautiful I could appear to be...  But you know what, I'm not any of those things, even though I could be.


Because for one reason or another, I chose not to be.

I guess what I'm stuck on, during this pivotal moment in my life, is what do I do now?  Who do I want to be? I thought I had a pretty good idea, but over the last year, I've watched myself "digress" into this unapproachable object.  My fellow peers went from happily engaging in conversation with me, to avoiding me, and not even hesitating to display their unfounded annoyance with me... based on no actual interaction whatsoever.

I'd like to think it's because I've grown to be intimidating, for the right reasons... but there is no way of knowing for certain.

All I really want is to be loved, admired, and respected.  I think most people can relate to those desires.

Am I still beautiful?  Do I even want to be?  Should anyone be?

Why does person A get all the credit when person B is just as worthy, if not moreso?  I'm not a squeaky wheel I suppose and I also suppose people feel I get enough credit with what I am good at, resulting in me getting absolutely none... other than the obvious.  "You're a really great artist." Yeah, no shit.
But I don't really get that anymore anyway.
And just for the record I really did appreciate it still.  But it is a scapegoat.  So obvious, at least by comparison to non-artists.

Anyway, I'm just going to get myself into trouble.  I should have kept it poetic.  Whatever I guess.  But anyway, my artist statement is below this.  Don't overlook it if you read this, since I wrote both of these blogs in the same day... it's more important anyway.

Attentive Artist Statement

So, this is where I'm at with my artist statement.  My hopes are that it adds to my work in the understanding of its intent, adds to the experience just a little bit, makes sense, and flat out doesn't sound stupid.
I sent it to my BFA advisor this morning, and I'm awaiting to hear his response.  Here it is:

            How do we relate to a physical space?  What factors determine our overall perception of that space?  Once we engage with a given perimeter and delve just a little deeper into the various objects and sensations surrounding we cannot help but draw upon conclusions and even possibly begin to form some sort of narrative.
            These conclusions are of course derivative from the accumulation of our individual life experiences making every interpretation varied and unique.  My goal is to create an environment that provides an introverted experience, hence the very deliberate decision to present the work only from the inside and at one viewer at a time.
            At the very least, this experience should be revealing to the viewer about his/herself even in the most miniscule of ways.  Will the viewer feel uncomfortable?  Will the viewer feel intrigued?  Or will the viewer even choose to enter at all, limiting the experience to the blackened outer shell peering through the opening that offers a glimpse to the curious space inside?  Even by choosing not to enter, the viewer has inadvertently engaged in a relationship of sorts with the object due to its imminent size and foreignness to our everyday.
            The inside provides that similar foreignness but with greater intensity and from an isolated point of view.  Exposing the oddities of the everyday by juxtaposing familiar objects and imagery in a way that they wouldn't normally be presented, stultifies virtually everything in the space.  Simultaneously, however, sense can be made as certain elements are not completely unlike something viewers are not use to experiencing.  Sense becomes nonsense and then perhaps back to sense yet again.  It is human nature to try and understand the world around us but some aspects to life are inexplicable and undefined.  This is a truth that we can either confront or avoid but cannot escape.

Christine Karamol 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

1 Week left

Judging is February 25th... as I seem to keep restating continuously.  I've been working incredibly hard and I pretty much ache everywhere.  It's completely worth it.  Good news though, I don't have to be completely finished by the 25th.  I just need a drawing and brief explanation of what else remains for the judging.  I'm getting pretty excited for this.
2 weeks and I'll be in Florida.  I can't wait.  I desperately need some sun.
So here are some in progress pictures.  Crappy, because they're all taken with my cell and out of date already because I'm working so much.

This last one, and obviously the angel soft "aang" one aren't part of it... just funny shit that happens... The bottom one I drew on the large table in the studio.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My face

I don't recognize it anymore... and I don't like it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter won't be so winter next year...

So, get ready for a dump of a lot of things... today, I'm dreadfully tired.  I work every night of the week anywhere from an average from 3pm until 1-2 in the morning.  Then, of course, I go home and I don't get to sleep until 1-2 hours after that fact.  Given that I won't think twice about spending time with my husband, sometimes it's even later.  And every morning, at the latest I'm up by is 9, but some days, earlier.
Am I complaining?  Only a little bit.  I'm just tired mostly.  In a weird way, this obsessive working is addictive.  Seeing something change so much in the matter of only a few days leaves you in this weird state of time seeming like it isn't moving, but going all too quickly at the same time.  I seem to have a hard time recollecting what my project looked like the day before because of the progress I have made in such a short amount of time, but simultaneously can only see what I don't have finished.  The process seems to never have an end.

