Package of Guts

ral_3465-iaap1A can of caviar. A tray of chicken gizzards. A pouch of tuna fish. A pack of hot dogs. Mass-produced animal products enhanced with words and pictures and container design to improve consumer response. Yummy.
But that’s what it takes to be a player in the marketplace – consumer response. No consumer response, no packaged goods. And visa-versa.
Except for the artists.
No consumer response. No shelf space. No marketing directive at all. Just guts, spilling out from their autonomous packages, making a mess of their lives.
How much better it would be financially to be designing packages for consumption rather than manipulating them for some mysterious purpose that leaves consumers wondering why. Can of sardines? Ok, we get that. Polychromed molded pulp endcaps? Uh, what for?
What for, what for? For nothing. The package holds nothing…unless you let it. It was originally designed to hold something material (exactly what is immaterial), but it has been repurposed to hold something else. What else? How about your imagination? Your attention. Your unconscious projections. Your semi-realized aesthetic sense.
I know that I am an idiot for making such nonsense out of otherwise sensible objects. I feel that truth almost every day, but cannot stop. My darling wife must endure my idiocy. My amazing child will grow up thinking it’s normal to have an idiot for a father. Yet out I bring another piece of rough, the prima materia. I shall hold it, examine it, consider it, imagine it. And then I will seal it, paint it, paint it, layers of paint, then varnish it, layers of varnish, hours and hours and days and nights. And then I hold it again, consider it, examine it. And then photograph it, photograph it against its brother colors in series, as a meditation, because those are the only truths I hold dear. Then pre-press and printing and more pre-press and printing, until finally I have a glorious 4×6 photograph of nothing.
A-hah, I say! A package of guts. A picture of a package of guts.
My guts.

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