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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Artist Statement, Part Dos

Woo-hoo: I can post this now, and with good news to boot. This Hinged Metal Accordion book, titled Doping has been juried into the Contemporary Realism show, which opens May 13th at the Escondido Municipal Gallery in California. Just got the 411, can now "ethically" post the image.
Artist Statement Part Dos, centers on this book. And what is the ethical tie-in to not posting it before the jurying took place? I bet you're just beside yourselves wanting to know. Me too. Trouble is, since the last blog, I can't remember!!! How wild is that? Best I just get to The Statement, o.k?
I know my own art work well enough at this point to recognize that when I combine apparently up-beat, happy-go-lucky images with a serious topic, I'm not doing this out of some sense of edgy esthetics. Naw. I'm way too unconscious for that. Cutting to the chase, I do this whenever I'm holding onto some mixed feelings about the topic.
Doping. Grinning Lance Armstrong-like guy peddling joyfully on bike in the Alps while puffing away on his pipe. 
Doping. Name Tag Beer can, how funny is that? 
Doping. Wire-wrapped I.V. needle. Uh oh. Serious alert!
I have some big ol' ambivalence regarding how drugs and cheating are marketed (yes, that's right, marketed---you can guess where this is going) in sports these days. 
On the one hand, I think cheating stinks in general, and the kind of health-destroying cheating that has historically occurred in professional and Olympic-level sports stinks off the charts. But of course, having 2 hands as I do, there's always that other one that grays out the black and white for me. Doping the artist book, is my attempt to address the gray.
All resources being equal, which they are not of course, I truly don't have a moral certitude about athletes, or anyone, being plain stupid. Given the well-established long-term health risks, injecting performance-enhancing substances falls into the stupid bucket. Like steroids. And auto-transfusions. Stupid. And get this, I even think it's lazy. What?!?!?! Did I just type that??? Athletes and lazy in the same paragraph??? Stupid, lazy, yes. But why is that banned, ergo, creating the element of misbehavior we call "cheating"?
O.k. then, what about the booze and nicotine that Doping references? Two other well-known, but barely examined drugs. Both are legal in the U.S. and neither is banned for use by sports professionals. And BTW, they most certainly are d-r-u-g-s. They most certainly can affect sports performance. Only their use, as such, is off the radar because they are not, as already stated, banned. "Au contraire", one might claim in the land of the Tour de France. Back in the day, endorsements and tie-ins from sports "heroes" for ciggies and beer were a source of income for said athletes.Still are today in many countries outside the U.S.
Follow the money? Guess so. 
See? Ambivalence resolved. That's art for ya:-))

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