Saturday, April 11, 2009

Blood Sweat and Tears

Let's talk about all things bodily. Also, let's look at my whole Deer Hart (Dear Heart) series, in conjunction with that idea.

I ran across this Kathe Kollwitz quote (below) and I started thinking about how perfect it was, the description of what she does/did with her work. Not to put myself in this same category, but I feel that it also aptly describes what I try to do with my non-circular paintings. The key word there being "try".

I have been thinking for a few years on the subject of what my work means to me, and how it is being projected, and I have come to the conclusion that it's about the body. More specifically it's about blood...gross right? Or beautiful and life-giving, however one looks at it. I suppose for myself, I think it's both. It's that very dichotomy that interests me the most, and is what I strive for in my pieces.

I like the messiness in life, I like the grit of it. It makes me feel alive, like a human, and as I was always meant to be...natural. And, like a key fitting in a lock, perfect; perfectly human, perfectly flawed, perfectly fitting in this world. Even though this world is hard, I think I ultimately enjoy the fight, I enjoy the dirt, and I enjoy the body.

“I have never worked coldly … but rather, in a certain sense, with my own blood. Those who see my art must feel that.”
-Kathe Kollwitz

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Golden

Deer Hart(Dear Heart)-Bloodsport

Deer Hart(Dear Heart)-Loaded

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Force

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Warm

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Mournings

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Mornings

Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Pains

Coincidentally, my Artist Statement (from last year) is also about blood, and is still very relevant to this year's series...

I looked, and I saw the earth in flames. Her face was nothing but red.

The color red is associated with people's passions, be they joyous or painful. It is the color of the very essence of life, it is our blood. Blood is unique in that it carries two opposite connotations, it can be the giver of life or the harbinger of death. The giver of life has always been a woman, and the earth has always been personified. "She" is essential and ingrained; her experience is elemental, powerful, sanguine. She is not without a face, she is in every face.

...and, it still fits the lock.

(all images copyright protected, Shana R. Goetsch)


Heather Gordy said...

After reading that and looking at your series, I can so see that. Hmmm, makes one think ya know? Personally as I looked at your work in the past, it's always given me the feeling of lonliness. Not necessarily in a bad way. More so in the couple you have with three subjects (ie Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Mornings and Deer Hart (Dear Heart)-Pains)It's hard to put into the right words, but the center subjects in those two seem to be outcast. It's very powerful.

shana goetsch said...

wow. that was pretty insightful, something i had not considered as much. the two pieces with the thanks, your comments make me think now...

shana goetsch said...

okay, commentary on my own piece. i think that dhdh warm is the most uncomfortable for me....even though it features warm, loving messages...the placement of the paper in the upper corner brings tension, the massive amount of antlers that are again, so close to the edge of the top, uncomfortable. i like that dichotomy. it's supposed to be 'warm' but it's icky, and drippy and cropped weirdly all over the place. i think that one really works for those wrong reasons.
but i did notice there, that i look lonely too. even the posture in that pose looks sort of lumbering to me. heavy. uncomfortable. but yes, lonely too.
that one creeps me out.

Vag said...

warm is the most lonely to me, the most uncomfortable for me, especially because i always think its your mom upon first glance, even thought i know its not. the makes me i am witnessing someone backed into a corner metaphorically, or physicually being forced "up against a wall" of sorts...and then just left there. alone.