The Art in Paper Cups and “Other” Insecurities.

My fifteen year old son loves to torment me by mentioning, with respect to my work, a comment which was made during the opening of “The Box Projects” in July of 2005. In parting, a woman refered to my pieces as “clever” and my son thought this was hilarious.


It struck a cord with me as well, which seems ironic since I do consider my work more akin to parlour magic than high art.


When a fellow artist recently visited and saw what I was working on, she asked, “What's this?” My heart sank as I replied, “It's just a paper cup I'm making.”


I had spent the previous week very excited about the possibilities inherent in my paper “test” and to hear myself describe it in these terms reduced it to what I no doubt secretly feared could be the perception of “others”.


In my work , I strive to be true to the process. I honestly don't give a lot of thought to what others will think of individual pieces. For me, it is a process in story-making, in revisiting my own assumptions, in not considering “carved in stone” the truth in anything I remember.


This brings criticism (from both within and without). Technique aside – all my “paintings” have more to do with cutting in and filling, for example, because of what I learned while painting door jams – the content of my work may very well just be a re-hashing of things best forgotten.


I really don't believe that, but I often think that. And often, both in my head and in crowds of people I love, I say so.


My brain is always a blur with questions about art, and I guess what it really boils down to is a question about what it really is. Why is it important? Is it? What is its relationship to knowledge? Is it possible for it to be a way of knowing? Is making paper cups important?


Perhaps only a clever person would know for sure.

  • bitchplz 7y

    I suffer from constantly thinking that people are judging me harshly. I can handle it when it comes to my personality/appearance etc. but when it comes to projects whether they be personal or in an academic sense.... I get so paranoid.

    Maybe it's years of falling into the majority and not standing out. I don't know. Maybe it's why anything artistic that has ever come out of me has been "safe".

    This is why making paper cups are definitely important.
  • themathchick 7y

    Personally, I love your paper cup...creating art (and paper cups) is important, especially if you enjoy it yourself (both the process and the project, I suppose). All too often people throw around criticism with reckless abandon - I think that those people are generally to be dismissed...sometimes there is merit in criticism providing that the critique is something that you can learn and grow from...otherwise - forget it, and move on to your next creative endeavour ;)
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