The Daily Rambling Artist - Jackass!: The Art Show

The Daily Rambling Artist - Jackass!: The Art Show

In my younger years, I used to apply for artist grants. Every time I was selected, it left me in a state of shock. A lot of my artist confidence is a farce, and this holds especially true during these early years.

There was one particular grant that I was fortunate enough to receive not once, but twice. The grant winners were expected to produce an exhibition. Being in a state of shock, again, I had no idea what I was going to create. Familiar panic had set in.

This is one of those moments when the realization struck me that inspiration can strike at any moment, at any time. One day around this time, my mom and my sister had promised to pick me up at my place for an outing. I can't recall the specifics of our plan, but I do remember waiting much longer than I had expected, after being told they would be there really soon.

As was typical during that phase of my life when I had no children, I usually carried a few books with me. That day, one of those books happened to have a chapter dedicated to the ancient Mayans. It was an outdated book, which piqued my curiosity even more because the accounts were based on the initial physical findings around certain archaeological sites in Central America.

There was a section in the book where they had discovered images that they believed represented various gods. Each god was designated by a letter - 'God A,' it read, followed by a description. Each letter description struck my imagination like lightning. I could vividly visualize each god. It was from this moment of illumination that the series for my grant show began to take shape.

I became so engrossed in this newfound world that I completely lost track of time and forgot all about how late my mom and sister were running until they finally pulled up. I remember blurting out as I got into the car, 'Thanks for making me wait like a jackass. I've figured out what my show is going to be!' They burst into laughter. 

My words were completely sincere. The series started in the realm of photography but continues to evolve today in the form of paintings. At this stage of my career, I've come to see everything as an opportunity for inspiration, even the art of waiting.

-Sergio Santos