Alexandra Eldridge, Spiritual Realities 24 x 18" |

Alexandra Eldridge, Spiritual Realities 24 x 18″ | 2012 courtesy of artist

Which came first -the elephant or the egg?

I like obstacles. They tell on me. Study your obstacles – what tale do they tell about your thinking? Elephantine obstacles require a great force of self to move, but many are completely mind made up.

In this totem, the elephant balances on a lavender egg. The elephant, remover of obstacles – is at once young and old – timeless leathered skin defined by burls in the underlying wood.

In motion. Maybe she was laid off – again. Maybe he holds divorce papers – again. Maybe she heads a faltering company or he’s losing a major client. These two-ton obstacles to happiness force us into motion. This elephant puts one uneasy foot in front of the other and though vulnerable, balances between hope and despair. She will make this egg take her where she wants to go. Perhaps finding (while plodding) a new direction. We don’t know how, but she will.

The bird, however, is stuck. Staring down a small black egg entirely avian made. Some dark ritualized judgement grounds her from flying free. A perceived tragic flaw, “I’m unlovable,” or “I’ll never reach my goals.” “I’ll always be _________. “I’m the worst  ________.”  Her wings pinned back.  Cawing complaint.

But I see potential in this obstacle egg. Potential to find the thinking flaw.  Black egg thoughts have a shady “all-or-nothing” ultimatum-ish type character  – a dead give away. Hold on! I’m not the *worst* parent in the world. I messed up this time, but next time I’ll handle it differently. (deep breath)

Now we flex our wings. Now a dark egg cracks. Opens up to new and brightly life.

High noon

Ellsworth Kelly, High Yellow, 1960 Blanton Museum, Austin, TX

Ellsworth Kelly, High Yellow, 1960 Blanton Museum, Austin, TX

It’s a showdown here, folks. Two serious contenders, abstraction vs. realism.  We’re facing off today in Austin, TX on the field of  High Yellow, speaking to Mr. Ellsworth Kelly. Pitting our need for representation against his refusal to represent. Gear up and let’s get it on. Winner takes all.

Round one: the obvious

Us: This is a minimalist landscape, the green is grass, the blue is sky and the yellow is that scorching beast of a  Texas sun.

Kelly: This is greenness, this is blueness, this is yellowness.

Round Two: the memory

Us: Ok, then. This is the yellow ball that finally scored a hole-in-one at Peter Pan putt-putt golf in seventh grade. The night I finally kissed Bethany Mulhaney.

Kelly: This is greenness, this is blueness, this is yellowness.

Us: No fair, you’re using my distrust of simplicity against me. It’s complicated you know.

Round Three: the metaphysical gymnast

Us: This is about the possibility of purity, of perfection – both impossible in life.

This highlights the ironic equation of the cosmos, that blue + yellow=green, every time. But in life inputs rarely equal outputs, anytime.

This is a bridge where representation walks over into abstraction and surrenders to the veracity of color.

Kelly: LOL, this is so simple that it takes a genius to figure it out, huh?

the tie-breaker

Us: You really gonna trash talk me about this fat egg painting?