Monday, March 5, 2012

George Herms Broke My Heart from 3000 Miles Away

The LA artist George Herms, who has been making work since the 1950's, started making collages last year. When I prop-styled a Paper Magazine fashion shoot for a friend last month, I was given a courtesy copy of the previous issue. In a taxi on my way home, I discovered what I thought was my own work on the back page. It was, in fact, a George Herms. After some more research, I discovered that all of Herms work is wonderful (installation, sculpture, collage, etc), and all of the press he's been getting is so great for an overlooked artist in the cannon.

However, it also sent me into a tailspin. His new foray into collages look exactly like the collage series I have been working on since 2008. Now, to be fair, there are some differences. Where I let recognizable objects sometimes creep into the collage, he does not. My pieces therefore have more narrative content. He is looser and more fluid with his resulting edges and shapes, and I have started to control them more. His collages may be a bit better than mine in their fluidity and total rejection of the source imagery's origins. His collages are also more directly relatable to his found object sculptures, which he doesn't disguise and alter with resins and paints and plasters, as I do.

I think the takeaway here is that as a younger artist, I must accept the fact that I am not yet visible enough in my career to be recognized in the discussion of his new work. He should gain recognition for his long and disciplined practice, and maybe I should be more nimble – I should be able to switch feet and dance a little differently in response to these recent developments. It burns, but it's maybe it's a challenge.






Portia said...

wow! That really IS an amazing similarity! If I were you I'd take it as a positive sign that you are on a good path as an artist and very talented! You'll doubtless do a huge amount of creative work 0ver time and your style will evolve and it won't always look like Herme's work -- but meantime, hey, not too shabby to be looking like a highly recognized and accomplished artist! I would suggest contacting him, I'm sure he'd be flattered and maybe even become a mentor? Good luck!

nellie said...

a ha..your in synch and what good company...but really, how discombobulating!

Madame Fortuna said...

damn. that is insane. i'm your #1 fan.