Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Glob, 2008, Oil, acrylic, epoxy, metallic pigments, collage, and sand on canvas, 8 x 10 inches
I this painting came out of my idea for creating a golem out of paint, so what we have a a portrait of the concept of Painting itself. It has been said that the history of painting is the history of Christianity in the Western World. So I gave the paintings a tri-faced design, which is a short hand for The Trinity. The Trinity, was sometimes depicted as three faces belonging to single body in mediaeval art.
As for why holding a skull, I think that is the essence of painting, the essence of art, the essence of what it means to be alive and living a life beyond basic living. A memento mori (latin: remember that you must die), all paintings are saying that to us, and then the next line is, but I your creation, will live on.
A side from these lofty thoughts, I also want to take a jab at much of my modernist schooling, where the goal of all paintings was paint onto itself. Once An aged teacher took myself along with a group of other "advanced" students though a museum and we came upon a Rubens painting of St. Catherine and the Virgin Mary. The teacher said, "You all know what this painting is really about, right? " There was dead silence - finally I said, "It s about St. Catherine and the Virgin Mary." He laughed, and said, "No it is about this repeating line, you silly puddin head!" -He then proceeded to gesture in front of the painting showing how the fold of her Mother s arm rhymed the profile of the Virgin Mary, and how that fold was rhymed again and again in the painting. This is everything that is wrong with art education. If we think about artwork as being all about the formal devices used to create them, then all other aspects become moot. This is an agenda that turns us all into soulless geometers. The greatest works of art become formalist experiments or decorative luxury objects.
Or as I once heard a modernist wag proclaim, "Real painters, Paint Paintings of Paint, and Paint alone!" This is the monster of painting, standing in the wasteland screaming to be given meaningful form.