Full Disclosure: I went to an art gallery one day, one thing led to another and here we are. I don’t know much about art, but I like words. When collected in a contained space, regardless of intended cohesion, sometimes these words take on a life of their own. Regardless of proper punctuation or standardized syntax, sometimes these words manifest into atmospheres of linguistic articulation made visual. Sometimes… the message is nothing more than the mood conveyed, and the connection between messengers new and old. This… could be one of said times. #kanyeshrug
#ForTheRecord I don’t write reviews: I wax poetic and wane retrospective
*Here’s when you can start paying attention
Rainbow Body is the fourth Solo Exhibition by British performance artist Millie Brown. An evolution of Brown’s original and most recognized performance work, Rainbow Body presents a survey of the artist’s new home in Los Angeles. Developed from Brown’s non-traditional, performance-based methods of painting from the inside-out, Rainbow Body features a post-contemporary study on abstract expressionism within a California palette. Using almond milk, food coloring, stomach and hands, Brown creates aesthetically whimsical paintings with a deep underlining of raw human emotion. Each piece tells the story of the Los Angeles sky, its past and its present, its light and its dark. Viewing the body as a vessel for spiritual practice, Brown pushes physical and mental boundaries to reach a state of enlightenment from which creative expression and healing derives. Rooted in Tibetan Buddhist theology, Rainbow Body is the phenomenon of viewing spiritual transcendence from a third person perspective. Rainbow Body is based on three wisdoms, representing the three categories of paintings: ground, presence, and energy.
First, a miscellany with the curator:
… now, then: make-shift intermission
thus, and …
So – … I riffed on RAINBOW BODY into a recording device: this is the verbatim transcription
(FAIR WARNING: Many, more, words… exponentially more words, verbose linguistic deluges coming in waves of increasing quantity and indefinite quality – that said, on the brink of said rabbit hole, before the potential delve, you are beyond beyond welcome to about face and go about your heretofore regularly scheduled daily happenings.)
VINYL MIND FLOW #PROSEWEGO
so, i think, in retrospect, there’s something very salient about the journey of the rainbow body. i mean as much as this has been about millie completely and entirely i think the most … magnetic, and attractive, literally, element of the show and the exhibit and the practice itself is the shared consciousness of it all.
i don’t know millie. i only recently met the people with involved with the project, and to be quite honest i was quite unfamiliar with anybody in that room before really – and yet, at the same time, it’s the unspoken bond that was shared between everyone who’s experiencing this transcendence of someone else.
and it’s this feeling that you’re drawn to – you’re attracted to the opposite, right. so you’ve got people who may feel that much more human when they’re drawn to millie. and opposites attract, but likes stay together, so we see this as seeming opposites coming together, and yet you remain there. you remain in this space, this physical space of the gallery as much as this mindset.
once you’ve seen this you cannot unsee the scene. and you can’t you can’t return the purge. and the beauty of it is that for as violent and as aggressive and as unrefined and raw as all of this is… the beauty is that you don’t have to return. and that it’s there, and that whatever it is that you need to release from yourself to get to that next level is there on display
and i think at the core of it is that it is her humanity which is being recorded right now.
this is recording her human condition, this is recording her soul and a condition because your light body your rainbow body is immaterial. and the immaterial is of no worth on a material plane, but it was that immaterial spark – that catalyst, that essence, that eternal body which was controlling this material vessel the entire time.
so it’s that millie’s rainbow body is going through it’s debutante, that essential eternal something that pushed her was that same rainbow body that attracted different energies to her, and if we’re looking at the starting point as this collapse and this amalgam of every possible color from the palette becoming black. you look at the genesis you look at the origin point of the exhibit.
and this is me just rambling, i mean i don’t have reference points outside of my experience which again is the point of this. it’s just if the origin is the amalgam of all of these colors right, the origin her starting point here in this journey is carrying all of those experiences with her here, all of the energies she interacted with became part of hers. and at that point you know it’s interesting once you get to l.a. the lights are blinding.
