I began creating visual artwork on a daily basis shortly after the death of my four year old son, Gabriel; I found it a way of coping with the utter blackness that would set on me. I have no formal training in art beyond high school, other than a brief drawing class that I eventually dropped out of because of conflicting ideas with my teacher about art. My main medium has always been the postal system; I’m a mail artist and have played with many different formats within that system, but my general method of construction is creating digital collages using the program Gimp. I’ve had my rubber stamp carvings on display at the Chicago Rubber Stamp Museum, specifically a series I created entitled “Rat Anus Manifesto,” a work collecting some of my ideas about what art is to me, and how it can be made to be more inclusive for the general public.
My work in mail art has given me a chance to connect with a wide variety of people, and I’ve had works on display all over the globe. But the largest reason I do it is because for the most part the people have been very supportive of my work and my living in general, and I’ve needed a lot of that support. There have been a handful of times I’ve dealt with censorship of my works, both online and in the postal system, and this is to me about the worst part of networking that I can tell.
My beliefs on art are mixed, and never very stable. In my manifesto, one of the rubber stampings says, “This manifesto is bullshit,” which I included so as to give a negation for any specific part that might be referenced. I think static perceptions of art are no good and that it’s better to dissolve one’s self into a bath of open-mindedness. Aside from that, much of the manifesto deals with the idea of muddying the waters between “high art” and “low art” and encouraging people to create despite their inability to be “that famous painter who’s in that one museum.” Mail art is a great example of freedom from the bounds of this old school philosophy. Using some of my beliefs from this manifesto, especially with the rubber stamping “Art is for everyone,” in mind, I created a network of “non-artists” using Google+ as a medium in order to create what I called “Moan Lisa’s Art Akademie.” It was a daily assignment handed out to those wishing to participate, so they could create a work based around the theme I announced, and post their work in the stream the next day for others to see.
What I would like to do with my art is to have it reflect the changes in my life; I’m in the middle of a divorce now, and have already had my four year old die on me. There’s a lot of pain in life, but also happiness; I would like to be able to better express what I am feeling in the work, to be more attuned to the happenings in the piece as I create it. To let myself be medium between the emotions and the physical (or digital) art-object.