Idaesthesia is a phenomenon similar to synesthesia, where an idea triggers an involuntary, cognitive sensory response. In my case, emotions and abstract concepts are associated with imagery and body mapping.
Due to neurological problems I was born with very limited proprioception. Without visual context I have almost no sense of the position, or shape of my body. I have trouble telling left from right. Building muscle memory is difficult for me, simple tasks like taking notes, tying my shoes or typing require unflinching focus.
The void where the sense of my limbs should have been became filled by haptic ideasthesia. Concepts and emotions triggered the thought of physical sensation, or since I had the sense of touch but no real sense of proprioception to relate that to, to the imagined imagery of how I saw other bodies.
I used compulsive, often violent thoughts as coping mechanisms to deal with the anxiety and dysphoria. Tearing the skin on my fingers until they bled, wearing binding clothing and rings on every knuckle, stretching my earlobes, writing out detailed descriptions of dismemberment and death.
I saw the flesh of my hands pulled off like gloves and every metacarpal snapped. Fear was shearing force between the halves of my body, sadness was an ocean pouring through me. Time was snakeskin against my back, joy was roses in my bones.
Drawing became the most healthy of these strategies. Through casts of Greek deities, mutilated, preserved corpses and an army of models, memorization of the anatomized ‘figure’ allowed me to map conscious, visualized forms onto the foggy mass of my body. This was a comfort to me and I began to fill hundreds of sketchbooks. Every line anchoring me more firmly into reality.
Every study laid down paths of dendrites until the chimeric golem of my proprioceptive homunculus became first a quilt, then a tapestry and finally a painting from which I could reference a vast, memorized visual lexicon.
Questions about the nature of consciousness and embodiment have become the driving force behind my artwork. I am motivated by the conflict and cohesion between the psyche and its vessel, a friction which has launched my personal artistic endeavors but also all of history.
So I paint the other as I see myself, imaginary, psychedelic, individuated and sublime. Bodies, to me are made up of ideas, lines where there should be space, musculature like mountains and posture like the whole cosmos is standing there, looking back at me.
Idaesthesia is the brushwork of thought. The subtle semiotics of dreams that swirl through our hearts when we recognize a beloved face. Ideasthesia is a river of consciousness, the texture of life and the language of heaven.
No one will ever see you as you really are.
True statements about painting
I am a painter
There are millions of us, we are each wholly unique
I have been oil painting since I was seven years old
Painting has a lot of loose definitions
Painting is an illusion
My whole family are painters, some of them paint with clay and stone, some of them paint with words or with music.
Sometimes I paint with pencils, sometimes I paint with words but I always paint with signifiers
I’m not a good painter, I have no idea what i’m doing or why i’m doing it, the whole process i find existentially baffling
I’m a very good painter, I (sometimes) exhale portraits effortlessly and have spent over ten thousand hours studying the figure
Painting is an unhealthy obsession which i use to cloak my own insecurity
Painting is my last best hope to escape the incessant compulsive horror inside my own head
Painting is a better coping mechanism than antidepressants
Painting is very time consuming
Painting is a stand in for an absentee father
Painting is the only thing I am really good at
Painting is not a financially solid alternative to working retail
Painting is expensive
Poverty is an acceptable price for a life of constant painting
Painting is an act of catharsis, a valve through which the shit can pour out
Painting is an act of synthesis, brush strokes like star dust coalescing in the ether to form a world.
A painting can look like almost anything but it should probably have a person; still lifes and landscapes are really pictures of the person seeing them.
Abstract paintings are images of the inside of people.
Some paintings are about the transubstantiation of sensory information into mineral based color on a flat surface.
Some paintings are about the transubstantiation of emotional or mental information into a physical image.
My favorite paintings are both.
Paintings should make you feel something, not necessarily something good
Painting is hard
Painting is easy
To be a successful painter one must do a lot of things which are not painting
Networking, proposal writing, gallery submissions and financial planning are all necessary to be an effective professional painter.
if painting does not support you financially you should keep painting until you are homeless and starving, eventually someone will take pity on you, or send you to a mental institution, or prison.
They have painting in mental institutions, and some prisons
The ability to have this obsession with painting arises from the privilege of having people support it.
Painting is selfish.
Painting adds something wholly unique and irreplaceable to the world
A painting is valuable in so far as it is made with value
Large paintings are hard to sell, small paintings are easy to sell.
The value of anything, but especially a painting, is an illusion
Painting is not good, it is the most spiritual form of materialism and the most materialistic form of spirituality.
Painting is a pagan God of violence and primitive unscripted rage, an expression of our most basic humanity.
Painting does not care, it will always take more than it gives and leave you with nothing.
painting is a reeking fool smearing his waste on the walls of his prison.
It is not a proper pass time for polite society, it is not civilized, it is not impressive, it is not beautiful.
painting will not save you, it will only teach you that you never needed to be saved. You never needed to be good.
Painting can be a lucrative career with a lot of hard work, sacrifice and careful planning
Portraiture, sign painting, illustration, pet paintings and greeting cards are all effective ways to make a stable career as a painter.
Painting is blue collar labor
Painting is a straightforward skill which ta kes time to master. It’s like typing, or plumbing.
Painting is a twisted, ephemeral specter of will, mouth gaping in the foreground, bloody buckets of sallow, bulging rickety flesh wet with the gleam of imagined pooling light.
Painting goes back to our most shameful, primitive, reptilian instincts.
Painting makes me happy
Painting tears apart the most basic rules of semiotic consciousness, discarding or circumventing those parts of the mind responsible for meaning and visual semantics.
Painting is sexy.
Painting is an enigma in a pit.