TWENTY-SIX - Channeling Kandinsky

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January 10th, Thursday

This afternoon we had a double block of art class, so I was able to finish my urinal puck and wire sculpture. Honestly, I just kind of threw the whole thing together without a clear plan, but Skyla, our teacher,  is convinced I'm channelling Kandinsky or something. When she said this, I just smiled knowingly, as if I knew who Kandinsky was, but as soon as she went to console Scarlet, (whose sculpture is proving to be challenging), I consulted the Oracle of Google. Turns out Wassily Kandinksy was a Russian painter who died in 1944. He was quite interesting. I even copied and pasted something he said, which was:

"Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential."

I like the last part the best—the bit about being a true poet—because I think that is true of any artist, no matter what medium they choose. The problem is, I don't believe I am a true artist, because I just wanted to make something that wouldn't fall apart. It doesn't go deeper than that. I couldn't really see the point, because art is so subjective, anyway. Take Scarlet's sculpture, for example, supposedly a statement about the patriarchy and the vulnerability of women. I just don't really get it. When I look at her piece, all I see is a poorly strung collection of frayed tampons and some sanitary pads that are starting to sag in the middle because of the red paint she has applied to them. There is also a bra she has attached as a sort of hammock in the middle (with the tips of the cups cut out, I might add) that seems, somehow, defeated. The straps are worn and the clasp at the back has broken off. It was probably one of her mother's that she tossed out. It definitely looks like it has seen better days.

Ivy, on the other hand, has constructed a very thought provoking piece—one that addresses the horrors and the morally corrupt "sport" of trophy hunting and poaching. She created a fat, white male figure out of paper mache, with one foot held firmly in a rusted leg-hold trap. They she made another paper mache sculpture of a giant rhino horn, and has attached it like a cod-piece to the male figure in the appropriate spot. This is, she explained, because rhino horn is being poached and sold on the black market as a treatment for a dwindling sex drive. And while I think her sculpture is brilliant, I am a bit concerned about the fact that this stuff keeps figuring prominently in my life. And by "stuff," I mean, penises.  Maybe I should consult my law of attraction book. Maybe there's something I need to learn. Perhaps it is all just a metaphor for something else. Either way, it's sort of creepy, and I don't even really like writing about it here in my journal, because it makes me sound like some kind of a perv.

Anyway, during the last half hour of class, we had to wander around the room and make comments about everyone's work, and when I got to Scarlet's, she looked so sad and fed up that I felt I should bury the hatchet, and say something kind. So, I did. I wandered around it several times and put my chin in my hand in what I hoped was a pensive, thoughtful sort of way. The I told her that I liked the forlorn and frayed nature of her sculpture, and felt it was in keeping with the current political climate between men and women in the workplace. You know, the whole #metoo thing. And Scarlet looked at me and smiled and then touched my arm and said, "Wow. You actually get it, don't you, Myles? And here I thought you were basically just an idiot."

I guess that was supposed to make me feel better.

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