Saturday, April 05, 2008

Laying it on

I know you don't give a shit about this painting (all you people want is more controversial stuff so you can say to your friends, or strangers, even, at cocktail parties, that you know me), but I think it's significant.



First of all, if you are not completely in the groove, it is a reinterpretation of Picasso's seminal portrait of Gertrude Stein. This, of course, would be that:



I like the idea of riffing on Picasso. I particularly like reinterpreting his non-cubist stuff (of which this is one) using the Obscured Box Technique, since it calls cubism to mind for many people. Even though it isn't.
Isn't what?
Cubism.
Really? Why not?
I think it's a question of intent. Cubism was as much an intellectual exercise as it was an artistic one--a carefully calibrated effort designed to create, among other things, what we call, here at The Year of Magical Painting, dynamic disjunction.
So?
Well, the OBT is designed to create similar disjunction, granted, but it happens through accident rather than through calculation. To me, that speaks volumes.
A somewhat calculated accident, a cynic might suggest.
He might. But isn't that just the cynicism talking?
Maybe. Is that why some of your OB paintings really suck? Because you can't control the accidents every time?
Exactly.
Also, it isn't without precedent in the Geoff Raymond oeuvre. To date we've reinterpreted Vermeer, Close and Motherwell--although I don't think anybody ever saw the Motherwell. I ended up giving it to a mover a couple of years ago who liked it a lot. I thought it was a bit too breast-heavy.
Motherwell was all about the breasts, wasn't he?
Yes he was.
Do you think people who tell other people at cocktail parties that they know you end up going home with those people more than they would have if they didn't say anything about you?
Yes. How could it be otherwise?
So you're like a public service to them.
Yes, provided they practice safe sex.
Nicely said.
Thank you. It can't be overemphasized.
But all that aside, the reason I titled this post "Laying it on" is that I'm taking advantage of the smaller dimensions of Big Gertie (24" x 30") and doing something I never otherwise do. That being, I'm covering the face of the painting with a thick layer of acrylic varnish. You have to do it in layers, so it takes a number of days. But in the end, it will have a much glossier finish that, interestingly enough, changes the very nature of the painting itself. Seems to deepen some of the colors. Adds a richness.

I'm all fired up.

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