Oh, those tragic juxtapositions…


Look at my Ponytail, 2002

Hi, my name is Cynthia and I am an artist.  This has caused untold pain and humiliation to my children for their entire lives.  I am here to make amends (step 9) for the harm I have caused as a creative.  By sharing these stories with you, my faithful readers,  I hope to prevent future family tragedies.

Dear children,

  • I must apologize for dragging you to countless art museums.  Yes, the art was on the wall, it didn’t move, there were no flashing lights, no sounds, no animations.  All you could do was to look at it and reflect on what you saw.  I tried purchasing audio guides, but all they did was encourage the two of you to race through the exhibition trying to see who could get to the end faster.  I apologize for those lost hours.
  • I’m sorry I made you share the one audio guide at the Tate Museum.  It was the last one.  Really.  I’m sorry it ended up with a two-year-old meltdown, hysterical sobbing and eventually being asked to leave the museum by the security guard.  You’re  older now, I’m sure they won’t recognize you, I think you can still go there.  I will probably have to find some sort of disguise.
  • I’m sorry I refused to buy Hallmark cards for birthdays and thank-you notes.  I selfishly forced you to draw and create your own cards for those occasions.  I know that it took time away from your other activities and those hours with markers, blank cards and sighs of ‘I don’t know what to draw’ and ‘Why are you making me do this???’ are scars we will all bear forever.  I’m to blame for this and I apologize.
  • I am sorry for leaving art books lying around the house.  When you went to the Art Museum with your class, you felt out of place, as the rest of the students were saying things like ‘This is dumb.  I could paint that, why is this in an art museum?’ and you were silently thinking, ‘You have to put this in context with the history of art, don’t you see?’.  I even heard you say the word juxtapose as a teen and I know that probably wasn’t cool with your friends.  I can only hope that it passed unnoticed.
  • Finally, I must apologize for forcing you to come to my art openings.  I know the game was on TV, and coming to the opening was boring for you, but it meant a lot to me.  I so appreciated your support and wanted you to see that following your dream is so worth it.  I know it wasn’t what you wanted, but maybe, one day, you’ll be able to forgive me?

And so, my dear children, there you have it.  It’s out in the public and no longer a secret. I’m an artist and I am powerless to stop any time soon.  Thankfully, you’re older now and you can make your own life decisions.  I hope that you’ll remember to create responsibly.  Please don’t create and drive.  You already know the heartache that comes with reckless art-making….


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