Titles and Why I love them
I love titles. I usually find myself collecting titles for use at some future time.
While wanting to get feedback about my art work, I went into a gallery in San Francisco in 2007. I told the owner that I was not seeking representation in his gallery because my work would not fit with the work of their current artists. He looked at my binder full of images of my work.
He stopped at one called Mt Rushmore and said the work reminded him of Romare Bearden. I was honored to be compared to a well known exceptional artist. That piece is an early one from the 1990s. I had the idea to create not only their faces but include other symbols that spoke of their influence. He said looking at my work, you should make them all untitled. I took his suggestion with grace but I thought, there is nothing like finding the right title for a work of art or a piece of writing. Like naming a child before birth and then either confirming it or finding a suitable one later.
Many times, I come up with the title before completing the piece or sometimes even before the piece has been birthed.
Footnote about Mt Rushmore. I got the best reward for that piece that I have gotten in my entire life. Two teachers in Nebraska had their students visit an art show where there was an abundance of artwork. The students were to write a letter to the artist of the painting they liked most. I received about 20 letters from 9 and 10 ten olds. They are still a treasure to me. I answered each one with my animal note cards. The surveyor’s map was because Washington had been a surveyor. The revolutionary drum joined Washington and Jefferson as they were both active in the American Revolution. Jefferson was a man of many talents. Teddy Roosevelt was one of the rough riders and eventually started the national parks. It was under Lincoln that we started have our paper money known as greenbacks.