Monday, July 20, 2009

74 Notes to Pedro Espada

Okay. Take a look at this--an interim version of "Dancer #3 (Reclining--Chelsea Hotel)" in which three out of every four given squares has been filled in with color:



Are you with me?

Now look at this rather shifty looking portrait of Pedro Espada, rogue Democratic State Senator from New York--more specifically, from The Bronx. One of several men with direct culpability (a hot word, I acknowledge) for the recent spectacular stalemate in the State House in Albany.



Now imagine Espada's portrait rendered in roughly the same manner as the top image. Out of 320 3" squares it would take to fill my typical canvas, one quarter of them--80--will be left blank. Out of that 80, I'm computing that 6 will be filled with lettering from the title--"74 Notes to Pedro Espada" (I like the idea of one letter per square, in two lines, centered above his head). This leaves, as the title suggests, 74 white spaces in which you, dear reader, can write a note to Pedro Espada.

This is my thinking. Like little post-it notes. Or tweets, if you will (although the very typing of that word while talking about my painting makes me want to vomit). Because there's a limit to how much you can say in a 3" by 3" square.

And who is Espada? To my mind, metaphorically speaking, he's the snot running down Aqualung's nose. He's a story full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. He's the idiot telling the story. He's Al D'Amato writ small, although that might be doing D'Amato a disservice.

Metaphors aside, he's an opportunity to reinterpret a painting technique (MobTee) to allow for annotation. He's a test. He's like that little blue stick you pee on to see if you are pregnant. He's a throw-away. And I very much hope the voters of The Bronx do so as soon as they are allowed.

In the meantime, I'm painting him now, with an eye towards exhibiting him for annotation at the Peter McManus Cafe tomorrow afternoon.

Posters are, of course, available.

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