Nicole Gordon’s psychedelic art is as close as you can get to lucid dreaming while awake.
It’s my way of signaling that the narratives are dreamscapes and worlds that exist within the figure’s imagination. I intended to give them a contemplative tone.
My latest works deal a lot with subconscious musings, so each world is independent. However, when your mind drifts and contemplates, certain things tend to repeat- memories, cultural icons, fears, desires, and other abstract connections.
Eternal forces frame the temporary things. Whether it is erosion, graffiti, fire, or even a flash of light on the horizon, a common theme that I have explored quite a bit is the inevitable struggle between what humans construct and resisting forces. We all know in the back of our minds that we are temporary, so I find it interesting to present an image where that point is conceded.
I understand why my work might give that impression. What I will say is that when I generate ideas and flesh out concepts, I am purposefully leaving my logical mind behind and am accessing a personal place that others access with external help. In terms of thinking about an audience, I try to avoid that and operate on the premise that I first need to create something that is unique and that I would enjoy if it weren’t mine. The biggest compliment that I can get from someone who viewed my work is that it caused them to get lost in it and that it triggered their imagination.
I am not an anti-technology crusader, but I do feel like there has been an unattractive transition in the last 15 years in certain areas. While everyone has become connected, and the World has effectively shrunk, people now have everything at their fingertips in terms of information and entertainment. When you have everything, you tend to lose the ability to cherish anything. Yesterday’s well-worn LP is today’s streamed single. When you combine that with trends like overscheduling and having employers always in touch with their employees via email and text, the ultimate result is that there is very little downtime and very little reason for most to use their imaginations at all. If driving were a metaphor for life, we are all now following the blue path on our phone instead of looking out the window for the 2nd dead tree past the barn.
I have always been a natural daydreamer and am pretty good at tuning out the world and going into my head. I don’t really have a conscious ritual, but I experience bouts of imagination in quiet moments, like driving or showering. I think that I am like most artists in that it comes in waves. When I’m inspired, I develop ideas and sketch out concepts that I can work on later, even when the creativity tide goes out.
It’s not really possible to answer that definitively. The truth is that I always paint what is most interesting to me at that point in time and they are almost always a part of a larger series. Each series may take a year or more to create. So, I tend to think of them in groups, and I generally am most excited about the most recent creations because the ideas that inspired them are still relevant to me.
For the place, I would choose Eureka, CA. It has an out-of-time feel about it that I think would put you in the right mood. What I would be listening to The Past is a Grotesque Animal by Of Montreal on a nice pair of headphones.