take another little piece of my heart now baby

Gripped with this sudden desire to go public and “be an artist properly” last month, I went and submitted some work to a local art show. I came home with a piece of my soul missing, or so it felt- this giant gaping hole left in my stomach where my beautiful charcoals used to be. I don’t want anyone to buy them.

I’ve never understood how people can part with their art.

Everything one make is a self portrait- it is a matter of course…the pieces of a soul are intrinsically embedded in its expression- the artist and the work of art are so to speak, monovular in their genesis and their synthesis. Like Rushdie’s Farishta bound to the Prophet, or a child to her mother- the creation is bound to the creator…

“We flow in both directions along the umbilical cord.”
-Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

So how do you sever that sacred connection and let it go? It isn’t the selfish need to possess the thing that is made, more the fright of losing a piece of the self and becoming vulnerable.

I realize the irony of the situation- grossly enmeshed in it myself both as an artist and an architect. Nascent in the choice to make buildings for a living, there is an acceptance of the fact that our deconstructed identity will embellish everything we create-  pieces of our souls scattered in every piece of architecture we touch. The scale of the profession leaves no choice in the matter- the Other and Otherness are both inherent in each reflection of the Self.


  1. Just a thought…

    How are you able to emotionally release your creative contributions in the “architectural world”?

    Is it because you believe that the ownership of a structure passes to society as a whole (including yourself) rather than a single individual and thus you never feel your giving away your creation?

  2. I think the difference lies in that a building from its genesis is for an Other. So you know your kid’s going up for adoption and you can only possess so much of it, regardless of how much you love it! lol

  3. How can an architect detach emotionally from her creation? I like Ishita’s analogy of the architect’s child going up for adoption, but like most analogies, it breaks down pretty quickly–at the point of birth, perhaps. If an architect’s art is realized in the flesh, as it were, it becomes something critical to share, occupy or use, right? What a lonely, not to mention expensive, business it would be if architects hung on to their buildings with incestuous possessiveness. Well, maybe the analogy can be stretched a lot after all. Imagine restricted access until the building turns 21? But I guess by the time it suffers the services of engineers, tradesmen, City Hall, etc., even the most protective artist-as-parent has to let the child go, more proud than fearful though. Thanks for the image, Ishita.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s