Thursday, October 13, 2011

Catenary

Funny how inspiration can hit you like a thunderbolt, eh? Today, I was struck by so many wonderful, artistic, inspiring ideas, that my head hardly has room for them all. The morning began with these wonderful net "lawn fairies" someone had photographed on Facebook, and a tidbit about Issey Miyake designing Steve Job's iconic black turtlenecks, and a creative stencil idea from Alabama Chanin. While surfing the web, I became frustrated at not understanding a series of monotonous, seemingly useless artwork by a quilt artist I admire. I HATE when that happens. Someone takes so much time to explain his/her aesthetic, I try to wrap my brain around it... and come up...empty.

This all took place within the first hour or so of my waking up this morning.

Fast forward to this afternoon/evening, while my pea soup was simmering gently on the stove, and I was in a very peaceful state of mind....

Magically wound into my day, was a memory of a Jasper Johns show I saw with my daughter, who was then 7 years old. The show was called "Gray". I thought it truly inspiring, and felt a small wave of pride that I only get when I really feel that I understand something that appears to be truly high-concept, artistically. People were wandering through the show, some stifling giggles, some gesturing and excitedly chattering, some very quietly standing and staring at a sea of gray... I explained to my daughter that all of the reactions she was seeing were valid, and that we were witnessing the power of great art. The people who think the show is ridiculous? They're right. The people who think the show is brilliant? They are right. The people who are working to understand it, and those who "get it"? Also right. The ability to generate that variety of response and fascination from an intelligent audience? Genius.

So, my internet trail led me to a Charlie Rose discussion of the show. Into my life walked the word "Catenary", and the biggest blast of ideas for clothing (That I'm already creating!) that I've had in a long time. The word alone doesn't do much, but the experience of the word, its definition, and its use in Johns' artwork is what gave me the inspiration. I must work on the ideas in my head. Starting now.

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