Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Volker Concept

As you often find me, old friend, I'm torn.

First, there's the hard deadline for generating I AM SPARTACUS!, my portrait of Barack Obama, for the first day of business in Season Five of The Year of Magical Painting. In this case, given that the 4th is on a Sunday, the 5th is the holiday, so we're talking the 6th. Which really seems so far away...

Anyway, with all that said, there's my strong desire to paint Paul Volker. Here's the image:

I like it very much; think it would be a cool painting. I love the wrinkles and the hand and the general smooshing of the face. I'm gonna call it Red Volker because: a) I love how people always attach a socialist interpretation to any of the paintings I title Red Something (Geithner, specifically). Second, I'm gonna paint the background red.
The background?
Exactly. Gonna paint the whole goddam background red.
How are people going to write on it?
I have this fantasy that black and dark blue pens will actually write nicely on a red background.
Hmmmm. Interesting.
Interesting indeed. And furthermore, I'm gonna start writing on the damned things again myself.
Because a man has his limits. I stood outside the NYSE yesterday for three hours watching people with absolutely nothing to say write things on my portrait of Chris Dodd. And I'm frustrated.
Are you abandoning the public annotation process?
No. But I'm giving it a little guidance. Or a kick in the pants. Or at least taking my crack at writing something interesting on the painting, since nobody else will.
You understand that you're cruisin' for a bruisin', don't you?
How so?
Because if you think people have nothing interesting to say about Dodd, wait til you see what they have to say about Volker.
I hear you. But, to quote a famous philosopher, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.
The plan is roughly this:

1--Paint Volker
2--Paint the background a deepish red.
3--Title the painting Red Volker
4--Scrawl from the tube or inscribe with a brush in white paint a lengthy annotation in a type size, if that's the right word, large enough so that the copy occupies, in a meandering, slightly psychedelic manner, almost all of the surface of the painting typically reserved for the annotation.
5--Present the work for public annotation in the usual manner.

Two copy options include:
Is the title Red Volker a suggestion that the man is a socialist? No--it's a suggestion that the background is red.
Which is a lot of copy, but I do like the kind of call-and-response structure. Or:
Is the Volker rule really a rule? Or is it just a concept?
Which is a bit more enigmatic.

The act of self-delusion you see playing out before your very eyes is my supposition that these words are more interesting than the pablum currently being written on the painting by John Q Public. But I don't care--a man has to do what a man has to do.

Additionally, there's the notion that people will then take their markers and write in, around, and overtop of the primary annotation.

These are the things I'm wrestling with. We'll see.
Is overtop one word?
I don't know. I gave a lot of thought to hyphenating it.
Hmmmm. Interesting.
I just know it didn't look write as two words.
Hey, it's your blog.
Yes it is.


Blogger david1082 said...

Hmm if you did one of Bush I think people would have something to say. Dodd and Volker are not quite in the public consciousness like most of the other portrait choices.

11:23 AM  

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