Monday, June 3, 2013

Identity: Foundation Defined

I moved into my little studio amongst the presses of Spudnik Press about a year ago—summer 2012. Got my printing chops back on and did some serious reflecting on what I had been making when I was working from home. Given the new environment and new capabilities, I had no desire to continue working with the same aesthetic and I didn't feel a natural progression of direction.

Around the beginning of 2013, I stopped putzing around the studio and jumped in. I stopped being afraid to emulate artists and techniques I admire and adore and just started working. I like the stuff that's coming out. I can feel progression now too. The working is beginning to develop.

Recently, I took a moment to look at these new pieces in relation to each other and noticed the reoccurring theme of identity. Both #happybirthday @droooone and Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowgirls incorporate actual portraits. Inside Us All shows identity stripped away. The Sisters is a three piece work-in-progress that personifies each of the Goose Island's sister beers—Madame Rose, Lolita, & Juliet. Since making this observation, I've noticed the existence, use, manipulation, application, etc of—what I understand to be—"identity" all around me. Even in my own thoughts.

Just what is identity?

According to Merium Webster:
1: Sameness of essential or generic character in different instances. Sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing—ONENESS
2: The distinguishing character or personality of an individual—INDIVIDUAL or the relation established by psychological identification.

The first definition refers to generic character and sameness in a literal sense. The second definition refers to what makes something different and unique as understood by the mind. The meaning of the word seems to contradict itself and I'm reconsidering what exactly I understand identity to be...

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