Last Sunday, Michele went to the annual National Bioneers Conference and we agreed to meet at the end of the day at the Tracy Taylor Grubbs Open Studio.
One of the things that is fun about going to the same Open Studio over a period of years is watching how the artist changes. Sure, sometimes they don’t change and sometimes they change all over the place at random, but, every once in awhile, the change is growth. It is like you – in this case, I – can see the artist try to solve the same, intellectual? metaphysical? problem in a variety of ways, getting closer – but, like Zeno’s paradox – never getting there because the search is really the endpoint.
I first saw this in a Jasper Johns show at the old San Francisco Museum of Modern Art at Marine’s Memorial – more accurately, it was pointed out to me on a tour put on by the Stanford Art Department – and it seems to me this is what Tracy is doing. I have heard her talk about impermanence as a condition that interests her and, while I don’t want to speak for her, that seems to be central in what I saw last weekend (especially in her lovely iceberg paintings).
She also had on display some lovely little square images made by smoke that seemed to almost be frozen impermanence.
While Michele went to Bioneers, I took BART into The City and spent the later afternoon taking pictures of reflections.
I thought that a series of building reflections printed as small squares similar to Tracy’s smoke squares would be fun. But, sitting here, I think that these reflections reflect – sorry – my interest in what is reality vs. the distortion of reality as my projection. I see a scene – oaks and rolling, golden, hills on Highway 120 by Oakdale come to mind – and photograph it. Only when I look at the image, back home on my monitor, do I notice the power lines and towers, the dead, dry grass. What I saw is not what was there. Building reflections offer a similar distortion; the reflection on a building – so prominent in my mind’s eye – is often overwhelmed by the building I almost didn’t see.
With all that preamble, here are several reflections.