Shannon Lucy Is a Real Freak
Here’s the stuff that happens.
I called it Morning Prayer, and I just titled it for the internet. If I was going to title it today, it might be something else. I try to title the paintings as literally as possible. A lot of the paintings I've been doing have been self-portraits. I purposefully do not show features of my face — I've realized, over time, as I mature as an artist, that if I put myself so directly in my paintings with my facial features it becomes too personal. It feels self-indulgent and boring to other people. I only find that because I've come in contact with other art that's very MEMEMEME, and I like the response from [eople who still relate to it, or want to own it. Something that's a little more anonymous. So even though these are self-portraits, it's anonymous. It's funny, because this particular painting is one that I posted on Instagram, and I had a friend recently comment on a photo that I took of myself in the same room — this painting is in my actual bedroom — and they're pretty realistically rendered. And I had a friend make a comment on this photo I took of myself sitting on my bed. He said It's so weird, this photo reminds me so much of your paintings! And I thought, that's so bizarre! Because it IS my room, and the paintings ARE of me on my bed. It felt like this futuristic backwards reference.
I think my style is realistic in the way that if you tell a joke, and it's very impulsive, that's real. I've been collecting images of women in awkward poses — breech-birth yoga positions — and I just copied it on my own in my room, as something to post on Instagram to be funny. And this came out, and I took a photo and just painted from the photo. So that's how real it is — I didn't embellish it.
The meaning is so relative, but that's what's so fun. I had this person say to me one time, Your paintings are so uncomfortable. And then someone else said, Oh my god they're so funny. And then a third person said, “They're kind of dark, and violent.” And I thought wow, it's all of those things. And that's the human condition, isn't it? Overlapping feelings and emotions and reactions to this crazy world.
The imagery of knock-knees is so beautiful to me. I came across this drawing by someone named Liana Fink. It's this simple line drawing of two circles, and in the middle there's a circle labeled Weird, and then there's a concentric circle right outside of that that says Fear of being Weird. And then outside of all of that, she labeled Self-Portrait. Seeing that, I thought, I don't relate to that at all. I think most people portray themselves outside of Weird and outside of Fear of Being Weird. But there's something about me that I don't have that fear. I'm not really acting — I'm awkward in real life. A friend once told me that Diane Keaton is my spirit animal. There's something to that! Once you're aware of yourself, you can be more yourself. There's something about just feeling weird, and letting that be true. We're human beings in a weird world, and everyone who think they know what they're doing, it kind of doesn't make sense to me.
I made a deck of cards where every card just says “Fooled Again.” I was inspired by these old-fashioned cards, and the losing card just says Fooled Again, and I decided to just print losing cards, and sell them as a complete deck. I thought they were beautiful, and It was simple, and it was funny, and these little projects came out of this vision of something I want to see exist, and I found a way to make it happen. I didn't make them myself, I found a cheap card-making place, and then that became a fun project, designing the back of the cards. The tragedy and the comedy.
I never related to artists who had artists nights, who just doodle-draw. I'm much more structured — I'll have an idea, and I'll know in my head exactly what it's going to be, exactly what I need it to look like. And it doesn't really change. For me, it's a way to transmute. It saves me from myself, I think Susan Sontag says something about that, and it's true for me. If I just made these paintings for myself, it would be serving a very important purpose in my life. The showing, and sharing with my friends — all that's extra. It's like keeping my neuroses in a box. Here they are! Do you want to see? And I don't feel like I'm lying. To me, it's just intuitive.