|The Tightrope Walker, 2015|
8 x 14 inches, typewritten ink on paper
It was fabulous to make a piece for such an imaginative person--we had a long back-and-forth of planning for the feeling and look of the piece. It was originally going to be a thoughtful gift for his wife, but Michael admitted when we exchanged that it became mainly for himself... Self-gifts are important.
There was another contrast between this piece and the work I make for myself. I am a coward with words and have never considered incorporating text in my own work. I realize this may sound counterintuitive or wasteful (I'm using a typewriter all wrong!), but I really just enjoy using the typewriter as a straightforward drawing tool--using apostrophes and asterisks for fine lines and percentages and pounds for shading or to make velvet black, without incorporating subtext. Plus, there are people like Leslie Nichols using the same tool to create incredible things utilizing text and meaning and order in such an overwhelmingly beautiful way. Yes, a hero of mine. Michael had asked me to incorporate a quote from Ernest Becker's book The Denial Of Death, as a secret message, not necessarily detectable, "like a little hidden Easter egg for [himself]". What a lovely project. Thanks Michael!