Friday, April 13, 2007

The Bitchy Co-worker Incident

        Art by women of women speaks to me about a deeper truth of how "I am" than when
artists approach the naked female body. I am drawn to certain artists more than others.... that is
                just being honest.
But I try to remain open so that the public does not feel my preference when they're walking
                through the installations.
More than any other approach, when a female artist makes herself the subject and or the object
of her exhibition I find it confrontational. That is not a negative. In some cases the work
makes me feel exposed or upset. In others, I was made an accomplice without knowingly agreeing
                to this. Once it turned me on. Once it made my skin crawl.
I welcome these feelings. This is why I wake up in the morning, to be moved to think and feel.
If a visual artist has no impact whatsoever on me, then I am sad. Because sexuality is at the heart
                of this exhibition, lack of impact is not an applicable phrase
                in this case.
I have been working constantly, basically sleeping at the museum so that the opening would be
                perfect and make deadline. So, when Santa asked me to go
                to see the live broadcast of a dance show competition, as
                disappointed as I was, I didn't want to leave the paintings
                or the photographs.
One night I found myself at the end of my rope, which is a place I don't get to often. The vibes in
                the museum had been ignited it seemed by a poisonous
                substance. Bitchy green monsters were oozing out of one of
                the women that works here. That kind of manipulative
                person can be wearing on the brain. Once she had left the
                building, I began to calm down. I decided to walk around
                and double check my reactions to the artwork without this
                woman's snide remarks about a lot of the women artists.
                Why we can't be more supportive toward each other as a
                community of women, I have no idea. Then out of nowhere
                I felt someone watching me. I turned around quickly, as
                you do, and there he was... the Bitchy-Green-Monster-
                Person's on and off boyfriend.
'Why do you let her get to you?' was the question he asked. I answered, 'Let's not give her more
                credit than she deserves.' 'What do you mean by that' was
                his comeback. 'Look, anybody and I do mean anybody,
                who talks so viciously about other contemporaries, artist or
                not, will get a reaction from me it's really that simple.'
He walked in without looking away and chose to stand between me and the paintings and
                sheepishly requested, 'Will you give me a tour from your
                perspective so that I can feel as passionate about these
                artists as you do? I work here too Clyde and I need an
                injection of this adrenaline that you carry for these artists.'
'What about your relationship with you know who?' I could barely say it. He looked shocked and
                shook his head, 'What relationship? You've got to be
                kidding. You-Know-Who is a psychopath and a stalker and
                I'm not far from getting a restraining order against her.' I
                had to laugh just because it is crazy how we all can over-
                react to what one person says, not realizing that they live to
                stir up trouble more than they need air. I remember folding
                my arms possibly to protect myself saying, 'Kyle, I don't
                need another stalker in my life, even if it's your one.' Out
                of no where he gave me a hug and said 'you can't let
                 harmless envious people dictate your every move.' Out of
                my mouth before I could stop came, 'This is not about my
                every move Kyle this is about roaming around with you in
                a deserted museum after closing except for security.' He
                grinned that grin and said 'Sounds like one of the better
                ideas I've come up with in quite a while.'
So I kept a slight distance for all kinds of reasons and began to walk him through the exhibition.


ana's ghost said...

Hola Clyde
Literature by women gets my attention all the time, like women artist do in your case, for the same reason. I find interesting how the lens through wich women and men see are sometimes gender lens.

Renee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marcela said...

I prefer art about women made by women too. I don't have many women friends, and i feel like i'm missing on too much. There is so much i don't understand about life that i feel i can relate to merely by a woman perspective, so i only have art to try to reach it.

Anonymous said...

"I had to laugh just because it is crazy how we all can over-react to what one person says, not realizing that they live to stir up trouble more than they need air." - Thanks for reminding us. Hope Santa is taking it in stride as well.
And thanks for your lovely post. I look forward to more of the adventures of Clyde... and Kyle.

toritattoo said...

Indeed it's interesting what captures a woman's attention more than a man. You're a better curator than me in trying to stay neutral in your selections - my exhibition would be entirely Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Clyde! It's good to hear from you again.

