Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The idea of the day

Were I a photographer all this would be a hell of a lot easier. That is to say, how long does it take to snap a photo? 1/250th of a second? Plenty of time for drinking afterward are the words that immediately jump to my mind.

Anyway, I'm not a photographer. And it takes a longer time to paint a painting than to take a picture. Far longer, in fact. And longer even still than the time it takes to dream up ka-ka-mamie (as if that is even close to how you spell it, but I like the hyphens) schemes such as "The Idea of the Day."

Which brings us to Henry Moore.



I'm sure you're familiar with the guy. I mean, who isn't? This one is called "Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 5"--which is a pretty strong title in anybody's book. The Wall Street Journal (or at least what passes for the WSJ these days) tells us today that an exhibition of 20 Moore sculptures in the New York Botanic Gardens is opening today, or shortly.

More specifically, a Ms. Rossi from The Journal writes:
When exhibiting sculptures of monumental scale, monumental space is important. But to truly appreciate the essence of these works, a complementary setting is essential. Such a perfect fit can be observed as one wanders through the beautifully manicured grounds of the Botanical Garden's 250 acres and encounters the imposing, voluptuous figurative and abstract sculptures of the English artist Henry Moore (1898-1986). Among the 20 pieces on display are the powerful "Draped Reclining Mother and Child" (1983) and the totem-like "Upright Motive No. 5" (1955-56).
Accompanying the piece is this:



Which actually would be my photo of choice to illustrate my ka-ka-mamie scheme, except that it's too small a file to allow double-clicking. It is the aforementioned "Draped Reclining Mother and Child."

This one might blow up a bit if you have at it:



Anyway, the idea of the day is this:

We (me, really) will travel to the Botanic Gardens and photograph a selection of Henry Moore sculptures. We will then paint them. Or at least one, just to see how it feels. If we, in fact, choose to start with this one, we'll call it "Draped Reclining Mother and Child (Giving Henry the Cheese)"--the parenthetical phrase being a joke about the phonetic similarities between homage and fromage, and the difficulties of French in general.

The finished image--which I envision being quite large--will then join the pantheon of Geoffrey Raymond cheese paintings that includes "Girl with the Pearl Earring (2003)," "Elegy to to the Spanish Republic (2004)," and "Portrait of the Portrait of Gertrude Stein."

Which makes this sound like a busy summer. To wit:

Big Erin 2--Almost finished. Am re-doing type.
The Annotated Cayne--currently underway.
The Wounded Man--currently underway (but handed off to Kate, my collaborator).
The Annotated Murdoch 2--planned to coincide with the anniversary of Murdoch's purchase of Dow Jones and Co.
A possible series of paintings for my buddy Tim in Thailand--still very much up in the air.
The Annotated Greenberg--still in the planning stages. I am very much wrestling with the idea of painting Hank Greenberg, the Detroit Tigers slugger of a previous era, but asking for annotations related to Hank Greenberg, the ousted Major Domo of AIG.

Plus some others.

You think this shit is easy? I was explaining to a friend of mine the other day that I couldn't come up to the country for a weekend visit and she said "How busy can you be?", or words to that effect. Well, now you know.

A final note on the Wall Street Journal. Every time I type those words these days I think of the bit of dialogue from "Sin City" in which Mickie Rourke (amazing make up job) says something about Mercedes that goes like:
I was driving a Mercedes. At least what passes for a Mercedes these days. They all look like electric razors.

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