and again: i don’t know millie – this is just what has appeared to me through the artistry of this legacy – i guess fast forward all i know is that we come to l.a. the amalgam this genesis point that i suppose, where better to transcend?
where better to rid yourself of this form than the city of angels? naturally that’s going be where we become one of them.
we become a stellar body, prismatic and when you’re walking through the gallery there’s almost this sense that you begin in this void, you begin in this black hole – this entity that is the epitome of magnetism and attraction. so dark, and so dense, and apparently void and yet it is truly in that darkness where all the elements meet and converge and it’s that blackness that we share, and the beauty in that blackness.
and it’s so natural and yet in this world of convention social constraints, cultural institutions, and the commercialization of all of this, and the agenda of the dominant patriarchy, the puritanical patriarchy, they mar this sense of beautiful blackness and they make it appear as if it is wrong or as if it is bad or unnecessary or unwanted and unneeded – and it’s interesting because it’s that place that we come together in the blindness of it all.
black is no different than white. absence and presence where there is absence there is presence right. it’s the absence of what and the presence of what. and it’s something you feel – we don’t see it, and what you see is black and white, and what we feel is dark and light – and yet it’s all just shades of the same thing.
there is no pure darkness, i don’t believe. i feel there are shades and hues of a light. and so with this again at the genesis. it’s something i found myself focusing on as i was in the gallery, i kept focusing, my eye was caught on that point of emergence: where is the origin? and you come here to this gallery and she becomes a piece of art.
art emerged from academia, which is beautiful. much like many of our artists now. very well researched, very worldly, and they learned from the book of nomadic nature, the cosmic dancers – and so she turns that sense of lost academia into future art. like a ruth ginsberg, she’s making these paintings in a way that is unfamiliar to the standing order – and that is very fair.
you’ve got a young woman who really isn’t apparently bound by any of these conventional constraints, as much as she is in this body. and you’re seeing these things, these themes that i would not have thought about before – except they are shared. and then you begin to realize that it is only shared consciousness. it’s only those shared experiences that truly do matter and so it’s what can you…
what is shared, what is differentiated? how do we have a common ground and how do we have … distinct projections.
it’s that commonality and the element of extraordinary. that which we don’t share, that divinity. it’s not shared in this mid space it’s shared at the source. so, while artists appear individually different, they’re all truly artists – that’s what artists invite you to do, to see yourself in them. and then join them.
so again, this journey has become a lot of that. seeing millie bring her work here is beautiful, because l.a. is where stars are made and here millie has made herself with the help of great beings who have honestly given shape and form and propelled stars who we currently watch traverse across this celluloid life.
los angeles, hollywood, the design district. all of these beautiful symbols coming together and millie at the core of it all. so, you go from academia of england to this new art of l.a. you’ve made a star of yourself in the city of angels and on their wings you travel this rainbow body, once again propelling, propelling this material vehicle. and you shed that in l.a. and you leave your corpse here and at the private show it looked like clay, it looked like chocolate milk.
it looked like all of those points of origin. whether a kid watching your saturday morning cartoons, sipping on your cocoa and milk. or whether it’s the clay from which we emerge, the crescent – that Christ consciousness. ingested regurgitated and put on display. glazed stone like an altar descended as the point of ascension for a material body which was left behind, and yet from there, from that rainbow body, we go to the light body in new york – in gotham.
we have a manufactured sun, a represented sun, and it’s almost as if we have this artifice. a projection, a representation in this land of manufacture – which would be new york. it’s like the moon, it’s lunar. it’s the end of this linear journey.
it’s almost as if millie is once again being invited back into the pantheon, invited by marina who is a master of this, of the life experience of this human condition. in gotham where the light projects so proudly because there is no nature on that rock. and millie became a solar body in l.a. where they live in constant close proximity to that solar orb everyday. and millie is bringing that natural light, in a rainbow body, in the ethereal to new york.
