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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tracing Behavior Patterns

Michael Jackson

From the Jackson 5 era to the Thriller era to today, Michael Jackson has undergone a dramatic and public physical transformation. He clearly is not comfortable in his own skin. For all his creative brilliance, he seems to continue to question his worth as a human.

This new comment on my post of a couple days ago brought up my own deep fears, in a good way. From the same artist who'd made me think previously about why I continue to paint solely on vinyl at the moment, this comment led me to ponder the root of my issues regarding my worth as a human, as an artist. I responded in a comment on that same post.

Then, I read Godin's post about public and personal perception of creativity. Please go read it. Don Miguel Ruiz discusses at length, well it's really the main idea, in his books about the way our and others' perception of the world and ourselves is basically a lie. The only truth is the fact of our actions. That's why I think the Tao Te Ching is so focussed on action. What we think, what our brain does, how we filter the personal and environmental effects of our actions is not truth in fact.

But it sure does seem to be, doesn't it? We can get so wrapped up in our own shit, that we block and distort and then react to our thoughts and our interpretation of the actions of others in seemingly bizarre ways. Bizarre, that is, to someone outside of the bubble.

We can look at young Michael and think about how cute he was, how talented. All he thought about, though, was his father's comments about his appearance. He hated what he saw in the mirror of his father's eyes.

Deep down, I still think about those schoolmates' accusations that I was cheating with my art. I still question my value as an artist, feeling like anybody could do what I do. I still worry about the reaction of the photographers who took the original images I use to paint from, which I guess could be a twisted backwards way of being egotistical about my work, but is really bourne out of my fear I'm doing something wrong.

This is one reason why I was so conflicted about the idea of reproducing my work. I don't think I realize how much I appreciate the comments I've gotten in response to my news about the Hard Rock Hotel. I know looking for outside validation is really just more lies, but to know how what I do is filtered through the perception of others gives me new perspective from outside the bubble.

So, from the depths, thank you.


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