Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paintings, like onions and the big snakes at the zoo, reveal themselves in layers

Of course you know that, dear reader, from watching numerous paintings appear on these very pages.

First comes the gesso, then the sketch, then the first stuff, then some more stuff, then the self-castigation, then long pauses, then a turn is made, a penetration achieved, if you will, and then, finally, rescued, it would seem, from the abyss, the final painting is revealed.

The perspective is weird, but I like the two sets of diamonds.

We can start to see where the plums are going.

Getting back to the process above: Is revealing the right word? Emerging, perhaps? Or, artistic mumbo-jumbo aside, construction? The simple result of the painstaking application of paint? Just because I usually throw it down doesn't mean I'm not doing so painstakingly. At least when I'm not drunk, that is. Which, parenthetically, isn't that often, but it does happen.

Me? I'm of two minds. Since half the stuff I do surprises me, then I guess there's an aspect of revelation. Alternatively, if you stare closely at, say, a Pollock or a Rothko there is certainly a revealing that occurs as well. I wonder what's revealed. I mean, really? The depths of our soul? The infinitude of the universe? Hmmm. These are questions.

What I can state categorically is that what we are trying to achieve here ... what we are attempting to reveal ... despite all the talk of beets and plums and cherries, has absolutely nothing to do with stuff like this, from a guy named Guiseppe Arcimboldo:

The above is a portrait of somebody called Rudolph II. A bit kitschy for me. Likewise the artist, since his self-portrait looks like this:


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