When you have hundreds of pieces of art, and only two walls to fill, how do you decide what to present? What if your favorite pieces are not that interesting to others? Worse, what if your favorite pieces are weird or disturbing to many? Should you pick the pieces that will sell? Or the ones that most define who you are as an artist, and what you are interested in?
These are the questions I faced last week as I curated my own small solo show. I have certain favorites that still feel relevant and essential, pieces that I am not ready to sell, that are at the root of what I care about. It was also important to include pieces that were essential in terms of my aesthetic interests, a sort of muted neon random messiness.
I narrowed it down to about 30 pieces, which I had arranged in 3 groups on the floor. My partner looked down from the loft that serves as her office and said "too many bunnies!" Eventually I chose 21 pieces that felt right. That was furthered narrowed to 18 pieces once we started to hang the art in the space. A couple of pieces just really didn't fit due to color or subject.
The final question on my mind is whether it is time to let go of the art that I did not choose for this show. Much of it brings me joy even if it wasn't right for this situation. But a lot of it...why hold on to it? Perhaps it is time to let it go and make room for the new.
When was the last time you went through all of your own art? Do you hold on to all of it? How do you let it go in a way that honors it?