. artworks . 2014-2019 .

{do not use images without permission}

SO - ENLIGHTENMENT BARBIE - THE 2014-2019 WORKS-

WHO THE HELL AM I ANYWAY?

WHAT THE HELL IS ALL THIS?

I'LL TELL YOU.

 

IN 2013 I HAD AN... EXPERIENCE.

I CALL IT A BIG ZING.

IT WAS THIS STRANGE INSTANT FEELING OF COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE COMPLETE SINGULARITY OF EVERYTHING.  THERE WAS NO ME, NO YOU, NO CHAIR, NO HILLSIDE, THE SOUNDS WERE ALL THE ONE THING, THE WORDS SPOKEN WERE ALL THE ONE THING, THE FLOW OF TIME WAS ALL THE ONE THING.  NO, I WASN'T ON DRUGS.  MY HUSBAND WAS THOUGH- I WAS JUST SITTING ON THE PATIO AT ROSAMUNDE SAUSAGE GRILL ON MISSION STREET WAITING FOR MY BURGER TO ARIVE AND BAM, IT HIT ME.

IT SHOWED ME I WAS FREE, THAT THERE WAS NOTHING TO SEEK BECAUSE YOU'RE SOAKED IN GOD EVERY MINUTE AND ALWAYS HAVE BEEN, AND WEIRDER, THERE WAS NOTHING TO 'GET' - BUT YET YOU JUST DID!  BUT IT WAS THERE ALL ALONG!  

CLICK THE SUPER DUPER HOLY BIBLE TAB TO SEE MY FREE MINI BOOK I MADE ABOUT IT, OK?

ANYWAY, THERE WAS NO FEAR- AND FINALLY I FELT LIKE I COULD JUST BE COMPLETELY AUDACIOUS AND MAKE ART LIKE I WANTED TO.

NO ANXIETY, JUST PURE ZING.

I BEGAN SLOWLY, THOUGH, MAKING SMALL COLLAGES AND DIGITAL ART.

A GOOD FRIEND OF MINE (AND FELLOW AMAZING ARTIST) PATRICK DINTINO TOLD ME THE IMAGES WOULD BE GREAT IF THEY WERE BIG. 

REALLY BIG.

IN 2014 I WENT FOR IT.

A COLLECTION OF BIG 3FT SQUARE HAND CUT COLLAGES BASED ON MY DIGITAL IMAGES, SOURCED FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHS I'D BEEN TAKING OF FRIENDS AND MODELS FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS.

AND I SOLD A SHIT-TON OF ART THAT YEAR. (HUMBLEBRAG)

IT WAS ALL INSPIRED BY MY DREAMS.
IN THE DREAM THERE WAS A WOMAN MOVING, DANCING, SWIRLING IN A FLOWERY ATMOSPHERE, DRIPPING WITH NEON COLORS, A HALO BEHIND HER HEAD, EVERYTHING WAS GLOWING.  IN THE DREAM I THOUGHT, THIS WOULD SURE MAKE A GREAT ART PIECE.

MY DREAMS, IF YOU DON'T KNOW, ARE EXTREMELY INTERESTING.

MOST OF THE TIME I'M LUCID, AND I TEND TO REMEMBER A LOT OF THEM.

I'D HAVE EXPERIENCES IN DREAMS THAT, IF I PAID ATTENTION, REALLY EXPLAINED A LOT OF THE SPIRITUAL, POETIC WAY THAT REALITY WORKS, THE WAY THINGS EXPRESS, THE WAY THINGS ARE CONNECTED.  THE SUBTLETY IN AND AMONGST THE CRAZY SHIT THAT BASHES YOU OVER THE HEAD WITH ITS PRESENCE.

I TURN MY DREAM IMAGES INTO ART.  OR AT LEAST I ATTEMPT TO.

I GUESS YOU COULD SAY I'M A PSYCHIC EXPLORER.  

PARTLY MY ART IS ABOUT LIFTING UP WOMEN, SURE. DEFINITELY.

