The general audience does not understand collectability of art. I purposely do not create a painting that is suitable as wall décor. I consciously produce a piece that is a provocation on the issues of our day. It is my understanding that the serious collector is there looking for a touchstone of truth to hang in their collection. My experience with those people who collect my art aggressively is that they are looking for a painting that challenges their understanding of the world. In a way, this focus increases the risk of failure in the moments of this event.
My response to the risk of making an extremely important and provocative piece in a constricted 90-minute time period is to rehearse, much like a dancer. The difference is that I rehearse to prepare for the innovation, rather than the rote execution. In the art community, I am recognized for the thousands of brush strokes that I utilize to create a feel of visual excitement, imagery and entrapment. Ninety minutes poses a real challenge to my signature style of work. My rehearsals have been reductive in practice. I find myself laughing at me with initially starting in my current style of execution and not being able to get below two and a half hours of fast and furious painting. It has been enlightening to create strategies to get me down to an hour and three quarters. As the day of the event approaches I feel the tension coursing through my entire being to focus myself into faithfully and truthfully executing an evolution of my style.
If I am successful, this is the very quality that a serious collector is searching for, because this piece becomes a milestone in the ongoing evolution of my unique style. There is some poetry in this way of working, in that the discriminating collector awash in the anonymous audience is very intimate to the process of art making. They are unique witnesses to the next step in my art. With that, I am grateful when they assign a monetary value that translates into greater good for the mission of Neighborhood House.
The gala event is October 4, 2018 at Neighborhood House. It is the mission of a Chicano artist to serve the community. Creating a painting for their fundraising gala is a great honor because Neighborhood House has been a portal for many diverse peoples, including the Latino diaspora, and a fixture on Saint Paul’s West Side for over 120 years.