narrative visual artist


lunchbreak (or: return to the golden path)


something opened-up in me last week.  i can see a path that makes sense in a way i haven't seen in the past.

while this was occurring, i sold a painting.

i have come to recognize that 53947 gives me images in resonant windows to teach me how to be a better me.  i have also come to recognize that often this is only a side-benefit.  in reality, my paintings belong to specific people and the message contained inside may be visible to me, but it is actually going to resonate deeper with the person that the painting belongs-to. 

this has been true for the over 100 windows i have united with their owners.

last week, i sold a very old painting.  it was perhaps one of the first 5 windows i had ever peered-into with artistic intent.  i thought i had it figured-out. 

it was a stand-alone piece.  it never really fit into story-exhibitions i have been creating and so it spent a vast majority of the last 10 years in my space, "understood" by me.

the painting is of 53947 and another "roman" sitting with glasses of fluid.  they look exactly the same(i had not refined my eyesight at the point to allow me to even recognize proper color)

the fluid in the glasses was the only difference in this "lunchbreak"--one had water, the other had beer.  my take was that even when we seem to be living in a homogenized world, the smaller details are unique and that makes even the most mundane moment special, bubbling from seemingly nowhere to enrich experience.

i had been content with that explanation for 8 years. fast-foward to 2 years ago-- i had a string of exhibits that enabled me to have all of my current work in the public eye at the same time.  i pulled "lunchbreak" from its established spot in my home and hung it on the wall to see if it needed to be cleaned. 

that was when 53947 said "this is not finished yet.  you need to add something."

i grabbed a box cutter and poked an arrow-shaped dent into the forehead of the roman drinking water.  it seemed counter-intuitive to poke a hole in a clean-flat plane, but it was asked of me and i trust the source of the asking. 

he said "things are not what they appear."

fast-forward to last week.  the painting is hanging in "lemmings" in bucktown. i get an email from someone drawn to the painting, but he sees "the damage" and offers me half of what i am asking for the painting. 

when i price, i ask myself how much it will cost to keep it on my wall.  i felt comfortable with my asking price for the painting and decided it didn't belong to the person who was asking to purchase it as he saw the addition of the arrow-hole as "damage."  i politely turned-him down and suggested maybe there was another piece in my catalogue that appealed-to him.

two days later, another buyer comes forward.  they want the painting. no questions of "is this damaged" just "this spoke to me and i'd like to buy it."  this was the owner of the painting.

the day came for me to deliver the painting.  that morning, the buyer followed my instagram account and i noticed he worked with a wine distributor.

then my head exploded.

i looked at the painting.  the "roman" marked with the arrow-hole was not drinking water--he was drinking wine.  for the last 10 years, my perception was set, but things were not what they seemed.

i got goose-bumps (as i have now).  53947 had planted a consideration, very important to my growth, 10 years ago.  the message would not be delivered in its entirety until i found the owner of the painting.  now on the morning of the exchange, the message would bloom.

while i have had 100's of experiences linking paintings with owners, this was the first time my lesson would come not from the creation of the art, but with the union of the art with owner(who knew it was wine in the roman's glass, even before i explained what had happened in my latest experience of the painting!)

the universal light i felt when i first started 10 years ago has returned.  i've refocused my eyes.  my golden path has been illuminated as never before and i am being guided to a new leg of this incredible journey where nothing is as it seems.

lewis lain