Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Will I Still Love You When I'm Fifty Six?

(Steve Waugh, Philip King; who they?  Part 2.)

We are very keen on re-fighting the past, and as a parlour game or in front of the screen this is most diverting. 
If you were there, 'Cool as' and let's hear your tale.  What we can't do is re-write the past.  If we weren't there, we weren't and that's that. 
Anniversaries always get me wrong footed for they are celebrations of the past.  What really is the point of that?  So: 20 is optimistic; last year was . . . ; 50, it's a metric half way; that happened then-ago; 55 - retirement.  And-well-what? 
It is my 55th birthday on Thursday (:-) but I don't like looking back and I hate feeling forced to.  (:-[ 
While waiting for my notional retiring day, I think of those who left the making-art business. 
Of one, who found tying fishing flies more lucrative, less stressful and much easier than sculpture (he was good too); of all the artist teachers seeing less and less of their studios, seeing less and less of their students as departmental headships fell to their seniority.  I remember the Painter who knocked on my studio door one morning and said he'd had enough and was going to do something else, so 'goodbye'; the 80s property developer artists, and the entrepreneurs of the Thatcher classes who may now be glad to be reaching 55, to retire and take the 'hobby' element out of their art. 
Of another several who found the going so hard and found they had no second string.  They ended up homeless, sleeping in studio corridors, on others' couches and finally the streets before social services swept up the pieces.  Some died of it, some killed themselves. 
It is true, as all truisms are, 'don't even think of a life in the arts if you can do something else'.  The trouble is, if you can make a life in the arts you cannot, by definition, do 'anything else'. 
'I'm an artist, Man,' a disgruntled colleague opined in The Approach the other evening, 'I know what it's like to be fucked over.'  And, I know what he means but you can't dwell on it; we, as he well knows, have to move forward. 
Let us move brothers and sisters, 'Drink up let's get another.'  55 not out.  Next. 
I am very, very uncertain about this post. 
55-years-old and I'm so tempted to lie.  It is so virtually easy . . . to lie.  Not to tell it straight on my 'profiles'. 
If I'm to keep myself 'honest', I'm going to have to re-tick a box or two in the 'age range' sections. 
But no!  How weird. 

13 - 17
18 - 24
25 - 34
35 - 55
56 - 65
65 +

I see I have another year in the 35 - 55 bracket. 
Some one who's 55 has been here before me.  What a relief.  Hell delayed and this time next year I'm going to be young again.  A young 56 - 65, but will I dare admit it? 
I dread the spam that tick-click 'SAVE' submission admission will trigger. 


On my birthday I'm going to the Alan Cristea gallery to look at Howard Hodgkin's big prints (I can't believe I'm doing that), then I'm off to Zone 3 to the 'artWorksOpen 2009' opening to see a couple of mine including, 'My Love of Em Cartoons'.

So I've got to go (well you have to) although I probably don't want to see most of the other work on show and I know what mine look like.  There might be a train strike (with luck). 
I would invite Em but 'poor woman', PV, E17 - Z3 and maybe no tubes.  Nah. 
Then, I'm going to get drunk and retire

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