I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things


with 3 comments


..I encounter stuff and I just can’t help feeling like an idiot.

Stuff like this.

I read about this fabulous loft this artist has and I start thinking, what am I doing wrong? Why am I still scraping from month to month? Why couldn’t I have bought property in 2000? Why don’t I live at that level? Why, why, why isn’t that me?

It’s ludicrous.

And it certainly isn’t about Shirin Neshat, who is an artist who makes work that I respect and who I’m sure is a lovely person. And it isn’t about any realistic assessment of my current life, because that would have to include facts like:

I rent a spacious and welcoming apartment in a neighborhood I enjoy.
I have many people in my life who I care about and who care about me.
I get to make work, and show that work to people with great frequency. I also get paid to do so on occasion.
I have a job where I can both teach and learn. One that shows no signs of going away any time soon.
With a simple request I can get my face licked for hours on end by Lehigh.

And yet and yet and yet I still haven’t been able to banish that stupid covetousness that I mix up with ambition; ambition for the trappings of a certain kind of worldly success. I still feel that twinge and for a moment think that because I’m not there I’m some sort of a stooge.


Written by naylandblake

January 29, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. Hi,

    Nayland we have a mutual friend, and I work nearby, sorry I’ve not introduced myself in person.

    I found out today that I may have access to a small studio in Queens that will cost roughly the same as my monthly cable bill, and I think I’m prepared to do the exchange. I’ve marginally employed, and have little in the way of back-up plans. I often refer to myself as an idiot for living this way. If I take possession of this sliver of property, I have no intention of using it save for collaborations, or just giving it over to see what other people can use it for. Is that idiocy? Personally I find a big, modern, sparsely decorated, “good-taste” luxury apartment to be something of an embarrassment.

    JW Veldhoen

    January 29, 2009 at 7:44 pm

  2. dear mr. blake,

    thanks so much for your art and this last post. i am a big fan of your work, and it’s amazing to read what you have to say and to know that i am not alone in feeling pretty much the same way, and in no way have i reached the level where i see you and your work at, but i teach art in a public school, i live in a decent house in seattle (a really funky, rats in the basement house, but still…), i make art and enjoy doing it, (although i never really get paid to do it, sometimes very little) i have some marvelous people in my life and i have a super hero cat who saves my life sometimes. thanks a lot, for your words, i needed them tonight.

    yours truly,

    e. mustard

    January 29, 2009 at 10:31 pm

  3. My comment was idiotic.

    JW Veldhoen

    January 31, 2009 at 1:02 am

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