At the very bottom of her box, there lay hope
graphite on Arches hot press watercolor paper
14 x 25 inches
That was my hope, and here is my little bit of sadness:
Mark Linkous, the creative genius otherwise known as Sparklehorse, took his own life this past week. A musician/band that I have loved and followed for years, most of his albums directly coincided with distinct times in my life: my husband and I first married and seeing Sparklehorse at an outdoor festival in Atlanta (we were almost always listening to the album Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot); then a few years later, seeing a fabulous show at the Middle East in Boston (listening to Good Morning Spider), where we were both able to talk to Mark (well, gush at him how wonderful his music was); and then a couple of years later seeing him put on one of the most hauntingly lovely shows that I have seen, performing against the backdrop of an enormous American flag at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC, only a couple of weeks after 9/11, with the smell of smoke still hanging in the air in lower Manhattan (and I still inextricably associate his record It's a Wonderful Life with 2001, moving to New Jersey, and the birth of my first child).
I have such love for his music: truth be told, I have always looked to music and musicians, not visual artists, for inspiration in my own work and I was inspired so very much by his lyrical imagery, even stealing a few titles for my drawings from his songs. He layered acoustic noise, melody, and words like no one else - creating and filling this strange dark void with his soft southern voice. I am filled with such a sense of artistic loss: although there is one more record to be released - a collaboration with Dangermouse and David Lynch - for me there is a little bit of frustration, sadness, and anger that that is all there will be. Every now and then you realize that the sensitivity and fragility that compels an artist to delve so deeply into the human spirit has the possibility to destroy the artist as well.
I am so very thankful for the music that he was able to give to the world.
One of his quiet, strangely beautiful songs It's a Wonderful Life (from that album of the same name), video directed by Guy Maddin: