Phillip Guston made me cry

In a moment of utter frustration and despair, I went downstairs to the Gallery at the Gap to seek solace in some great art. I stood in front of Phillip Guston’s painting: The way things go. Of course I don’t know what was running through his head when he paintined it, but to me it is a painting of frustraion. There are lots of fists and watches and targets and manhole covers and paint brushes. The fusts are forceful looking and draw dynamic horizontal lines acorrs the canvas. His glasses are sitting on the table as if in a moment of total frustration, he has said “That’s it! I can’t take it anymore!” and tossed off his glasses onto the table.

Deep inside me, so many emotions from the past couple months welled up. Frustration over this week, my career, my wants and desires, my confusions. They all became crystal clear. I let myself steam for a while. I walked down the water and took some pictures, I got a Starbucks Grande cappucino (in the true spirit of the corporate american lifestyle) and just tried to let it go. Later, at my desk, I was finally able to just let it all go and I came to a fantastic discovery. I know what I’m going for my next painting assignment. I’m not to map my job. I’m collecting all the little doodles on post-it notes, all the weird scribbles. I’ll make collages from Functional specs of words like “Requirements Phase” and “Vision & Goals”. And the candy cane and the little Happy Holidays’ card I got. It will be great.

So thank you Phillip Guston. You are a really good painter.