If I had to give a point to this picture, I’d say it’s the reason we need to keep art in schools. The substitute Art teacher, who we called Leprechaun Abe Lincoln, had asked me to draw the room as I saw it.
Some things that seem like abstractions are actually quite literal. The images floating behind my head were painted ceiling tiles. Every year, the graduating seniors would paint a ceiling tile, and they’d go up in the classroom. Eventually my class would get to do the same.
Every day, I came in the room, I was graced with the inspirations and ruminations of the students that came before me. It wasn’t just pretty pictures, it was that notion that causes one to create a work of art. What made each of them chose the image they painted? One was just a foot in black and white. This was what I loved to think about.
The horse and the backless chair are also objects that we treasured from the class.
Outside the bubble are anxieties I had, problems I was dealing with. I did this a lot at that time, drew these collages of everything that was bothering me. The art room made me feel safe. It was a haven for all of us. A place where we felt welcome, and where we could be honest, where we were free not only from the dangers of the world but also from the bullshit, which was the greatest danger of all. And as artists we try to cut through that bullshit.
I finally half-way graduated and got my own ceiling tile. Mine was so silly though.
I wasn’t a good painter, so I figured I’d go with sarcasm. I painted a weird cartoon person biting the earth, as though it were a beach ball. It said “The real world is going to bite you in the ass” on the top, with “Not if I bite it first” on the bottom.
I hope that strength and brass sticks with me forever. I hope I wasn’t wrong. Adulting has definitely bit me in the ass. It sucks .Maybe now I’d say “The real world bites us all in the ass. But some of us like it.” EAT THE PAIN. Haha jk. I have to pretend I’m strong, or, like that old ceiling tile that now sits in my room since the school got torn down, I’ll crumble to dust.