....thousands of abandoned masks rise up from city streets on a pole tall as Willy Penn's phallic scroll they flail! sails signalling the ship of state in irons white flags their message of surrender gone viral
I sent images of work by the PaFa master of figure drawing and anatomy, Al Gury, to my late uncle.
But they are ugly! he complained.
A conversation I wish we could have had, but he was beyond such exchages by then.
You look in the mirror when you’re old, and you realize two things
That you are not what you look like.
And you never were.
I think about this.. about the tradition of portraiture.
Is it a tradition devoted to reifying an illusion? Or does the artist… help us see beyond
what we see,
even while we are seeing it?
The ideal…when applied to physical reality
is always a lie.
Fucking Greeks messed up our minds… and never more than those of the English
15×18″ Woodcut print (1 of 3) Found this, from 2015, when I was doing patterns from broken street pavement.
30×24″ Oil on Canvas
For years I resisted figurative work. I told myself, I wasn’t ready. Maybe… when I had the skills of a quartrocento artist, rendering the human body.
But it wasn’t that. All that time, I was preparing… learning how to paint, the way I needed to paint. Discovering my own sense of structure, of surface. So much in art is like that–I think, for any of the arts. We set a goal, and put off where we want to go while we prepare, than at some revelation, find that we were preparing all along for a different goal–one that turns out to be closer to the one we’d been avoiding all along.
This is why art is so important! We need to learn how to move into our future, without knowing where it will lead, without nailing it down,–fixed and embalmed. How to learn through our trials and then discover what it was all for.
This is what we have to learn–that no technology, mapped out schema can save us, if we aren’t listening… and ready to embrace what newly emerges before us.
Science and art have this much in common.
We may be going in the right direction… and all the while, think it was something else… and then…
Like Jean Valentine’s poem.