Well it is official, after sixteen years of being in Los Angeles we are at last moving permanently to our home in Chicago. I’ve been griping about Los Angeles for at least fifteen of our sixteen years living here, but as our office manager shows our suite (my husband and I share a commercial space for his practice and my studio) to prospective tenants, our July 31st exit feels all too real and I am feeling unexpectedly blue.
In remembrance of this, my last studio in LA, I felt it fitting to document it right before its dismantling
My Wunderkammer is now either boxed up, crated for shipment, dispersed amongst friends or awaiting an upcoming studio sale. Its a pretty dispiriting place, I am not terribly inspired to even draw. My mind wanders from task to task, fretting as to movers, cargo trucks, cross country logistics…
My reality now is the distinctive tan of cardboard and packing tape.
I next begin packing up the apartment we’ve called home here in LA for the last year or so, the property manager just signed off on our lease this morning and we are now free to head eastward . My husband David is a psychoanalyst and was recently offered the position of president of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute, the position officially beginning in the autumn; this incredible opportunity and honor has pushed forward considerably our timeframe for exiting LA. Though excited and very happy for David I am now, after much vocal animosity towards this city, feeling a nostalgia and pining for what never was, for what never happened , for dreams unfulfilled.
But I am letting that go and looking forward to this next phase of our life together; for David certainly exciting , for me, I imagine a bit of the same old same old, working diligently and with full enthusiasm but with little external recognition. That is a difficult reality of being an obscure artist, the existential why of it all. I may work for months, a year or two even, on a piece, and in the currency of our age,I may get perhaps fourteen social media “likes”- pathetic really this pining after validation, but so it is. Artists aren’t different from anyone else, we all want to be liked, our effort valued , our passions validated.
It is a conversation I have with fellow artists that I am close to, those of us fully devoted to our craft but who largely go unnoticed- not quite the correct intersection of fashionable identities it seems. Art made with sincere passion but not capturing the imagination of the easily swayed public can trigger crippling self doubt. The key I hope is in the satisfaction the making brings to its creator, that in the end must have significance.
Or at least I hope so.
I have a new studio in Chicago, in addition to a small home studio (the former service wing of our apartment). The space has what young folks call vibes, good vibes, and I look forward to fitting it out as a cozy den of stitchery, printmaking and panel painting (on a smaller easel scale than I have worked here in Los Angeles); drawings will be the craft practiced at my home studio…my own little drawing room at last!
And remember , if in LA please stop by to my studio sale, payment plans considered, negotiations encouraged, even gifting of work if I like you! My orphans need homes and I seek a fresh start.
And to LA, thank you.