Surely, this will get me even more spam. Luckily, Deborah is my look out and warns me when such hideousness appears. Of course, with the stuff I'm writing about, some would say that I bring it on myself. Don't YOU say it. I'm just saying that some out there might be saying it, somewhere. Maybe. Probably not. Whatever.
Catchy title, right? So, this is another college art story and the first time I recall seeing a peer do any sort of mixed media work, purposefully. I was a senior and was participating in a course called "Advanced Drawing". There was Advanced Drawing I, Advanced Drawing II and III and IV and on and on. We didn't draw during course time, but instead all the students (seniors and various level grad students) would participate in three or four hours of mind-numbing critiques. After two or three years of this sort of thing, it is no wonder why I don't even want to chat about anyone's work. I mean, I learned a great deal and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, but I'm talked and listened out, even after over twenty years away from it.
Our professor was a single and randy sort of fellow. Innocent little me didn't realize that there was some truth in the movie version of female students falling for their worldly professors. Well, there was one seriously angry young woman in one of my Advanced Drawing classes. She was a grad student and I thought she was ancient. She was probably only 30 years old. She was so tiny, not more than five feet tall and she could TALK. Boy, could she TALK. She was up on all the lastest this and that in the art world. I don't think that I even cracked a magazine binding to see what was going on out in the world because I was so self-absorbed. This is not bragging. I'm just trying to let you know how self-absorbed I am. I mean was. No, I mean am.
For the first half of the semester she brought in very dull and uneventful figurative work. Life size, representational drawings of men. I always thought that she sort of fancied herself a contemporary version of Michelangelo or Honore Daumier. Her line quality was flat and uneventful. Descriptive, sinuous line is what makes a drawing interesting to me. Or hard hacking lines like Kathe Kollwitz and VanGogh.
Week after week, she brought in the same sort of work and yanged prophetic over it. Then, one day she started writing in a very pale sepia script over all her drawings. That was totally cool and then the critiques surrounding her work became more interesting. It almost made me crack open an Art News. During the next month or so of critiques her writing became more and more legible and graphically severe. She waved her arms around a lot more during class and darted deadly glances at the prof. His mood never changed. He was smooth and detached at all times. My favorite. It got us all talking, which is more than I can say for our critiques. Oh, if you are wondering how fabu my work was back then...well, of course it was superfantastic and very little discussion was necessary because it was simply mind-blowing. Take that as complete truth or partial or none at all. I know what I know. Back to the story...
One day, she stormed into class late, with with the biggest drawing she had ever made. It had to be about seven feet high. The paper was still curling, so she must have used the Strathmore drawing paper that comes in a roll. It was a smeared charcoal drawing that was still dripping wet from coffee and who knows what other kind of aqueous medium being splashed on it. Very cool and sort of stinky. Just what a young, impressionable mind such as mine needed to see. The prof had a rule that if you were late, you didn't participate, but SHE WAS RUNNING THE SHOW that particular day. "Take down this work" she ordered and the people who had work hanging in that area rushed to take it down before she ripped it down. She stood on a rickety chair and pinned this mammoth figure of a man up and said "Don't move" and pointed at all of us. It was sort of like performance art. We whispered amongst ourselves wondering if that was her new thing. Then, with pass-the-secretlike precision word got over to our corner of the room that this chicky and the prof were "doin' it". Huh? Doin' what? Yes, I really was that stupid sometimes. I could never bring myself to believe that a rational female would entangle herself in such a situation and mess with her grade point. My friend called me an idiot and me shoved me so hard that I fell off my chair and I fell over, hitting my Prof right in the knees. Great stuff. At that moment, I was so glad that I was a prolific student with an inventive mind and mind blowing line quality.
Meanwhile, Angry Chick had started coming through the door with some long rusted out something or other that turned out to be a muffler with attached tailpipe from an enormous vehicle. We had no idea where she had gotten it (the prof's truck or perhaps the same dumpster as space-invading-conceptual-sculptor-guy from my previous post). It was very rusty and chunks dropped off as she drug it across the floor to her big drawing. She took an ebony pencil out of her pocket and stabbed the drawing repeatedly...guess where. Then, she took the tailpipe and crammed it through the pierced paper. It was very dramatic. The muffler served as a prop to keep the tailpipe in position. She had thought this out a little bit. Then she started reciting some really angry stuff and crying and pointing at our Prof. The muffler started slipping on the linoleum floor and the tailpipe slowly tore the drawing. WOW. This all occurred within a matter of five minutes, no longer. Our jaws dropped. The Prof escorted Angry Chick out of class and we all sat there for quite a long time. Neither one returned, so we ended up conducting our own critiques. I mean, we were all serious art students and what else could we have done?
She never graced us with her presence in Advanced Drawing again and I think that she ended up switching schools. We never spoke of it in future classes and most of us were too shocked to talk about it outside of class. It didn't even seem real. It was a flash of insanity. But, it was my first exposure to vastly different mediums being mixed together.