Lily and Ben are up to their elbows in that homeade playdough you suggested. Honestly, I don't think my kitchen will ever be the same! Your willingness to champion artistic expression in the young ones is heartening to us all, and well worth the cleaning that will come next...

As a Mother I am fortunate enough to have surrounded myself with nothing but support and love. I have counted on them for everything from date night with my husband to the occasional feeling of "am I doing this right???".

I wish I could say the same thing about being a nurse. It seems that green slimy substance has leaked out of a nurse's station somewhere. I can't for the life of me figure out why nurses are so rude to each other. If they could work together, as we do in nursing school, the patients' needs would be adressed more safely, faster, and more effectively. Never let me loose my nursing school starry eyes Clyde. See you on the road! Love, Lilyscloak

Anonymous said...

clyde feels a deeper truth of her identity from a woman's approach to art. i respect and admire that. i've found that a male's perspective is often surprisingly true to "who i am" as well. at least in visual art. literature is different, i think, and so is music. (at least for me).

i sometimes wish gender division weren't so often prominent in the arts.

Anonymous said...

I think we've all oozed

green substance in our lives.

I know I quell it inside my mind

almost constantly! How to stop

generating it entirely?!?! I've

also felt how you did, Clyde, when

she was in the building. What's a

good barrier to green in one's

vicinity? A good yellow?

Anonymous said...

It's just amazing to sit and experience the way your thoughts move/clash/dance together

you are so aware of energy and its impact on you and those around you...powerful to be walking in a time where so many visionaries are coming in to clear the way..

i feel blessed...truly truly blessed....


Amy said...

I too have a bitchy coworker named narcissist...not a good thing when her ego is threatened. She's vicious!

Anonymous said...


Honey, will you pleeeeeease tell Tori Amos how much we (dutch fans)LOVED her glasses yesterday in Utrecht?! Everybody is talking about it, how great she looks with the glasses on :D

Hope to meet you in Amsterdam on June 3th in Amsterdam, you are my favorite American Doll! (ssssssstttt... don't tell the others ;))

x Indra

dannyb said...

Hey Clyde,
Great inspiring texts you have there. I like where the story with this beau is going...

see you in Paris I hope

anita said...

nice to hear from you again clyde. hmm this story is getting interesting. send tori our love!

Rudy said...

Well, apparently the bitchy green monsters are crrreepily crrrawling in the blogosphere. Well, Clyde, don't let such crrreatures hurt you. You are lovely and amazing, as your music and your attitude proves. Better let that guy know that Pip's got your back, not to mention ears with feet who have our boots on.

m said...

Don't get lost in there. Take a walk, get some perspective. You have got to watch your back and keep breathing when there's another girl around trying to make your world the second grade playground all over again.

Indra said...

Dear Clyde,

I have a question about art-work... do you also like fantasy-art by Brian Froud??

love, Indra (

Scarlet said...

Love it. Sometimes i gotta be careful i don't fall victim to the bitchy co-worker, and that i'm not the bitchy co-worker.

Jason Sechrest said...

This senseless physical war that is being fought is a manifestation of these wars we wage in our every day lives not only against those we deem the little green monsters but even ourselves. Good for you for putting down the artilery today. We're one step closer. xo L, J.

sonja said...

What I love about painting and looking at other work by women, is seeing the progress they make, the expressions they use that often crosses the same terrain of experience as a women. The beauty of visual art, is it captures the idea and feeling and holds it there for the veiwer to explore. When I look back at a life time of paintings, even though the subject matter may change, the technique continues to grow, the underlying thread of who the artist is and always has been, with all of the tempering, is still there, steady little Amazon warrior of the work.

Bodies of artistic work are exciting, and seeing interpreations of a theme helps see how unique we are as women, but a tast of how limitless creativity really is...makes one wonder how there could ever be a dry spell anyplace in psyche, unless we believe there is one :(

When you have that to rely on, creative possibiity and a passion for creating and sharing, it sorta makes the green spewers much smaller, and less toothier. :)

Anne said...

I find this draw in all forms of expression...that I am drawn to what I identify with and it's the feminine side. Music, literature, art...even academically.

