#636 Smash the State!

22″ x 20″ Black acrylic, white gouache, watercolor, pen and ink on 140 lb cold press Fabriano paper .
I’m turning to the idea of titles that simple reflect my mood, or extraneous thoughts at the time; these may or may not be descriptive of the work. In this case, the title appears in the painting, but so does ‘Train Wreck,’ ‘Sing,’ and several letters and numbers. As long as Trump is in the White House, and until we have a real revolution — I might name all my pieces, “Smash the State.”


22″ x 22″ Acrylic on panel board: Queer Hero Riding a Bull with Yellow tail, rescuing Color from the Dark Night of Capitalism!

#634 22 x 27 framed.JPG

Beyond numbers, cause somewhere lurking in whatever drives me to make these pieces there’s a mythological convergence of self and world, waiting to hatch from the egg of True Desire.

Not to This We Turn But When #630

I understand better what I feel when I think about the Consolation of Philosophy. Are we not as Boethius was, at the end of a world he could nor surrender, yet unable to imagine what might come after? I understand better, why I turn away from either, ‘realist’ fiction, or representational figuration in art; that world is no longer real—and no attempt to represent it now can hope to succeed.

We can look back at the works of the Renaissance, of the Enlightenment, like Boethius at the gateway of the Middle Ages looking back at the Classical world he knew was gone, hoping, through his translations, that he might preserve some memory of what it had been.630.
This is our Dark Age. But the old world is too much with us, museums and libraries filled with its ghosts. We need to find the way to what is to come… but there is no way. No path. No prophetic guiding word or vision. And yet—if we wish to break free from the death grip of the old world, the death grip of endless repetition of the same, with word, or gesture or image, we have no choice but attempt to render—to image forth—that world we cannot yet imagine. We have no choice but to try, and fail. I see myself coming to this realization in my work—that what I’m doing, is bringing out an image of the new through the ruins of old—though only the ruins will be visible. Like Beckett, that’s the failure that draws me closer to the goal–failing better.



31″ x 24″ Acrylic on Masonite. Not sure I’ve reached the end of this ‘kaleidoscope’ series, or pushing on to a new phase. I started out with some heavy, black bars, horizontals and verticals and connecting beams; the idea was to devise a scaffold, like beams of a building with the walls torn down–but again, like related paintings, giving the illusion of depth through layering, not geometric perspective.
It didn’t work, or didn’t work the way I’d anticipated. Those bars were too heavy and defied being pushed into the background until they were almost completely covered over. They did work to divide the rectangle and give it some structure, but without nearly as much depth as I would have liked. Some of that was a problem with value; was this light coming through dark, or light over dark? –a struggle that isn’t resolved here. Got more what I wanted in the other pieces (#604, 612, 615).
That I’m not satisfied suggests that there’s more to explore in this mode.

View portfolio here ART BY WILLARD
For photos on this blog:CLICK HERE, and scroll down.

#622 – with page from Goby’s Journal: Stasi Trump Jesus and the Subjunctive Voice

18″ x 24″ Acrylic on wood.
Layering. Interested in giving an impression of depth, without resorting to geometric perspective. Pollock, of course… but also, the illusion that one is looking at something… both real, and mysterious, like Hubble photos, or electron microscopy… in color. right click on photo for more detail.


… I’m thinking of using this piece of a packing crate for a frame. Paint it black.


Goby’s Journal: December 23, 2016

Stasi, Trump, Jesus and the Subjunctive Voice

In an age when anyone who hears us speak, in person, or through social media, students in our classrooms, our patients or customers–when anyone might feel empowered by the Trumpocracy, to report you, to troll you, to try to get you fired, blacklisted, kicked off a plane…
It would be well, were we to revive the long neglected subjunctive voice.
To polish our skills at not quite saying what we mean.

If one were to imagine oneself, say, in 1956 East Berlin, one would find ways, even in front of a class, of speaking to those who “had ears to hear,” without giving cause to those who would take you down, were they so inclined. Which brings to mind–that phrase, “those who have ears to hear” — the language used by Jesus in the Gospels: speaking in parables. Jesus, too, lived under a hostile power. How much of that language was made to pass safely through the Roman occupation?

We aren’t at that level, yet… of Stasi, say… where no one, not even our most radical friends, can be trusted, because anyone can be made to be an informant. Let them only describe what will happen to your children, your aging parents, should you refuse. But this is where we are headed.

I have heard stories. Some reported in news, some seen on social media. Would that it were true that nothing of the kind had happened to anyone I know.

Be careful. Don’t say anything in private you wouldn’t say in public, cause… nothing is private. Learn from poets how to say more and less and other than what you mean.