Art is a biological function. #LyndaBarry @ideaprogram

Two artists are my greatest influences: Frida Kahlo and Lynda Barry.  Both are tatooed on me.  It’s serious business.

Recall my post the other day: Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

Being able to attend Lynda’s lecture at IDEA, Capilano University Friday evening was a dream come true. And Lynda delivered.  WOW.  What an experience it was.

Her whole thesis resonated with me and the work that I do- my own art, my work with Dad, art therapy, crafts… whatever.

ART IS A BIOLOGICAL FUNCTION.

Unless we have this place, the image world, and we can work stuff out there, which is what part of our biological makeup gives to us, then I think that we’re fated to try to date them or marry them.

A scientist named V.S. Ramachandran has done some astonishing work with neurological problems he’s actually solved with a mirror. He had a patient who had lost his hand, but the patient’s experience was that the hand was still there, and not only there, but it was in a really tight fist — you know, painfully tight. This guy was miserable; he couldn’t get away from that feeling. Ramachandran made a box, tilted the mirror in there, and then he put a hole in the other side. He asked the guy to stick his hand in the hole, the fist that was still there, and look down. So what the guy saw was his fist and then the reflection of it, which was like his other hand. Then, he told him to open his hand, and what he saw was the reflection of his other hand opening, and it solved the problem.

That’s a perfect example of what images do. My feeling is that in the course of life there are certain things for us that are like phantom limb pain, like a horrible, horrible parent who dies before you ever work things out with them. And I think the only way that those things can be worked out is through something that’s akin to that mirror box — except it may be a fairy tale, or it may be a painting, or it may be a song you can remember from when you were 14 and you had to play the same song over and over and over again, like 400 times in a row. Yeah, what are you doing there? You’re opening your fist. You’re looking at a reflection.

– LYNDA BARRY, source: kqued.org

Lynda gave us more than expected and I laughed and cried, applauded, nodded, and all that good stuff.  As she ran overtime, there was no time for meet and greet, but I managed to thrust a bag in her hands as she ran by me (fittingly, a Frida Kahlo sock monkey and Frida Kahlo street art… naturellement).

There she is!!! “No cameras allowed” was then announced. Sigh.

A signed copy of her latest book, EVERYTHING, is, well… EVERYTHING!!!

My current Lynda Barry collection:


This post is dedicated to my little brother, Fred.  We obsessed over Ernie Pook’s Comeek together and felt it illustrated our lives perfectly.

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