oil and beeswax
on canvas
48" x 24"

poem was an early attempt to bring together my interested in graphic design and concrete poetry. i was also very interested in using source materials that were not inspiring, so as to mold them into something more akin to my interests or ‘needs’.

i began with each of the major art magazines at the time (1986), and traced each rectangle or square onto the surface. i then took the fonts of each magazine’s logo and created words from the letters in each title…. thus artforum generated words like “from, rut, farm, tar, rut”… i wasn’t looking for every word, but more so to take a mainstream commercial enterprise and turn it into an alternative, offering different information and different kinds of sustenance.

it’s not that i was trying to make a statement about the artworld or art and money, but the painting was criticized in the newspaper for attempting such a thing – offering me a lesson that people will read into something regardless of my intentions.

honestly, i was interested in the ways that one can explore inspiration… and to find ways to use things that seemed not to offer inspiration forcing me to dig deeper. i was much more interested in creating poetry out of something that meant not to offer poetry, than i was interested in critiquing the artworld. fortunately, 25 years later, the painting simply seems a painting and a poem…

for the life of me, i don’t remember why the piece was painted on two separate panels that were then screwed together.