Speaking of art, a recent acquisition:
I've admired my very talented friend Alex Case's breathtaking asphalt paintings for some time, since I saw him exhibit them over a year ago at Johansson Projects. At once serene and dynamic -- a hallmark of a lot of my favorite types of art, and certainly one of the reasons I love Alex's other work too -- we made the decision to buy this right after I had quit my same-old-BS-different-salt-mine job and were unsure of the stability of our finances. Like my taste in art, I was both terrified and exhilarated, calm but intrepid, because I knew.
There is a way I decided I wanted to live my life a long time ago that was fomenting even when I was just a little girl. I had an idyllic childhood and great parents, and though the negative and positive aspects of the redneck county where I grew up informs my life in many ways, one thing that stands out is that I always knew there was more out there.
I remember my father telling me how he joined the US Army to see the world and avoid a life sentence at the mill or the mine; how on R&R in Occupied Japan while the other GIs went out to drink and whore he would buy a train ticket -- counting the stops so he wouldn't get lost -- and get off the train in some little village and just walk around. Contrary to the official warnings of his superiors, who told him that a lone American GI in a village far from base was at risk of getting his throat slit, he was invited into the homes of countless families for tea, along the way learning his love of Japanese joinery and Japanese farming techniques, and saw the kind of Japan that still only exists for a very few lucky outsiders.
It was my father who told me that I was the captain of my destiny and that I could steer myself anywhere I wanted to go. In the course of charting my way, I decided I wanted to exist fearless, by sucking the marrow out of life, and part of that for me was forging a life that valued the arts.
Alex's painting means a lot more to me than just a beautiful piece of work that I will have the rest of my life -- it reinforces for me the things my father taught me and wanted for me; that I'm making the right choices for my life, and that I'm also blessed to have the time and inclination to reflect on those things.