Learning To Love You More




Assignment #19
Illustrate a scene or make an object from Paul Arensmeyer's life story.

John VanBeers
Portland, Oregon
Email John




The first time he really saw my sculpture he looked at them and asked, "who made these?" When I told him I did he looked at me and said, "You don't make art." I briefly ran through my history of making things and admitted that some of the things he'd asked about in my apartment on previous visits were actually mine, that I had attributed them to fictional people because I wasn't confident in them. His answer to that was "But those weren't very good. These are." I told him that since bailing on my convention/trade show career I'd had more time to focus on my work and had found that for me the key element in making sculpture was "knowing when to stop." He asked me to bring them all to his gallery so he could spend more time with them, which I immediately did. About a week later he called me and asked me to come by the gallery and there, in the gallery he typically reserved for introducing new artists, were fourteen of my pieces, on the wall and perfectly lit. When I pointed out that one was hanging upside down he answered, "I know. I'll turn it over if you want me to, but I like it better that way.
--Excerpt from Paul Arensmeyer's life story
I realize it's a stretch. I tried to go for something semi-industrial/organic and beautiful to fit Paul's personality. The challenge was in the trying not to stop when I wanted to, but I felt like I could've gone on forever which would've stepped over the limitations and purpose of your LTLYM project. I don't know if it was successful or not so I'm blaming Paul for not sending me an image of one of his first pieces. (^_^) I'll let you know what he says about it when he replies to my e-mail. Also, the original is hopefully in his hands in Texas. We'll see what he says. When he would only give me clues to what his first pieces looked like I thought "Huh, I guess I'm making a sculpture of a sculpture that I've never seen before? InterestingÓ. I think Paul liked the idea and the challenge. I did.