Sunday, December 02, 2007

Crisis of Faith

I'm having a crisis of faith.

Not so much the Christian kind. More the artistic kind.

And just because I didn't win best of show at the recent group show that featured Big Rupert--don't do me the disservice of thinking that I'm so weak a soul that that is what's bothering me. Although I must say it was a toss-up between me and Mr. Lincoln getting shot in the back of the head; and neither of us won. Twas a lesser piece that stole the show, and I'm the better, probably, I keep telling myself, for it.

Still, losing was a bit of a sting. I'm trying to think how best to describe the feeling. I remember once, years ago, I had my wisdom teeth taken out by a dentist on 23rd Street. Like a fool I said no to hiring a car to take me straight back to New Jersey; choosing instead to just take the bus. About Paramus the pain killers were starting to wear off. By the time I got to Allendale I was hallucinating (the gist of which was something along the lines of "if I just cut my head off, the pain in my jaw will stop"). By the time I got to Phoenix ... well, you know the rest.

So you get the drift.

And besides, that's not it.

What's it, if you must know, is the whole question of size. My preferred size is five by six. That's a pretty big fucking painting, just between you and me. Both Chuck Close paintings are 5x6. My fall-back is four by five, which is also big by many standards. Big Rupert is four by five. All my Wall Street pieces are, if for no other reason than ease of dragging their asses to and from the corner of Wall and Broad.

And yet, staring at Big Rupert on the wall of that gallery, I was struck--not how good it was, not how bad it was ('cause it wasn't bad), but by how small it was. And yet I knew that, were it another foot or so bigger in each direction, it'd still be small against that big white wall.

Me? I can paint 'em as big as you want 'em. My style goes large better than it goes small. I have this notion of bumping up to 8x10--sets of four 4x5 panels.

Will that be big enough? I'm thinking no.

I'm thinking no, you see, because I'm having a crisis of faith.

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