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in case you haven't noticed

paper collage
gregory a. milinovich

so i started a little class at a local art studio on collage. it is only for three weeks, and our first session was yesterday. looking back on it, i'm glad i went, and i intend to go to the other two classes we have.

but in the middle of class yesterday, i seriously felt like i was in the wrong place. first of all, there are only four of us, including the teacher. all of us have been to art school and received some formal education around art history, form, and function. all of us, that is, except for me. i knew a guy named art once. that's about the extent of my art education. oh, that and i once made a turkey by tracing my hand and cutting it out. that was in fourth grade. art school schmart school.

anyway, i felt like i was just slightly out of my league. when i mentioned that i really had no real training, the instructor said, "oh that's ok. outsider art is really popular these days." whatever that means. but i get it: i'm an outsider.

so, our class mostly consisted of us making collages with the materials that were available in the room. as i was digging through piles of papers, i heard the instructor saying, "now, you should really avoid using words in your collages. if you do use them, only use them for their stylistic value, not for what they are saying. you absolutely do not want to try and send a message with your collage. we prefer that our art be random, like the waves of the ocean..."

she went on. but i'm not sure i heard the rest.

in case you haven't noticed, almost every collage i have ever made has words in it.

in case you haven't noticed (volume 2), i adore words.

in case you haven't noticed (volume 3), i usually am conveying some kind of a message with my art.

in case you haven't noticed (volume 4), i am an outsider.

so, my ego was hurt a little. i tried to defend myself, saying that i use words as part of the juxtaposition. i am very verbal. i love words. there is a long tradition of using words in art. i once made a turkey by tracing my hand!

anyway, i say all of that just to say that i am trying to stretch myself a little and move past my normal artistic boundaries. i made the above collage yesterday in class. i still used words (i'll show her!). but i tried to be more abstract and think about form more than anything else.

i'll let you know how it goes.

on a completely separate note:

on the way home from the class, shannon and jack and i stopped at a kentucky fried chicken for lunch (they have a sweet tuesday lunch deal!). as i was eating my delicious lunch, enjoying every last one of those 11 secret herbs and spices on my extra crispy chicken parts, i remembered the most glorious part of a meal at kfc: the biscuit. so, with reckless abandon, i attacked my biscuit, destroying it in a matter of only a few bites, its buttery-flaky goodness filling me with more than just uncountable grams of fat. after eating my biscuit, i returned my attention to the colonel's secret recipe, reaching down to grab the remains of my poultry thigh, and i discovered, alas!, another biscuit had miraculously appeared on my plate!

now, lest you think i am crazy, this miraculous multiplication of loaves was verified by my wife. i searched the heavenly roll for some sign of the blessed virgin or a likeness of our saviour himself, but could only find crumbly cooked lard. still, a miracle. i don't know what purpose God had in doubling my biscuit portion, but it happened and i just thought you should know.

and in case you haven't noticed (volume 5), i believe God shows up in the strangest places: my kfc plate, collage class, and even this stupid blog.




RedBank Billy said…
Greg, don't sweat being an "outsider"
what do all the rest of them know anyway!!! I always thought you had a
great way of expressing yourself with your collages, some of them are real treasures to me. I wish I had some of that "artsy" in my DNA. I'm lucky I can express myself at all!!! and the biscuit thing sounds like a real "miracle" to me.
See ya
greg. said…
yo billy. seriously. it was a miracle. i had one biscuit. i ate it. and another biscuit appeared. it was incredible. i thought about asking the restaurant manager for their security surveillance video to see if i could see the exact moment that the biscuit appeared on my plate.

in all seriousness, kfc biscuits are one of the top ten things to thank God for. they will be served in heaven's cafeteria. as many as you want. they will just keep appearing on your plate.

cathyq said…
1. You are not an outsider.
2. Art is what you want it to be; I thougt we already settled that in another blog.
3. I loved your hand turkey!
4. Biscuits are okay, but corn bread is better! Especially corn bread made from the Jiffy mix. Yum.
Crafty P said…
you made me laugh. thanks for that.
I have so been craving kfc lately and that is so weird to me. I think I've been there TWICE in my whole existence.
I looked at the word cafeteria in your post there on the left four times over b/c it just looked so 'not right'. but it's right, right?
i like your outsider art.
and lastly, i am a lover of words as well.
Crafty P said…
speaking of words
oh and did you see this new Tolkien book called "The Children of Hurin"? I got an email from B'n N about it yesterday. it was completed by Tolkien's son, Christopher. Interesting.
greg. said…
corn bread is not better than biscuits. at least not a kfc biscuit.

cafeteria is a legitimate word.

and, no one is realizing the spiritual magnitude of this miracle here. i mean, seriously people, this is paranormal. how does a biscuit simply appear where there was previously no biscuit? do you have a rational explanation for this? because if you do, i want to know it. did aliens put it there? did i imagine/hallucinate? help!
Peter said…
Well, the good news is: once you finish the class, you're no longer an "outsider," right? I took drawing once at the college I was working for when I had no idea what the hell I was doing with my life, and I ended up really liking it a lot. I don't have a lot of time for it these days (the tradeoff for having two little boys, but it's worth putting off the art for another 20 years, I think.)

I gotta tell you, though: A lot of the "art" I saw in my class was pretty unbelievably bad--much of mine included, I think. What I've seen in the collages you've placed online shows a lot more vision than much of what I've seen hanging in galleries. And if making good art is the price you pay for being an "outsider"...well, just think about that for a while.

So there.
greg. said…
yeah, i'm pretty much alright with thinking of myself, or having others think of me, as an outsider.

where my ego was a little bruised was in her analysis of art that 'has a message.'

but i'm over it. thanks for the encouraging words. i'm still waiting to design a cd or book cover for you.


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