Monday, November 23, 2009

#42 The Possibilities of E

E grew up in a creative family in Teaneck, NJ, and had a good childhood, except at school where she was picked on for being the smart kid. Being the smart kid, she planned to attend Harvard University and then become a heart surgeon, but after working as an EMT in high school she decided that making art was her only option. Her parents were disappointed in this decision and told E that they wouldn’t consider her a quitter if she dropped out of art school at MICA and studied pre-med at Hopkins instead. She continued with her printmaking studies at MICA, but found the medium limiting and switched to oil paint. Around this same time, E contracted HPV and developed cervical cancer. She underwent a series of painful surgeries and treatments. The most painful aspect of this, however, was when her mother told her that it was her fault. Their close relationship changed after that, but E is healthy again, and the difficult experience made her more responsible, more independent, and more self-sufficient. E recently switched from oil paint to acrylic paint and has mostly stopped using paintbrushes in favor of paint scrapers, which, of course, are usually used to remove paint. E’s new paintings exhibit her personal alphabet of abstract symbols that are full of implication. The possibilities for these new paintings—and the new E who creates them—are limitless.

[Update: After graduating, E’s three jobs weren’t enough to live on so she moved back home with her parents where she worked as a receptionist in a warehouse, which she hated, especially since she is paranoid about talking to people on the telephone. She also had an internship at a Chelsea gallery where she tried to be such a phenomenal archives intern that they would have to hire her. She was, but they didn’t. E felt like a failure. Months later, she found a job as a studio manager at a textile design studio and it’s inspiring and she loves it. A few months later, E’s parents put the family house up for sale and separated. E wishes that her parents had done this when she was younger, when everybody else’s parents were doing it, and she had some friends to relate to it. Also, last April, after an 11-year struggle with Alzheimer’s E’s grandfather died, which is still difficult to talk about or think about even though she knew it was going to happen. E’s grandmother donated his brain to Alzheimer’s research, which is a small comfort. In July, E moved to an apartment in the Bronx, which she loves. And she wishes that Nik were in NYC; it’s lonely without him. ]

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