This 9 part blog series BOUND explores the inspiration behind the stenciled words used in my paintings for the exhibition BOUND at Point Gallery, Denver August 2015. In the series, I will share my musings on these words, what they mean to me and why I selected them to be included in these paintings: SHADOW,RATIONAL MIND, COCOON, DISCERNMENT, SCREEN, HIDDEN, BODY, LOVE, and BOUND
You are what you love and not what loves you - Kyle Cease
n: a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
n: an assurance of affection
n: the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration
LOVE: A way over-stated, highly mis-understood word in Western culture. Using the word love in a painting seems risky because it instantly evokes hallmark card sweetness. Even looking up the definitions of love I realize how superficial our collective expectations of love sometimes are. The first definitions of love that appear online define love as something we get from another person. It is our "object of attachment" Yet, real love is risky, honest, awkward. It gets into the heart and mess of who you are inside. Love asks you to be more, give more, accept each and every part of yourself. Love at the Hallmark card level is light, sweet, ever on the trajectory upwards, always with a bow tied happy ending. When I looked up the etymology of love, the roots words were tied to actions not objects. From the Old English word lufu means love, affection, friendliness. Old high German liubi means joy. From Latin Libet means pleases. Lithuanian Liaupse means song of praise. These root words seem to get at the beautiful aspects of love that relfect actions that serve, actions that appreciate another, and honor the mysteries of life, whether it be in another person or in the miraculous details of everyday existence. Real love involves death and growth. Death to what you keep hidden. Death to inauthenticity. Death to fear. Death to cowardice, Death to wanting things to be simple, easy. Death to the desire for the fast track. Love is in it for the long haul and it is all about the razor edge of truth which reveals our fears but also rewards us with a generous and abundant life.