Thursday, February 21, 2008

Classic Post from what seems like a long time ago

For you obsessives, I have cut and pasted a post regarding this whole Xing out thing and the whole Bert Stern thing from April 3, 2007. You can tell my thinking hasn't changed much in the interim. In its entirety, it is this:



Here is the picture of what I called Wet Grasso for a long time, then switched to Grasso II (Peerless). I recently claimed I couldn't find it, but I was wrong.

There is actually a lot going on here. I liked the effect of pouring wet paint onto wet, untreated canvas. I also liked the idea of x-ing it out, ala Marilyn Monroe's response to some of Bert Stern's images (thought to be the last photos taken of the woman before she died).

Here is one from that shoot that she liked:



I mean, honestly, who wouldn't? Good, I suppose, to know that even in a day when our screen icons were a little squishier than they are now, physiologically speaking, Marilyn could hold her own with Naomi Campbell in the rear-end department.

Are you familiar with the Nembutol-enema theory about Monroe's death? The mind reels.

Anyway, this is more what I'm talking about:



One might rightly fault Mr. Stern for making a pot-load of dough off photos that she specifically asked not be publicly shown. Additional chutzpah points for also making one the poster shot for the show.

Anyway, back to Peerless--the execution of the Red X was simply unacceptable. Which, let me tell you, is a pretty bitter pill to swallow--looking down and saying, "Shit, I just irreversibly fucked up a painting I otherwise liked."

One can't, however, get gun shy. That's the worst! You have to be brave, like a bull.

Here is what we looked like at some point yesterday:



One last note about the Red X: If the canvas had been primed, and I was painting as I normally do, with a lot of paint density and saturation, I could have fixed the damned thing by whiting some of it out, patching, backfilling--the same thing you saw that person do while speedpainting Scarlett Johanssen. The thing that makes the Wet Grasso process scary is that you simply can't go back.

One might say this is freeing, and I suppose it is. Still...see the bitter pill business above.

I was also extremely fond of what were kind of hard to see in the image but which were wonderful in person--the red and green pencil marks that created the grid on the canvas. If you double click, you may be able to see them. Better still, pop down to the "To be or not to be" entry and click on the lower of the two images--you can really see them there.

For one brief, shining moment, it was a lovely painting.

Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

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