"...we don’t know how to speak English anymore. The phrase "acting out" means you’re portraying behavior that which you haven’t got the words to say in language. In a game of charades, you have to act out, because you’re not allowed to speak." Dr. Gabor Maté
Good news! I just got commissioned by Houston Museum of African American Culture to do a mural during the AAM conference. My aunt, who's a very talented artist as well, will help me do the mural. I haven't decided yet on what the image will be and the scale of it. More posts will come in the future.
I finally finished a commissioned painting for my friend Donté. I must say, it was quite a challenge, since I haven't painted the X-Men before. Yeah, here's a picture.
I don't really mind doing commissions because it keeps my hand practiced.
Horray! Today, I officially quit "Art". Art here, art there. We've used the word so many times that it doesn't mean anything anymore. It's like that excerpt from Johan Grimonprez's video about "...weapons of mass destruction" being repeated over and over again that, with balloons flying around and horns being blown like it's a birthday, it's been accepted by society. Same thing. Art? Sigh. I don't even know where to begin. According to my favorite website, Google, the definition of "art" from Merriam-Webster is:
1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
2. Works produced by such skill and imagination.
Perhaps, having a conversation with Jeremy DePrez about "art" made me realize a lot of things --from its definition, practice, connotations, etc. It's silly, yes. "Art is silly", according to Jeremy and I couldn't agree more. I have chosen a career as an "artist" or one who makes art. In a way, a rebel. A rebel for not following the basic or the usual path of life according to other people: Go to school. Apply for a job. Get hired. Work for a company. Kiss ass. Get promoted. Kiss more ass. Get promoted to a higher position until there's no more position to apply for. Retire. Die. To a lot of people, that's how life should be.
So what is it that we're really trying to do? I guess I can say that I am not the typical "artist". Like what most people think, no, I don't do drugs. No I don't get drunk. No I am not a lazy bum who thinks that all I do is drink, sleep, make art, do drugs, etc. But yes, there are artists like that. Not to say it's a bad thing but that's their choice and I choose not to be like that. I'm going to quote Jeremy again, artists try to emulate an experience that can't exactly be translated in any way even by words or anything visual. True. I agree with that as well. There's no way in the world can we recreate a certain feeling again. We can get hurt but it would be a different kind of hurt every time it happens. Unless if there's a word that specifically and precisely defines the amount of hurt we have then it would be possible to explain it. This idea relates to my thought process with art making: the failure of language. It's just impossible at this age and time. I know new words are created and reclaimed but it still isn't as advanced for us to define a certain feeling.
So do I really quit art? I say yes. It has too many connotations that I don't like but what do you call a person that makes art? It seems like a never ending downward spiral. I guess it's a battle that I can't win. In the end, any product of my imagination, feeling or experience will end up being called art and I'll still be called an artist.
Anyway, on a lighter note. Everything is running okay. More opportunities, I mean, smarter opportunities coming up. Can I say, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Tha Joanna, Skydive, etc.? Sounds good enough to me! Thank you to Brandon, Os, Mike, Mauricio, Katie and the rest of the awesome Cinder Block for including me in this mish-mash of brain
Is it narcissistic to Google yourself? Eh, I don't really care what people think about that topic. I do it because I am curious what kind of feedback I'm getting from other people or if I have been listed in something that I do not even know of. I guess it's interesting to find whatever is on the internet when I type "Matt Manalo" on the search box. There are stories that lead to someone that has my name who got in trouble for marijuana possession (I don't do drugs by the way, I don't need it at all) and an armored car jacking incident. Weird right? I am glad though that the first things that pop-up when I search my name are things about me. I'm probably going to hate this post in the future. So with all that said, here are some links that I found myself on that I just discovered today:
http://pinterest.com/enchiladaplate/beautiful-things/ and http://www.bluestarart.org/people/view/472
Today, I had a conversation with a colleague about "career as an artist". My theory is that being an artist sort of makes you not get affected that much by the recession (as long as you work smart enough to be known). The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. We all know that by now. Since the rich are getting richer and the rich are most of the people who buy art according to my observation working everyday as an artist and being exposed to the business of gallery representation, rich people are not worried or affected by what most people are going through right now. Paintings are still being made and paintings are still being bought. A poor man would rather buy food than a painting. I guess everyone would agree to that. A rich person has money to buy food and has more to buy a painting. Yes? With that simple logic, that's how I was able to make that observation. I might be right or I might be wrong. Who knows