artcell 46 maine 2019-02-02/04
> drove up interstate 95 yesterday at 0545 hours and arrived around noon. busy thinking along route. thoughts of
artcell, ideas and themes of marine snow, flowers, physics and time travel. i thought of our artcell and friendship and
varying levels of communication. we do very well together as two artists from art school. we painted and talked till
0200 this morning, sunday the third of february.
> i brought with me three boxes of paintings. some of them for us to work on, and some that are completed so kelly can
hang them locally in galleries. since i have been sorting all the art in greenwich studio (over 30 years of it), i
declared everything to be under morgen berrien. signing paitings left over from the nineties as such feels right.
> we painted on numerous pieces that appear to be near completion. billy rubin is fun to work on. kelly has been
working very hard on numerous paintings. it left me breathless as she sent me photos on my phone of her work. i spent equal time cleaning and sorting our greenwich space.
> we have all day today to paint, cook, laugh and live as artists.
> one new painting (theoretical at this time) is a concrete number five in a trilogy entitled an ascetic trajectory combover of incontenent marine snow. the comb points to arshille gorkys great work the liver is the cocks comb.
> kelly and i completed a few paintings, and several others are near done. we are planning a painting embedded with tree bark in plaster, but will hold off a while before starting it. we are more interested in completing our current works before starting new pieces.
> we finished four paintings.
> monday february 4th maine 0845 hours
> packing up after a very good cell.
"Adoration of Spanish Moss and Pepperoni Flowers With Alice Feeders" is a mutli-narrative piece abundant with symbolisms,comparisons between humans and flora, and our appreciation for the complexities of nature. Carl's initial inspiration for this work was the hair of a beautiful woman at his office who wore it in a clip one day. It moved and flowed like undersea flora.
We auto drew this piece while listening to "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie.
(Below are pics of the beginning stages.)
"A Universal Yogurt And Dipper Kays Arbiter For Colossus' Precausal Narcissism /Or Johnny Lamb Dots Two" is a narrative about how we are all just flowers and atoms in the universe, as well as thoughts on predeterminism, ego, sense of self, and societal and self judgement. (Beginning stages below)
"Ursa Minor Cathartic Foreskin Pizza" is about our pizza and the flora within all our bodies. (Pizza is a symbolic reference to our collaboration; the fusion of 2 artists, creating as one, becoming a completely new 3rd entity.)
Beginning stages of Ursa Minor
The key to many of our narrative works is in that we explore land, air, sea, space, and time all intertwined with efforts to visualize that which is both seen and resides between things unseen beyond the doors of perception. Miles Davis said his music was about the time and space between musical notes.
There are moments of clarity, with a shocking sense of ones tiny place in the universe and in time. The presence of flesh is merely and only just that.... presence.
I always thought art was made one piece at a time. Then I met Carl's practice. His studio was filled with so many paintings all at various stages of completeness. I struggled with how he could bounce. I thought to myself, how could he retain all that information as every piece tells a story and sub stories. Until one day I realized I am doing just that!! I'm not sure how it happened but it did. It could have been the fear of not being able to keep up with him or just the matter of fact we kept starting new pieces before finishing the old. We were so excited about our collabs that we were compelled to start a new one at least at every cell. Crazy :)
I currently have at least 18 paintings that need my attention. I trust Carl has that if not more unfinished works in his studio... and what do we do on our weekly call.....talk about starting a new one!!!
It is not about completion as I once thought. Although it feels great to complete. It is all about enjoying the process of painting and painting ideas. Also with the luxury of multiple works in progress you can bounce to what you feel at that time. Singular painting, working on one at a time, you work on it even when you may not be feeling connected to it, which I found to be a BIG mistake in most cases.
So my advise to anyone working singularly, try MORE! There is such freedom in it :)
Carl Berrien Smith
2018-10-13 1600 hours
I think the "Pizza with Everything" was the first time I thought about a one artist out of two people. I am drawn towards the idea of two artists creating as one.
I removed the space between our two middle names for a symbiotic merge. I believe now that we are so synched as artists that each new or current work already is collaborated upon regardless who has touched it. This also pertains to theory of narrative. Our platonic relationship affords us limitless possibilities without any complications or hang-ups. I count on this structure, our working relations, and perfect chemistry. Because of it all, I feel totally free to express any idea or thought I ever had, or have.
After the "Pizza with Everything" (or before or during), it just feels right to not just collaborate and work extensively and exclusively together but also to mutate into the others perspective, to meld into just one remaining artist collective.... The clownfish and the supportive anemone illustrate the initial chemistry of MorgenBerrien in that we feed off each other and support one another in our symbiotic relationship.
To delve deeper into the fish metaphor, I choose the Angler fish: The female slowly consumes the male and then they become one. The male seeks out the female, bites her butt and releases an enzyme which fuses the two together. Then the male fills up from her nutrients as his guts breakdown as he slowly gets absorbed into her. All that remains of him are his testicles. HIs heart and mind fuse with hers. He courses through her veins. Their souls dance together.
When we auto draw, it feels like a total surrender, laying down all notions of art training and sense of control. We seek to see and feel what is in between: What does outer space and inner space feel like? Where do they join eachother? The musician Miles Davis sought the sound between musical notes. What is between moments? Between thoughts and feelings? Time and no time? Love and indifference? We seek to express the moment while withholding nothing. The MorgenBerrien is the instrument of expression.
I allow myself to be completely vulnerable to her. I crave her newest ideas and work to feed upon. And her, I trust likewise. The joint artworks then build up like layer upon layer of a collective spittle of efforts, narrative, paint, and angst.
Due to the symbiotic friendship we share, Kelly and I support eachother creatively, with joy, through sadness and also anger. Our latest work entitled "The Annals of an Exploding Pizza with Cranky Corners" illustrates our chemistry and a tongue and cheek metaphor of how when one of us gets cranky during a long art cell work session, the person goes to a cranky corner.