As a philosophy student sometimes I did not look at the name of the author before reading my assignments and sometimes I really liked a piece more than others and when I looked back...they were by women, without having known it initially. They spoke to me and my experience in this world from a different perspective. I appreciate that.

Lizeth R. said...

"A doll is also a posibility to be, a potential" for a girl, her first doll is the first contact with the emptiness and the posibility of creation; is not only a manipulated object, is a reflectión of our own being. You are the doll of a big and complex girl, you are the reflectión of an instant of creation, that´s why you look so real.

Rae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rae said...

Spite, Arrogance and jealousy are difficult energies to take from someone at the best of times. But when these weapons are used to attack the things we hold dearest to our hearts, it is as if our very soul is being mutilated, and we will defend it as a mother would defend her child.
Clyde, the passion and inspiration you project into the space around yourself is so pure and dynamic, and it is obviously making life a little too uncomfortable for those collegues of yours who feel too challenged by the message you and your contempories are trying to give birth to. There will always be resistance....not everyone is ready to open their eyes at the same time. But you have started something wonderful that can't be stopped....
Love Rae

Nakiel said...

Have resonance, will travel!

Well, mostly we men create art only for the sake of art itself, but woman create it for the sake of themselves...

brett said...

ahh yes. I was getting worried about you Clyde, as your busy schedule has kept you from reaching us. I'm glad you came 'round again.

ally said...

Oh Clyde,
I have always had the worst comments on my art work from women. It's hard not to let it get to you. Painting comes from such a personal place so nasty comments hit very deep. I stopped painting for years because a female tutor didn't like the way I painted. I had developed those skills since before I could walk or speak. She was so critical and I was at such a low point in my life I actually believed I couldn't draw. I felt lost without drawing and painting in my life. Then my mum told me I was never happy as a child without a crayon in my hand. I slowly started to create again when I was in a happier place in my life and I've never looked back.
I feel so angry that I let that tutor get to me. She had a male tutor who had never accepted her style so I felt even more disappointed in the way she reacted to my art. I want to teach art in the future and I hope to encourage my students and push them in the right directions. That green monster can do more damage than it knows.

Anonymous said...

Clyde please come to Singapore!

Anonymous said...

lol, yea, 'clyde' wil do singapore

Anonymous said...

How you like THIS art?

Dear Clyde, sweet dreams for later on, have a nice evening!
x Indra

otherchaz said...

Thank you. I encounter people who desire trouble more than breath, and it's good to now have words to describe them, at least to myself. It sounds like both your coworker and the man entangled with her both work with different flavors of trouble. I think his the more toxic.

turbulent indigo said...

This response is for what you posted in the 'about me' part of the blog.
It makes me cry when I read 'But if no one sees their potential then they may not ever see it themselves and that would be tragic.'

You are so smart. It's a shame not everyone can view the world like you.

HelenAngel said...

Good call on treading lightly with Kyle. I don't know why women are so vicious with one another, either, but women like that won't think twice about bombing your life with endless drama (and possibly violence). The only way to really avoid it is to avoid the people- but then you risk turning your back to someone who may really need your influence in their life. So where do you draw the line? Do you risk exposing yourself to toxicity and/or potentially throw yourself into a drama trap?

If you figure out the secret, let me know. =)

Nuala said...

Please, tell Tori why don't she never come to tour in Spain. There's so many fans in here. And we have the sweetest sangria in the world!


Nicole said...

I am a woman painter of nature. For me its not about gender. Great Art is genderless, timeless,radiates a presence or energy that is encapsulated inside it. The piece decides to speak to you or not. Great art sings and dances. Is true and contains a raw honesty. Great art takes deep searching by the artist both intellectual and emotional. I have been moved to tears by both sexes. The first time I saw a Kathy Kollwitz show I lost my footing,like gravity its self turned. Ron wing was another powerful moment. I stood emotionally floored. It was a show for his wife who passed. The power of the portraits and the feeling of deep love, respect, the life of her and his profound loss was moving beyond words. If the art is honest true to its self, it speaks over all. It grabs you takes you for a spin and it is a spin that you will never forget. It changes you, enriches you and makes you better. I too try to seek and be honest, it is sometimes a grueling process walking through the muck and dark forrest. But in the end it is not the male/female artist who has the last word it is the product of the artist, that is what is kept, remembered. When my body is gone, my work will be here deciding who it is going to talk to.