BUT PART OF IT IS ABOUT THE FEELING OF BEING ALIVE, THE SUBTLE SPARKLING SHIFTING SENSATIONS OF LIVING, WAKING, MOVING THROUGH REALITY.  AND IT'S ABOUT THE WEIRD ASTRAL REALM, THE ANGELS YOU SEE THERE, THE DEMONS, THE GURUS, THE TEACHERS.

WITH A BACKGROUND OF INTENSE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANITY, AND MORE RECENTLY WITH ZEN AND THE 'NEW AGE', THE THINGS I CREATE TEND TO TAKE ON THESE SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS TONES.  I'VE ALWAYS BEEN SPIRITUALLY INCLINED, LOOKING FOR MEANING IN THE BLADES OF GRASS AND THE SKY AND THE NIGHT STARS... I REMEMBER LEANING OUT MY WINDOW AS A KID, PAST MY BEDTIME, ASKING IF ANYTHING WAS OUT THERE THAT COULD HEAR ME.

I DUNNO- I THINK THERE MIGHT BE.

 

AND THEN...

A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER, UNSPECIFIED.  (MAYBE IT WAS UNSPECIFIED BECAUSE I DIDN'T STICK AROUND WITH THE ASSHOLE DOCTORS LONG ENOUGH TO GET 'PROPERLY MEDICATED'.)  I TRIED MEDICINE A FEW TIMES.

BUT IF YOU'VE EVER FELT LIKE CERTAIN DRUGS SPOKE TO YOU AND YOU DIDN'T LIKE THAT, WELL, DON'T TRY THE BAD TRIP OF MEDICATION.

THE SEROQUEL TOLD ME "LOOK, YOU AREN'T DEPRESSED, YOU AREN'T ANXIOUS, LET'S PUT YOU TO SLEEP."  AND IN THE DREAM WAS A QUIET SINISTER DEMONIC PRESSURE, SILENT, AND YET COMMUNICATING ITS POWER OVER ME IN A SADISTIC SQUEEZE.  WHEN I WOKE UP (BARELY STUMBLING THROUGH MY HOUSE- THANKS A LOT, I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO GET TO GO ON A WALK TODAY)I WAS ANGRY.  I DIDN'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO EXPRESS IT, OR PUT IT INTO WORDS, BUT I WAS SO ANGRY. AN ANTIPSYCHOTIC, HA!  I WASN'T PSYCHOTIC... WAS I?

I THREW OUT THOSE PILLS AND NEVER PAID THAT PSYCHIATRIST.

OF COURSE I WAS PSYCHOTIC.  I HAD JUST NEVER LIVED IN A 'NON-PSYCHOTIC' PERSON'S HEAD.

BUT I DID NOT WANT THAT MEDICINE.  I DIDN'T WANT TO BE DULLED DOWN.  I REALIZED THAT MY CYCLES AND MY MANIA AND MY MESSED UP DEPRESSIONS WERE MY ARTISTIC FUEL. 

OF COURSE I DIDN'T TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF MYSELF TO BEGIN WITH, HONESTLY, BUT THAT WOULD COME LATER.  LIKE, NOW, FOR EXAMPLE.  WAAAAAAY BETTER.

THAT'S KIND OF WHEN I BEGAN DOING SELF PORTRAITURE.

I WAS REFLECTING ON YEARS OF FEELINGS AND EXPERIENCES THAT I DIDN'T HAVE A DEFINITION FOR.  I HAD TO PROCESS MY EXPERIENCE,

I WANTED TO SHOW THAT VIBRATION OF BEAUTY IN PAIN, AND PAIN INSIDE BEAUTY.  THE TENSION, THE REALTY OF IT.

SOME OF THE PAINTINGS & COLLAGES WERE SIMPLY SELF-PORTRAITS, SOME WERE ORACLES OR ICONS OF STRENGTH OR HOPE OR RESILIENCE.

ALL OF THEM WERE DEEPLY PERSONAL.  NOT ENTIRELY POPULAR, BUT I GUESS I DIDN'T REALLY CARE, IT WAS PART OF MY JOURNEY.

 

RANT / WHAT CHANGED-

SOMETHING THAT REALLY FUCKING BOTHERS ME IS THE IDEA THAT ARTISTS SHOULD ALWAYS BE PUSHING THE CULTURE FORWARD OR SOMETHING. 

BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE,

BE RELEVANT,

BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY,

BE POLITICAL,

BLA BLA FUCKING BLA.  

THEY WANT YOU TO BE PROLIFIC, THE 'GRAM WANTS YOU TO BE KEEPING UP WITH CONSTANT OUTPUT, MAKING MONEY, ENGAGING WITH YOUR FOLLOWERS AND ALL THAT.  I WANTED SO BADLY TO BE THAT BIG SUCCESSFUL ARTIST, BECAUSE I THOUGHT I COULD HACK REALITY AFTER THAT BIG ZING.  BUT IN REALITY?

I'VE GOT A MENTAL ILLNESS AND I AM OK WITH THAT.

I HAD TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE FACT THAT IF I DONT WANT TO BE DRUGGED UP ON SEROQUEL,

1. I CAN'T DRINK MYSELF INTO SUBMISSION OR OUT OF A DEPRESSION SO HARD, AND

2. I HAVE TO RESPECT THE FLOW OF MY MENTAL STATE ENOUGH TO GO ABSOLUTELY CRAZY WHEN I'M MANIC (BECAUSE THAT WORKS FUCKING INCREDIBLY FOR PRODUCTIVITY AND IDEAS) AND THEN IF I'M DEPRESSED, JUST LET MYSELF WATCH NETFLIX AND CRIME DOCUMENTARIES FOR A FEW DAYS, PLAY WITH MY GARDEN A LITTLE, HOPE FOR A HUMMINGBIRD AND WAIT FOR THE BELL TO GO OFF TILL I CAN BE A GENIUS AGAIN.

SO- THAT'S WHERE I'M AT- IT'S NOT THE END, NOT EVEN CLOSE-

I FELT A TAD DISCOURAGED THAT WHILE I WAS LEGITIMETELY MOVING, PEOPLE WERE UNFOLLOWING ME, DEEMING ME IRRELEVANT SINCE I'M NO LONGER A SAN FRANCISCO ARTIST, OR THINKING I JUST BURNED OUT AND I'D RUN MY COURSE.

BUT NO- IN THE COURSE OF THIS, NOT HAVING A STUDIO FOR ALMOST A YEAR, I'VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF THINKING, A LOT OF RELAXING (MUCH NEEDED AFTER A DECADE OF THIS COUNTRY GIRL LIVING IN A CITY) AND I ALLOWED THE IDEAS IN MY HEAD TO PERCOLATE.

SOMETIMES, YOU NEED TO JUST STOP FOR A SECOND AND LOOK AROUND YOUR MIND.  IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT.

AND OUT HERE IN THE DESERT, I STILL HAVE THIS ILLNESS (NO QUESTION ABOUT IT) BUT I FEEL MORE GROUNDED, PEACEFUL, EXPANSIVE... I'M FEELING THE FREEDOM OF PLANNING WHAT THE NEXT YEARS WILL LOOK LIKE, WHAT THE REST OF MY LIFE WILL LOOK LIKE.  I'M PLANNING BIG, WONDERFUL, GLORIOUS PROJECTS THAT WILL TAKE TIME.  TIME.  

IT'S GOING TO BE SCULPTURAL, DRIPPING IN BRILLIANT COLORS AND THICK WITH INTRICATE TEXTURE.

AND THE BEST PART IS, I'M DOING IT BECAUSE I WANT TO,

NOT BECAUSE THE 'GRAM IS GOING TO BE IMPRESSED (BUT IT PROBABLY WILL).  NOT BECAUSE I CAN SELL IT (I PROBABLY WON'T BE ABLE TO GET IT DOWN THE MOUNTAIN).  BUT JUST BECAUSE CREATING IS JOYFUL TO ME. 

CREATING IS MY MEDICINE. <3

-G / 3/24/2021

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don't be afraid to be dumb / ENLIGHTENMENT BARBIE

GILLIAN KELLER   -   VISUAL ARTIST  -  2014-2021 

 

 

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT AN ORDER?  EMAIL ME AT  GILLIAN@enlightenmentbarbie.com

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