Create Art in the Ch’i
Anonymous (Attributed to the artist of (Visions))
Found 07/2010, Goodwill (South Lamar and Manchaca)
Where does the artist’s journey begin, and where does it end? Create Art in the Ch’i suggests a path, though where the road begins and ends is obscure. The logical flow of the path from left to right, the direction of the text, and the traditional “Everyman” allegorical journey place the beginning of the road in the world, and the world ends in an eclectic celestial vision, though the artist challenges this simple interpretation.
In the upper left, a collage of destination stamps and postage creates a sense of the tangible world. New Zealand, Siberia, Poland—these are places we can visit. Yet one of those stamps is from the unlikely destination of “Heaven,” and the two goldfish circling in a bowl add a touch of the exotic. Is heaven, as the song says, a place on earth?
The journey carries us through a number of images of windows to mysterious places–a glassy door in a conservatory opens into a luminous green potentiality, an office window with Venetian blinds is juxtaposed oddly with crossword puzzles, all against the strange text, “Inner View.” Perhaps, in the context of creating art, the creator must experience the world, but find time to reflect inward as well.
The other end of the journey is in a mystical vision, a glowing pool of golden luster surrounded by angels. These two celestial beings look over what might, in traditional Christian iconograpy, be a vision of the blessed saints, but in Create Art seem to be drawn from the art of Thailand, perhaps to connect the vision to the idea of Ch’i, the fundamental energy of all things, the word meaning “breath” or “wind.”
The swirling motion of this piece, as well as the artist’s other work, Visions, and the sense of Ch’i as a pervasive energy, may help us understand the strangely unbounded nature of the journey depicted in Create Art. The journey comes from, and leads to, Heaven. But the sense of time and motion of a journey is itself an illusion created by the artist. The journey itself pervades the artist’s collage, but we experience it in its entirety as the omniscient viewer. To our eyes, the journey itself is the wind that moves through the complete work.
(Note: Create Art in the Ch’i is attributed to the anonymous artist of the abstract piece, Untitled (Visions). The two pieces were discovered together, and both share a similar density and sense of motion.)