The love-collage artist, of necessity, presents a raffish resume. She has journeyed--like the Egyptian goddess Isis, wandering around picking up the pieces of her cut-up lover Osiris, to put him back together, bring him back to life.
When young, I went to Hollywood, as love-dreamers will. Kind of a sad place, littered with the ephemera of faded dreams. For the funky L.A. Free Press, I interviewed Natalie Wood late in her career. At Paramount Studios, I appeared as an extra in John Schlesinger's "Day of the Locusts." On Cahuenga Boulevard, I assisted the editor of a high-minded biker movie called "Ride the Hot Wind." I lived right between the Technicolor labs on one side and the Kit Kat Klub on the other.
Back in New York City, I studied theatre games, translated a French poet, fell in love with a politician, and taught grammar--because without grammar, true love disintegrates into theatre games. Collage, by the way, is a kind of grammar, a right relationship of wildly individual pieces, a
being-and-doing, with glue.
I also wrote seven screenplays--wonderful, funny, intelligent, romantic, and original. Even the William Moris Agency couldn't sell them--though my agent almost made up for it once by comparing me to Preston Sturges. Almost. Still, the pieces of unproduced screenplays make poignant love-collage material. See "Tempting Fate."
In the 1990's, I spent some time as an experimental mythic consultant. My clients might have thought I was simply doing astrology and Tarot readings, not realizing I was a love-collagist-in-training. I'd studied Joseph Campbell and goddess mythology. Using an esoteric dimension of the Heavens, I read people's horoscopes in terms of the mythic stories hidden in their lives.
There were the rebellious wife Lilith, the love-questing Psyche, the volcanic Pele, the wounded healer, Chiron. Look for graphic zodiacs in some of my collages. With the centuries-old Tarot cards, I have shuffled, arranged, and rearranged (much as with collaging papers) the images of the Lovers and their attendant helpers and hinderers--the Sun and the Moon, the Wheel of Fortune, the Hermit, the Devil, the Magician and the Fool...
Meanwhile, painting was a love that I had deferred for many years. In the late '80's, I took an art class. Inspired by a dream I had in which Miles Davis gave me a bag of chalk pastels in many colors, I worked in this medium, in abstracts, for a number of years until, falling in love with the art of Romare Bearden, I turned to figurative collage.
During this time, I also began keeping subterranean journals, creating an illogical yet poetic language to express my romantic emotions. I wrote about the Lost Lovers' Hotel, a rooster under the table, the land of sorrow, a tango garden, the rough fragrance of New York skyscrapers, a visit to the shrine of mystery, the way to mend all the torn fabric in the world, the lizards' laughter after the fire dies down....I began drawing, painting and collaging my private reveries. These wanderings led me to create the art I offer. My love collages.
But maybe it began earlier--in 1926, when the sudden death of screen lover Rudolph Valentino devastated a 12-year-old girl in New York City, who as a teenager created a portable shrine to Hollywood romance. She took a rather thick, 1928 summer school catalog from Columbia University (her brother's alma mater) and began collaging in the stars. Rudy Vallee was on the front cover, Jean Harlow on the back. (See an excerpt from this old book in my collage "Desire.") Although my mother ended up becoming an accountant, maybe I'm the love-collagist she didn't get to be.