I'm an interior designer, perhaps you've heard.
There once was a time here on the blog when I wrote frequently about design. In fact at one point I was planning to launch a spinoff blog, Interior Motives. I may still do that.
I'm also an artist, and believe with all my heart in the freedom of artistic expression. But lately the popularity of one medium in particular has me scratching my nearly barren scalp. I don't know, maybe its my age. I am 40 now. The world is inking itself, and for some reason its getting under my skin.
Every one's got 'em these days- from celebrities to my sister's kids.
And my brother's kids. Most all of my friends are embellished somewhere, and yes many of you my gentle bleaders are too! My handsome nephew Matt has "sleeves" on both of his arms. The detail is just extraordinary. The last time I saw him I reveled in their sheer beauty but never asked why. Trust me, when I see him again I've got questions!
You see when I specify wallpaper for a client's home and they hesitate to sign off, I always remind them that if they want to to do something different 5 years from now its only wallpaper and it can easily be changed out down the road....
Metaphorically, I think of my body as the dwelling in which my spirit, my soul inhabits . It's temporary housing if you will. This house is my responsibility because its the only one I'm going to get- and I don't know how long I'm going to be needing it. Over the years my own track record for maintenance and general housekeeping has been spotty at best. Judge not, young man!
Then there's the whole fetish angle. Tattoos have long been considered to be the branding on a brute, the calling card of a Bad Boy. But how edgy can a tatt be when your Aunt Helen has one too? As an art form, the tattoo has gone viral.
I had a most enlightening conversation with my friend David recently about his bodywork, which is actually more extensive than I had realized. I got the skinny on each and everyone of his unique festoons which are all beautifully executed by the way. Each one had a point and a purpose, a symbolic, emotional backstory. As he shared these stories with me the symbology became quite powerful.
David's reasons were sound and moving, but I'm still not convinced. Of all the ways to communicate or express yourself, why through body decoration? And why does it seem that nearly everyone now has one? Is it because its finally socially acceptable? Would we have been just as adorned 200- or hell even 50 years ago, if it had been culturally admissible? Have we all just been waiting for the stigma veil to be lifted so that we could participate in a very primal inclination to self decorate? Apparently, the day has dawned. I can pack away my Beadazzler now.
As a designer I try to give my clients a look that suits their personalities and tastes, but will also stand the test of time. I can't help but wonder how these young people are going to feel about their bodies when they're seniors! Beauty is and always be in the eye of the beholder, but lets be real. The ravages of time and a life lived are not typically kind to our skin. Ladies, if your fortunate to live long enough, saggy boobs are bound to be on your horizon, and remember gentleman- nothing's going to look hot when your this or that is faded and shriveled. Placement, or as we say in my business, space planning- is key. Don't get me started on the excessive piercings, or those giant ear plugs and the boon that's going to turn into for plastic surgeons the world over.
Forget the housing metaphor. You're a flower.
If you're already a lily, why get gilded?
It must certainly be my age. I am after all 40 now.
Who am I? Have I officially become tragically un-hip?
Truth is I'm completely preoccupied with other people's preoccupation with the surface of things. Physician heal thyself! Do I need an artistic enlightenment, a spiritual attitude adjustment about the whole thing? It really does keep circling back to artistic expression, and this is what I know about the power of art; In its constantly evolving myriad of expressions, art possesses the emotional muscle to transform and to heal things...bringing much joy into our world along the way. So can there really ever be enough?
Maybe what I need is a tattoo of my own?
Yeah, maybe what I need to do is my part!
Clearly if I'm still tripping over this subject, my own house is in need of renovations. I dunno, it might be best for me to keep working from the inside out. Speaking of tattoos, someone needs to get a sandwich in Angelina Jolie, stat.