On another note....Thank you Tori Amos for the spin, I listen to you when I paint. I can't put to words how it moves me, but it is a great move. You are great art.

psyche11 said...

Yes Tori PLEASE come to Singapore! You have so many fans here!

pandragon said...

You're beautiful Clyde-Tori.

Please come to Asia and share your magic here.

Madalaine McCabe said...

Sometimes I see myself easily persuaded by the opinions of others. I'm young, I hope to grow out of this and make my own opinions.

I studied art in college for two years. Your opinions make a lot of sense. As a women I find it easier to understand a piece of art work whether it be visual, written or through music, if it is created by a woman.

In my opinion if and piece of artwork is about a woman, by a woman, it feels like it is coming more from the heart, rather than an outside view that someone of the opposite sex would have. I guess it works both ways.

brett said...

CLYDE!! OH MY GOD! Your songs lift me up. "Beauty Of Speed," & "Bouncing Off Clouds" are GORGEOUS!! Love the background vox on "Digital Ghost," as well. YOU ARE SO AMAZING!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For me, walking into any piece of art is like walking into an eye. For women particularly this is a beautiful danger; so much of who we are is abandoned because of the spreading compulsion of the visual west to contort all souls into something flat and efortlessly consumable.

As a woman steping into anybody elses visual representation of a female body, my natural fears of abandonment, grief and anger toward the countless years in wich the feminine has been repressed begin to rise to the surface.

With such emotions ripping through my skin it becomes clear to me how important it is to nourish our senses with anything that challanges the idea of woman as 'object'.

Any artist who is brave enough to open our eyes to veiwing a body as a self-posesed whole that both employs and inspires all the senses by actually offering us the intimate act of walking through one of their own many eyes deserves our respect.

My third eye sees this so clearly that I am often left ungrounded when shocked into the rememberance that not all souls choose to speak with such respect. I hope to learn (in thyme) how to remain centred despite the overwhelming differences between my vision and those of the social expectations around me.

I wonder how many other men and women feel the same sense of isolation that I do when reminded of just how far from the reality of 'being' many of humanities dominant social codes of behaviour are?

Hélène Deroubaix said...

" Why we can't be more supportive toward each other as a
community of women, I have no idea"

I was wondering why too...I think it's sometimes easier to downplay,criticize ...I love how you're so passionate with what touch your soul!

I hope to be able to see you in June in Paris...I hope so much!

Blessed be!

Anonymous said...

For Clyde to dance to...

Perverse Adult said...

If you're in New York any time soon, the current exhibition of global feminist art in the new feminist art center at the Brooklyn Museum is quite fantastic, and at the "cutting edge" of feminist theory and politics.

Sapphire said...

I love your blog Clyde, way to go.
see ya in graz in june. hopefully!

peace out

Trady Blix said...

wow, this is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I'm interested in art -particularly literature- through the eyes of women too. My next novel will try to deal with that, I just read A Room of One's Own, very sharp, very interesting...

Lorcs xxx

Greekgodlamb said...

i love Clyde, i can relate with her the most. I think, i guess every human being in this world have some sort of insecurity, and yet it sometimes leads them to unsuspecting circumstances.

Claudia Drake said...

Why? That's my answer to this. I want to know more, I want to deconstruct the why and where, where that reaction to artwork of women.. the art of and on women comes from. That's music, fine art, theatre, take it all the way, spill.

I think about these things too, but.. it's a slippery slope as a female
artist [you know, you know]. There is so much subjective muck in the collective consciousness, and growing up in this society [in ANY society] it seeps in at the edges for all of us. I see us, women, us of that grouping, having to.. detox and deconstruct to get to a point beyond any of it. To be more than that, more than those pre-made composite parts. Again, it's perspective, though this is a one way conversation, lets make it two someday. Ideas are powerful things.

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