Dorothy Nissen is a painter and book artist
who on the way to now has been an award winning art director and graphic
designer, magazine and book publisher, yoga and drawing teacher, social
worker, agit prop/street theater activist, belly dancer, copywriter, poet,
sometime mentor at Antioch West, volunteer tutor and student. She loves to
travel and go on picnics in the country.
“Asylum (a sanctuary for higher primates), by Dora P., an inmate”
The figure of Dora P. is someone I met in a
stack of old photographs at Urban Ore. She became more real as each
subsequent piece over those weeks insisted on being about her or by her.
She is not the whole of what I am, but someone I must explore. Does P.
stand for pliant, patient, princess, what?)
For me the encounter of hand with the matter of ink or paint can induce a dream state. Lulu is an inner figure who came out in just such a state in the form of a dog. Lulu, the belly dancer, aims to please if not to pander.
This painting was painted in the dead of
night when I woke up from a nightmare sweating with fear, sorrow, and
actual horror of contagion from a person who was working at the house I
had just moved into. He had been brought to work by his father, and
appeared so ill-tempered and so exhausted and so shaky and strung out that
I could only imagine that he had some kind of crack-induced hangover.
“The Double; What Shoes Does Coyote Wear to Hang the Stars from the Sky?”
I believe this painting would qualify as a waking dream, since the strange animal in the painting emerged in a blotch of ink during a session of automatic writing. As the animal took form, a phrase drifted through my peripheral brain: “What shoes does Coyote wear to hang the stars from the sky?”
As the painting developed I felt driven to tack a postcard of Cabanel’s Dreaming Venus to the painting. Why would I attach this very worst of paintings, in my opinion, to my own picture? Is there some ambivalence perhaps, some combination of repugnance and affinity towards our cultural association of the unconscious—perhaps even the sublime— with the feminine body in a swoon? In this picture it is difficult to tell if it is Coyote, the painter, who longs for the woman floating on the waves, or is it the sleeping Venus who yearns to be the feral painter. ...Who is dreaming whom? (Right now Coyote has no shoes; evidently the shoes —and stars— must wait for the next dream painting!)
2005 IASD Dream Art Exhibition
Conference for the International Association for the Study of
- 2005 -