Kevin Lyons at Monster Children, Sydney
If you’re in Sydney this month, heres a big treat for you.. Kevin Lyons at Monster Children Gallery, check out the flyer below for all the details.
PARENTS JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND by Kevin Lyons.
When I was 14 and Wil Smith was still cool, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince created a hip-hop anthem called "Parent’s Just Don’t Understand". Ever since that time there has been Larry Clark’s "Kids", Ryan McGinley’s "The Kids Are Alright", and of course the gallery called Monster Children. The fact is my parents never understood anything about me. Sure they supported me sometimes often unknowingly, and other times begrudgingly, but they continued to never quite get it. In art school they had no idea what I was up to and where it would all lead. They really had no clue what I would no with a Film and Animation degree. No clue. In that case though, neither did I. But as I started and subsequently quit a number of bigger companies like Urban Outfitters and Nike only to go to relatively unknown (to them) companies like Girl Skateboards, Ssur, Tokion, and even Stussy, they couldn’t follow. Was I career suicidal? Or a drug addict? Or just plain out of my mind?….. But the fact remains that none of my work was ever created for my parents to even understand, and that is what made the work good and relevant to the peer group I ran with. The more I went against the grain of my parents, the more it all made sense to the kids whose parents also didn’t understand them.
I am no artist. There I have said it for the thousandth time, and we all get it now. This is not an art show. It is art made by a graphic designer. And it is still work that does not make sense. The harder I have tried to make art and conciously tried to create a traditional gallery show, the less the shit has worked. Yet I make monsters for my daughter in order to persuade her to eat her lunch and people want to see and purchase them as – you guessed it – art.. The irony kills me and at the same time rudely and defiantly laughs at me. The work that I make now makes no sense. It is raw and funny, with little inherent meaning. Paper and scissors and glue. It makes no sense why a NYC ad guy would produce such ranting cut outs to represent his life-long journey, and it makes no sense that a grown man with all of my past experience needs to continue to make kidstuff. And again my parents look at this stuff and just don’t understand. Who would pay for these they ask. Who wants to look at it and buy it? How do you make money? Is it art? Why would someone pay for you to travel all the wat to Austrailia to throw cardstock monsters on a wall?
Add to this and realize now that I am myself a parent. Of two daughters. And for the time being they they do in fact understand what I am doing and why there are Monsters on the wall, and there is a tremendous pride in my oldest that they all started with her. I hope she never loses that understanding and that knowledge. However, that being said, there is much I already do not understand about them. Why certain girls clothes are too boyish and not girlish enough even though they are girls clothes. Why a pair of orange tights are more tight than the exact same pair in pink. Why strawberry yogurt is acceptable, but strawberries are not. Why your stomach could hurt, but ice cream is okay to eat while it hurts. Why you insist on sniffing in your nose while you have a cough rather than simply blowing out. Why you continue to wipe your hands and face on your white blouse rather than the napkin I just gave you. Why you place everything you own in multiple purses, hide those purses, and then get upset when you can’t find the stuff later. Which really is and will continue to be the ultimate legitimate irony in my life and in the end, be the ultimate payback. I will understand nothing. And I should not. I realize now that it is the natural cycle of things and it should be expected, perhaps even relished. My daughters will be entertaining and capturing a generation that no where near includes me and that will be fine. Cause doing work that parent’s just don’t understand works. It is a method to the madness and leads to things like careers and stuff.
So come on out and rep hard and please please no parents, present company excluded of course.