Looking at: David Wojnarowicz

April 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm (art)

This school year has, well, sucked, in a way I’m not really going to get into right now, but it’s been one of those times where I’ve had to remind myself why it is that I do what I do, and why I should keep going. It’s a passing funk, I’m sure, but it’s there nonetheless.

But I finally had a really great day preparing for classes, and that’s largely because I got to spend the afternoon looking at the work of David Wojnarowicz, one of the first artists I really looked at as a young artist. I remember taking the bus into NYC with my friend Jason and stumbling upon a show of his at the New Museum (at the time located on Broadway). His work was stunning and powerful, and was one of the first things I saw that really made me want to be an artist.

It’s funny for me to sit down and look at his work today, and remember the impact it had on me then. My work is often described (accused?) of being pretty or sweet – two adjectives that really don’t come to mind with DW’s work. And yet today I saw the connection — a connection I had totally forgotten about — that made total sense; a connection based on text and an expression of raw honesty:

It might be a connection that only makes sense to me, I don’t know. But something about I’m going to give you this overwhelming amount of text, so much that it’s hard to read and that you feel silly standing before it in a gallery, but in it I’m going to tell you something so real that I could never actually speak it; the connection between readability and not being readable, and the imparting of a desperate, secret truth:

And then, I saw this piece again, which is probably my favorite work of art ever in its simplicity and (I’m using this word again, but what other word is there?) devastation:

Damn. It’s one of my life’s goals to own that piece of bread, I just love it so much. (Start saving, Amy.)

Anyway. I’m psyched to show this work to my class tomorrow, psyched to share something with them that meant (and means) so much to me.

(The Estate of David Wojnarowicz is represented by PPOW Gallery in NYC, which is run by very, very nice people who I really hope won’t be mad at me for using these pictures. And if they are, I’ll just take them down, no biggie.)



  1. Ayana Friedman said,

    who owns this Bread Sculpture?

  2. Ayana Friedman said,

    I was wondering about- who owns the Bread Sculpture

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