Sunday, June 08, 2008

Woman in a burkha

I'm not sure why I never win the grand prize at the BAG group shows, but I never seem to. It could be because I always have to ask for a dispensation, since the size of my painting is always bigger than the stated maximum size on the entry form. Which annoys them. Or because the last two paintings I exhibited were either not for sale or priced higher than the stated maximum price on the entry form. Which annoys them.

My level of self-obsession doesn't allow me to allow for the fact that an independent panel of relatively intelligent people could think that there were other, better, paintings in any given show.

That said, I had an interesting chat with a guy at the most recent show by the name of Basem Hassan. Mr. Hassan, unlike myself, had received an honorable mention for a work he calls "Sara." This would be it:

And manomanoman, I have to tell you, it was really something. Click it twice and see if it blows up really big. I tried to import the large size file. You might also check out his website.

Anyway, I've been thinking about it for a while because: a) anybody who's familiar with the Obscured Box Technique can see an obvious kinship between the stuff I do and what's going on with "Sara," and b) in the end, the measuring stick of a portrait is how it looks back at you. He. She. It. Whatever it is you're painting.
The eyes being the window to the soul and all that stuff?
And with that given, doesn't it then stand to reason that the obvious next step is to paint a woman in a burkha? Eliminate the extraneous and concentrate one's powers (if the word "powers" doesn't suggest too high a level of self-involvement) where you need to be concentrating one's powers.
I'd like to say a word to you, my friend.
Hey, just a minute. Don't I always go first?
Most of the time yes. But I'd like to say a word.
And you are ... ?
I'm Geoffrey Raymond. The painter. And you?
I'm the Greek Chorus.
Why are we having this discussion?
Because sometimes it's difficult for the readers to know who is saying what to whom. Particularly because you usually stay in the white type unless I say something, then you come inside and talk for a while in red. Then, when you've had your way with me (you miserable bastard), you click back to the primary font.
So it's important that people know that it is you who wants to have a word with me.
Okay. Now that we've cleared that up, may I have a word with you?
Most unusual...
Regardless. I'd like to say that I don't think the use of the word "powers" is particularly ill-conceived. I mean, if the act of generating an image that is both realistic and compelling by throwing paint off the end of a stick isn't an act best done in conjunction with the influence of some higher "power," then what is?
This isn't a theological discussion, is it? Because I know you love those.
Then is it like Gandalf the Gray or Dumbledore or something like that. Is it wizardry?
I don't know.
Can you find it at the corner of Jack Daniels Street and Bud Lite Boulevard?
It is certainly in that neighborhood.
Is it animal, vegetable or mineral?
Now you're just fucking with me.
Me? Fucking with you? Hey, Kemo Sabe, you're the guy who thinks that reversing your position on the sofa when the Giants are doing poorly actually influences the outcome of the game.
What are you getting at?
All I'm saying is that everybody knows you're a nutcase. If you want to attribute what you do to some higher power then go ahead. You've said about 500 stupider things on this blog in the last year alone.
Really? 500?
(noise off-stage--if off-stage is the right word)
What's that noise?
Maybe it's Prince Caspian in the wardrobe.
Fuck you.
Anyway, I think I'd like to try to paint a woman in a burkha.


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