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Gut Reactions


Gut Reactions: The Nine Angers, The Six Contentments, and the Seventy Three Irritations,
Series of 21, varying sizes, etching collages, 2015.

Living in The Information Age gives us increasing access to the wonders and tragedies of the world. What is it that robs us of our contentment and focus? The Nine Angers represent our reaction to the complexities of urban life, from economic inequities to corporate bullying. The Six Contentments remind us of the universal pleasures of life, and the 73 Irritations remind us of what we must tolerate in order to be dynamic in this culture.

Street Sweet

Etching Collages, Series of 10, 50" x 40", 2003.

    Street Sweet juxtaposes the belief systems, lifestyles, and philosophies of ancient Egypt and contemporary Los Angeles. How does a person from a very traditional culture come to terms with their place in the world when confronted with prideful, aggressive individualism?
     Referencing the Egyptian Book Of The Dead (The Book Of Going Forth By Day), I have extracted themes and terminology to address urban survival. This series offers advice about how to navigate gracefully around our city. As we live together, we redefine our priorities and our place in the world.
1. Wait in line patiently, neverminding stray baboons. (Self-control.)
2. Merge graciously, all cars and camels and breadtrucks alike. (Tolerance.)
3. Shrinkwrap your soul against the winds of change. (Focus.)
4. My two eyes eager to read every sign. (Curiosity.)
5. Befriend the dizzy visitor, lay bare the speedy path. (Generosity.)
6. Engage in common laughter, absurdities abound. (Humor.)
7. Lurch at 2-for-1's gladly to hasten your peaceful retreat. (Efficiency.)
8. Perform your chores headfirst, muting chronic upgrades. (Practicality.)
9. Splurge at solstice, suffer the gravity of greed. (Celebrate.)
10. Smite the seller of land, the twilight is ours. (Respect for nature.)

Sideways Synonym Series

Assemblage with Found, 9 sections, 12" square, 2012.
I used a thesaurus from the 1920's to show how meanings shift through the years.

Convoluted Ligand
Drawing Collage, 36" x 80" triptych, 2001.    
This piece abstracts the uneven rhythm of the funding-experiment-publishing cycle, as described by my scientist husband.

Annual Wintercards, 6" x 9".
Text Excerpts:
"Lean into the wind, hunker down and march until you have an experiential epiphany."
"You're lucky. You can march through corridors of unconditional love, pile on the lox and cream cheese, and hold your breath for more perfect beginnings."
"Dismiss the excess volume of cyber-advice, opinionations, rankings, polis, bogus factoids and minutia that sidetrack your self-reliance and personal wisdom."

Etching Assemblage, 2' x 4', 1999.
      I wrote these ten characteristics of a 'heavyweight artist' in an attempt to enunciate what it takes to invent your own life. Although didactic, it is intended as permission to take your personal convictions and soar as you see fit. My work starts with text, flirts with images, and finally parades out when the two processes are compatible. I find that bombastic, overblown stories make the work easier to digest, and hopefully a bit more memorable. I used etchings and photographs to reinforce meanings.
       Text from one block reads: "BE FOCUSED. Practice opera scales on earthquake faults surrounded by people who live alone. Disregard examples of happiness portrayed in slick periodicals, and rub your taste buds with licorice while walking past the bakery. Be faithful to your chosen task."
       Another block suggests: "BE RECEPTIVE. Gather information from every gypsy and crossing guard you can corner, eavesdrop at the cigar shop and quiz yourself on calorie charts and almanacs and movie star maps. All this information adds up and turns you into an electric, eccentric, whizbang soul."

Second Skin
Etching Collages, 20 forms, 8' x 50', 1992.
People, as puppets, wear their defense systems stamped on their bellies. The flirt overcompensates for her low esteem, the bully hides his fears by pushing people around.

Senior Pranks
Etching Collages on Wood, Series of 8, 14" x 14" each, 2000.
Eight spectacular, actual high school senior pranks are documented on old wooden school chair seats.

Emma and Stark
Painting Assemblage, 14" x 9", 2005.
In true schooldays tradition, a joyous, universal announcement of bliss.

Frozen Moments
Collages with Text, Series of 15, 16" x 20", 2012.  
Life often gives you pop quizzes, revealing your true character.

Teacher Triptych
Etching Collages, Triptych, 55" x 36", 1997.
Our culture nurtures an "us-them" dynamic between authority figures and the masses, as evidenced by this student who has a crush on his teacher.

Drawing / Photo Collage, 44" x 28", 2011.
These directives are based on the art teacher's universal mantra, demonstrating respect for scarce artmaking materials. text includes two dozen rules, including, 'Don't use the stapler to hem your pants!'

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Copyright © by Kathi Flood. All rights reserved.