Friday, June 12, 2009
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Yesterday, I had a rare day off – not even a day, a few hours – in which I forgot about art and the long list of chores that accumulate like dust during the course of a month. I browsed the shelves at a second-hand bookshop, after an unhurried lunch with a close friend, and picked through racks of vintage clothes at one of the few local boutiques that have them. I bought magazines: Juxtapoz, iD, Vogue Italia and a couple of trashy gossip rags.The phone call hit me like a sniper's bullet in the middle of the street. A member of my family had just been diagnosed with a serious illness. Suddenly, I couldn't breathe and the sunlight that only moments before had felt so cheerful and revitalising was now a predatory searchlight, too bright and hot on my skin. I sat down on a public bench on the sidewalk and cried. Then I rang the person dearest to me: "You have to go. Be with them. Now." he told me.In the space of the next couple of hours, I rescheduled two weeks of painting with my assistants, packed my bags (including one containing a printer and scanner), cleaned up my house and booked an open return plane ticket to Melbourne. I withdrew a few hundred dollars in cash from my bank account. I rang other members of my family. Now I am ready to leave. Art feels like an imposition, getting in the way of the awful randomness of real life.