I think that may speak volumes about many things in life.  Not even entirely in a pessimistic way.
Before I move on to the next bit of nonsense I would like to ramble on about... here's some progress pictures (still not completely up to date).

This isn't a very good picture of it, but this is the in-progress picture of a copper metal brooch I'm working on.  In the end, each layer will be patinated in different tones.  In case it's too hard to tell, it's a snail shell, coral, and more coral in the background.  I'm making it for Nathan to encourage him throughout his studies, and to express how proud I am of him.

This is MUCH further along now, which is cool because this was only taken maybe 3 days ago.  The entire floor is tiled now, more or less.  But that's the most up to date version of Marfish in the toilet.  He still needs his glowing cigarette (which I'm still debating how to make), eyes, and a nice slimy sheen to him.

So you can see how ridiculous my hair is currently...  I think you can almost see how tired I am in this picture... the fact that I say, "almost" speaks volumes though.

The next few pictures will just be the creation of Marfish, not necessarily in order...

Now onto something else...  I hope I still have the attention of anyone who is still reading this...

Anyway, very rarely these days do I record any of my thoughts.  I've been at this constant state of busy that doesn't allow for boredom but isn't so overwhelming that I have to vent somehow.  Well, this moment, I'm so busy that I've gotten to that overwhelming point... so here's a dump of a bunch of stuff I've written just this morning (although, admittedly not all of it... some of it would probably really offend people, and I'm not really into that, it wasn't my intention anyway.)

So soft.
Such a warming touch,
A reassuring disposition.
It must be genuine.

Flawless hair to match a
Flawless face.
Yet, lifeless eyes.


All the instruments of benefit,
The likelihood of victory.

A soul? An internal war raging?  Impossible.
Reality only exists in which that is revealed.

So why does the world stop breathing?

At moments it sighs, sometimes weeps.

Other moments it has smiled, but have you witnessed it?

Perhaps it has been winter for too long.

It is not so simple.
The expression of simpler minds ravage your own.
How could they possibly know?

You want them to understand,
To truly understand...
But it would only be cruel
Because your efforts would be in vain.
They have always been.

This is how you know the difference.

Demon, why do you even bother?

Someday, you will get whatever you deserve.

Pay no heed to your personal pity.
The acknowledgement only intensifies the truth and devalues anything else that could possibly be enjoyed or loved.


I could write about the beauty of the land, just as much as I could photograph, or paint it, even talk about it.  As much as I revel in the miracle and gift this world really is, to comment on it is... at the very least redundant, cliche, and honestly and insult to what it truly is, something beyond our comprehension.
At least to babble on incessantly as though we're more privileged beings that are subject to this comprehension/enlightenment.  Very few things celebrate the miracle appropriately.
The most, and best we can really do is to accept it graciously and nurture it.
Misery is far more interesting anyway.


A text I sent to Nathan:

"I REALLY don't want to go outside.  I'm so tired... I just feel like it would put me into shock or something... I'm also very lonely and sad.  Overly contemplative.  Winter is really getting the best of me today.  I could sit here all day... and then randomly yell at someone for a flash judgement made on my behalf about how human and pointless they are."


I had a dream about those guys.  I really loved them, but I had moved on... I had grown and they had remained more or less the same.  It made me sad.  Now I can't get them off my mind.


If you were anything like me, then you would be like me.

There is an endless vessel containing reasons as to why I do what I do.  These reasons have pushed me, begged me, tortured me to be the extraordinary person that I am... to create the things that I have... to accomplish what I have.

I must do them.  If you do not then you do not know... you can only bare witness to it.

These reasons, are what make me, me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Taking over

I was in the bathroom... and I know what you must be thinking...
I don't know what it is with me and bathrooms, honestly.  Okay, I do, they're quiet, and something about being near a source of water... we could read into that, but I won't discuss it any further.

Anyway, I was thinking, about so many things, and by the time I had realized that I was so deep in thought, I had realized that I no longer recognized my surroundings.  My head was so much more of a welcoming place, that I think I just wanted to bring it into reality.  Now, I'm off in no man's land... and quite honestly, I like it.

I don't want to come back.  

But anywhoo... stuff is going good.  Working my balls off... so much so that I don't believe I ever had them to begin with... make sense of that.

Yeah, I should take some pictures soon.  I've gotten a lot done in the last week, despite the "blizzard."  I don't really have much of a choice.  The picture above isn't even close to updated... it just has the toilet in it, which doesn't even look like that anymore.  Marfish is coming to life this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011