Been a Minute

My gallery recently emailed me that they needed an artist’s statement for a painting they sold to Fidelity. The corporation was finally installing the piece and wanted something for their files. I cobbled together from memory what the series focused on but ultimately I had to add content informed by my current situation:

A barcode is given to an item in a store that identifies its description and price. The notion of a permutation relates to the act of rearranging all the members of a set into different sequences. An antithesis to instant art, this work is a slow and methodical exercise in long-term patience. Are we to scan the bars to identify the price and thus reveal the story with a scanner? Just as the message might reveal itself, the panels can be placed, arranged, and hung in different configurations. Every time the piece is installed, a new painting exists. These pieces cannot not reveal their story but they can exist as evidence that the need for slow art will be required, needed, and valued not monetized. The viewer can relish the gift of color and the prospect of finding a new path or new future. Change is inevitable and when embraced removes the fear of the unknown and creates a pact to continue and to let go.

Permutations 3, 2015, 72″ x 96″, acrylic on birch panels SOLD to Fidelity

After composing this I realized how long it had been that I did any writing at all. So yes, it’s been a minute, or two, or ten. But every time I would sit down to compose a post, I felt I couldn’t write anything until it was truly over. by “it” I refer to my divorce. The trial is over but I can’t stop looking over my shoulder. Just knowing my ex and his family have been stalking, monitoring, and harassing me has prevented me from sharing any information of any kind. I’ve been afraid for myself and for my children. This paranoia was not unwarranted.

The divorce trial, which I never wanted and tried to settle at every turn, ended on my brother’s birthday, October 19, 2017. This date was not met with joy and a celebration seemed to be premature. Joking with my divorced friends we asked each other which date would we have embroidered on a pillow? Which date signified the end, our freedom? This is not my date. I knew my ex would not accept the judgement and my fear and anxiety of what he would do next weighed heavily. Then it happened. Less than 4 weeks later, my ex waited in his car on the corner of our street for our older daughter to pass him as she walked home from school. After dropping her friend a half a block away, she only has to cross the street to reach our apartment. As she crossed, her father emerged from his car and ambushed her on the sidewalk. I should preface their exchange by explaining that the permanent restraining order prohibits him from coming with 100 yards of my residence, car, our children’s schools and of course, myself. My daughter had not seen or even spoken to her father for a year and a half and he is only entitled to supervised visitations with a court monitor. Instead of asking how she was, he assaulted her with questions and a diatribe of self-pity. When she arrived home she looked like she had seen a ghost. She was devastated by the exchange and not only because she was hurt but that she may have revealed too much information. Just like the victims of the #MeToo movement she was trapped and tried her best to be polite and diffuse rather than confront and enrage. The very next day he showed up at her school during morning drop-off. Within five minutes the Police responded with sirens blaring but he left just before they arrived.

I will celebrate my divorce when I can stop looking over my shoulder, when I can stop scanning the street for his car, when I can put my child to bed at night without tears.

My ex will never create a path for himself to move on and be a good father to our two girls. His victim mentality and narcissistic behavior will never allow it. I write this post in real time. Today is November 16, 2017.

Today is November 17th, 2017.

I am exhausted and seething. My anger is only kept in check by the mundane chores of my every day. After finally opening the bill from my law firm, I gasped at the the $100,000 the trial cost me. But not really me, our children. It doesn’t mater that I tried to settle on October 3, 2017 because I made similar and and more generous offers on two previous occasions. My total bill now tops $300,000 over the last two and a half years of my divorce proceedings. But this alone didn’t really make me angry. I was free and it was a small price to pay. But today I’m angry. I’m angry that this man, this father, who has destroyed our daughter’s sense of autonomy and shattered her joy of independence. It is now my job to undo the damage and work really hard to restore her sense of safety and happiness. She told me through tears that all she wants in life is to be content. She doesn’t even need happiness all the time but that being content was a goal she thought she achieved before he ambushed her on our corner. I’m angry.

Today is Monday, November 27, 2017.

My daughter walked one block to school by herself and then called me sobbing. She said she did not want to walk (even with our neighbor, her classmate) for fear of her father showing up at her school again. Shame on him. Shame on a father behaving as if he is the only one who matters. As if the stresses of starting high school aren’t enough, this poor 14 year old child is being harassed by a man who won’t follow the court’s orders, pities himself without giving a thought to his children, and blames everyone but himself.

Today is Thursday, November 30, 2017.

As mundane and plain as today was supposed to be, it manifested into something quite different. I entered the courtroom expecting to sign the judgment in my divorce case. My ex refused to sign, stormed out in the middle of the proceedings, and headed straight to our older daughter’s school to try and gain entry. This is a man who does not think rules, judgments, court orders, or the law apply to him. It doesn’t occur to him that his bullying tactics will no longer facilitate getting what he wants. Putting hexes on me, ambushing his children in the street, stomping his feet; the desperate torture only themselves. I will not be scared, silenced, bullied or pushed. My direction is only up.

Today is December 2, 2017

And because it is the Holiday season and this blog is about my life but more importantly supposed to be about my art, I leave you with this beautiful little “Gift Edit” curated by my Gallery, Galleri Urbane:

 

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