Good Morning, Universe! Meet Rocket, the newest addition to my personal art collection. This beautiful and very funky (!) sculpture is one of the pieces from Lance Letscher's April solo exhibition, The Perfect Machine, at D Berman Gallery here in Austin. The folks at the gallery were kind enough to let me look around as they were busy installing the current show, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Faith Gay and Raymond Uhlir, which is fantastic by the way. But as I was looking around the gallery, I caught a glimpse of this beautiful sculpture in the back of the room...and it was calling my name. More of a shout really. I fell in love instantly and knew that it must be mine.
What is it about a work of art--an inanimate object--that it can speak so strongly and clearly to a person? Just kidding...pay attention!!! If you are reading this, then you likely already know that a work of art is not inanimate, but a collective of energy in the form of a composition. But that is another conversation entirely. Still, it is curious how one work of art can speak so intensely to one person and not to another. Oh, who knows! And who cares. But that is the way I collect art. If a piece calls my name ("say my name, say my name...ok, y'all, I promise I will stop it with the Destiny's Child nods...maybe), then I respond. For me the experience of finding meaning...truth...power...beauty...intimacy...emotion...in a piece of art is one of the purest, most instinctive reactions I know. And it is intensely personal. You can tell quite a lot about a person by experiencing their living space, but experiencing someone's art collection is even more insightful, as it is (hopefully, anyway) a collective expression of their intuitive responses to the universe as they know it...and probably, to a certain extent, reflective of how they see themselves fitting into it.
And today I see mine as a rocket. A vehicle sleek, fast, powerful, without limit, and capable of reaching its destination. In some ways a rocket is the ultimate symbol of travel, progress, and possibility. And yet Lance Letscher's Rocket is also playful and lighthearted. The colorful collage of vintage papers form an irregular, quilt-like pattern that evokes in me a serious case of nostalgia (the biggest, sweetest lie of all, but oh how I love it). It sends me back in time to a whole bunch of times and places in my life that I kind of remember, or maybe I don't, or maybe I am remembering them all wrong. Childhood memories, they way I felt when my duck Larry died, the color of the dried roses from my first boyfriend, the smell of the salty air when I used to got off the plane in Nassau, the olive green carpet from our old house on Magnolia drive. These shards of memory cover and glorify the powerful missle as it soars gracefully through space until it fulfills its potential by reaching its destination. Or in the words of my five year old son Julian (quoting the great Buzz Lightyear), "To Infinity and Beyond!"