Thursday, June 30, 2011

artist statement draft

My work is about fairy tale magic. In fairy tales, unlike the more narratively familiar and internally consistent fantasy magic, there are no rules; this is the point of magic, and possibly the capriciousness of fairies. In fairy tale magic, things simply happen. Eating a magic talking fish causes a woman to give birth to triplets, her dog and horse to have triplets, and a large tree to sprout from where the fish's bones are cast. If one woman eats the pome of an enchanted apple and the other the peel, the child of the first will be heavy and pale, that of the second thin and ruddy. A mirror turns into an ocean not because it is an enchanted mirror or the woman throwing it is a witch or there are fairies around, but because placing an ocean behind them is how the characters must escape their pursuers. Events occur because they are visually, thematically, and narratively satisfying, not because they make any sense or are explained by a consistent system of magic or because they follow logically from what is previously known. In fairy tale magic, the reader already believes in magic. In fairy stories, or more correctly animal stories, animals have rich personal lives like any other character in literature. Like many animal lovers, I relate to, anthropomorphize, and project onto animals. The animals I draw are characters, the drawings of them portraits. They have personalities, just like the other people I draw. In drawing a world of fairy tale magic, animals are characters, the tongues of dragons must be collected, drawings cast magic spells, animals and people are friends, dresses fit in walnut shells, and visual and poetic logic overrides formal logic.

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