it’s almost as if she’s at parity with this manufactured nasa projection to become that which has been presented back, and it’s visiting that machine that has fallen, it is visiting the industrialized astronomy of it all. it’s kissing the cosmic, but it’s kissing the cosmic as a peer. it’s kissing the cosmic as … a divine compliment. it’s blessing the ivory tower… from the stellar canopy of your divine residence.
and i guess it’s just the purge. i guess it’s just acknowledging your humanity and giving it back to the world that created it, knowing that your are not of this world. that you came here assuming a position in it, once you recognize the reality in that. the truth and the reality that that is not your end-all-be-all, and recognizing the beauty in the flaws the beauty in the pain… and above that pain is your rainbow body, that you can overcome it all, through what catholics call mysteries, and buddhists would consider the purity, strength and validity of your own mind, to overcome all of the appearances.
so i think in that we all find ourselves. somewhere in that rainbow body. the fact that because it’s a rainbow means it’s shared, it’s something we’re all a part of. it’s going to be years, it’s going to be an eternity, it’s going to be miles before i even begin to fathom the peak of what this all will become – but like ruth ginsberg, this is speaking to a future age, and i am merely a present being.
and I’m not going to assume i know anything about this. i just know that from england to l.a. to new york from dropped academia to attained artistry to transcended advertising – which is just selling the idea of happiness – y’know… new york is the home of advertising and y’know millie is more than an advertisement. it’s taking art to madison avenue and it’s putting it in front of that billboard, it’s returning the billboard to an altar.
it’s making sure that if you’re creating something, right, that your craft is based upon the shared consciousness of the Christ consciousness over corporate commerce; and not just the idea of Jesus in the bible, necessarily – it could be that – but just the idea that you, as a temple, you as a canvas, you as the altar upon which you stand. you are that Christ, that that is a gateway to divinity. it’s the thing that i truly love, is the idea that you can become that divine. that you are here to prove that this human form can be a vessel. that this human form can be a vehicle to another dimension.
and all of this is to say that i just walked into a gallery one day to look at some paintings, and i got an invite to a show, and i observed. then i became the observed staring in a mirror, finding my way through the morass and the myriad of elements that are contained in this seemingly vulgar… regurgitation.
and vulgar might be the best word for it; it’s common. humanity is common, the vomit is common, it’s all common but the fact that we all know what it’s like to be common. it means that we’re no better or less than anyone else. and because we’re all the same, because we’re all one.
so millie’s journey becomes the collective journey, and not to be cliché, but that’s when you know something’s true: when the clichés begin to make sense.
and so becoming a cosmopolitan citizen, you know, creating your masterpiece in three epicenters of the world – and this only being the fourth show, it’s like a presidential tenure, and as millie presides over this art world in the midst of a turning point, a tipping point, and as she does so so subtly, so silently, and yet so loudly – the deafening roars of the regurgitation like a mother bird, like a raven, like a valkyrie regurgitating divinity to these equally divine denizens who have yet to know their destiny – it’s fine, because this dissent away from academia, this dissent away from conventional academia the dissent away from modern advertising this dissent away from assumed industrialized art, all of these things are captured in this rainbow body.
and it’s this dissent that speaks to the future age, and it’s this dissent from assumed humanity, from assumed vulnerability, from assumed vulgarity that makes this such a beautiful prismatic display of the immortality of a one millie brown – and quite honestly, i don’t know what to say about this to make it academic, or to make it make sense, or to make it digestible, per se.
i don’t know what to say about this to make it something more definitive than what it is.
i don’t know if these words have deterred from millie’s vision, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vice, i don’t know if they’ve blinded the vise. i really don’t, and i am rambling – but i think the beauty in that is that this came about in my own mental vomit. this mind vomit i suppose is another step toward the realization of one’s own rainbow body.
this is not to put anyone on pedestal, necessarily – i know nothing of what it’s taken her to get here; but again for all of the things i don’t know, the one thing i do know is that evolutionary elevtation is a shared journey; and, i mean, from this point on this path and, eventually, one day, from that cosmic canopy, we’ll just sit atop and reminisce on that day when millie took her crown and became rainbow body Brown.