Arlo the Artist
As many of you know, I took in Arlo some months ago and have been trying to raise him, but it has not been easy. I have been trying to find him some meaningful cat-work to do, but he hasn't been cooperative.
Lately, however, he has been developing his artistic side, so I decided to interview him about what he says is his true purpose in the household, so here goes:
Tanner: Arlo, tell the readers of Mommy's blog what it is that you do.
Arlo: I'm a deconstructivist feline artisticat working with paper disassemblages.
Tanner: Arlo, what you do is bite up paper and make a mess!
Arlo: Art is in the eye of the creator, Tanner. I think that not only am I cuter than the average kitty, but I'm also wonderfully creative. You have no appreciation. But that's to be expected since you came from the dumpster.
Tanner: Well, there's no use arguing with you—especially since you are now big enough to hold your own in cat-rasslin'. Why don't you tell the blog-readers about your, er, work.
Arlo: I work with newsprint, primarily the Roanoke Times, which is easy to deconstruct and reduce to its essential elements, that I then rearrange to make meaningful statements about the impermanence of words, the transcendency of the feline spirit, and the wasteful nature of our times. Here, let me show the blog readers some of my disassemblages so they will know whereof I speak.
In the above installation, for instance, I carefully select pages that make a statement, then dissassemble, reimagine, and rearrange those pages and parts thereof to reflect a cataclysmic state of the feline interpretation of life. I find my decontructionism techniques wonderfully cathartic.
Sometimes I immerse myself so totally in my work that I become a part of it, and it is hard to tell where the cat ends and the newsprint begins.
Sometimes I hide myself in my work—the better to find myself later, and thus my work becomes a catalyst for my own self-discovery.
Other times, I just catapult my work out there and let it go where it will. I try to cover a lot of territory—or at least a lot of carpet—when I do an installation.
Sometimes I work small and subtle. Notice that in the installation below, the cat (Moi!) is the dominant figure. In this one, I show how the cat dominates and separates his art, while at the same time becoming a central part of it.
Below, my art covers my head, showing how scraps of inconsequential media can obliterate our identities. Purrsonally, I think this is one of my best disassemblages when it comes to social commentary. Notice how my tail balances the destruction and yet keeps me grounded.
In the disassemblage below, I show how I have dominated the media and squashed it. Only my reeled-in tail betrays that I have no completely slipped the bonds of print.
Tanner: What you're telling me makes no sense, Arlo!
Arlo: That's because you do not understand art, Tanner. You cannot comprehend my purrpose. Now in the disassemblage below, notice how I divide and conquer the media, while reducing some of it to smaller bits which orbit the central figure, which is yours truly. Note how my tail reaches to the outer edge of my galaxy while reinforcing the idea that I am the center of my universe.
Below is still a work in progress.
Sometimes it helps if I look at my art from a different angle.
And sometimes I just dive right in and start work.
Luckily I have a lot of material to work with. Purrhaps this assemblage in progress will be a political statement. Purrhaps not. I'm open to ideas.
Tanner: OK, OK, we've seen enough of what you do. Your point is—?
Arlo: What's black and white and shred all over? Me and my art!
Tanner: I think your art is a catastrophe in the making.
Update: more on Arlo's art here: http://peevishpen.blogspot.com/2016/05/arlos-art.html