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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Culterea

Just finished NASA #8 – The NASA Control of Culture – Acrylic on canvas – Cadmium Yellow, Phthalo Blue, Cadmium Red, Titanium White, and Carbon Black.

NASA 8

A bit of good and evil mixed up in #8 – just like culture. A cross on a boat on a mountain – a stream of sixes flowing – black bird like creatures flocking – snake like ropes and coils for breathing and support – yellow stars shining – astronauts crumpled and dragged.

I don’t believe in the notion that artists shouldn’t talk about their work: that the art should speak for itself. The art does speak and so can the artist, as long as they are articulate enough to communicate clearly.

Sometimes not speaking is a foil for not knowing anything and other times the speaking is so cryptic and meaningless that all sense is buried. It is important to think and talk about art, especially your own.

What is “culture” but the avoidance of fresh air. Below is a detail from my stagnant pond of blow hard NASA #8 stench. What the heck does it all mean?

NASA 8 detail

Next is  - NASA in a Time of Drought – same actors, different costumes, different story.

1 comment:

  1. On talking about your own art - yeah, I miss that. Is there much difference between talking about the meaning of a work, in the sense of what it illustrates, and talking about the the art object as an object in itself, having no meaning other than itself? I have tried to do what you are doing - paint an idea and I always end up profoundly suspicious of what I've done. That's why my paintings, which may, at some stage, contain references to something outside of the object, always dissolve into surfaces with paint on them. I distrust idea painting - mine anyway.
    Your paintings clearly spring from a text, which in itself, invites discussion of the text separate from the painting. The painting, as a vehicle for the message, must be thought about in an entirely different way to abstract work.
    I don't propose that one is better than the other, just that they have to be thought about differently. Unless, perhaps, the abstract work is preceded by a subconscious text - but that gets vague.
    If you live with a still life or a landscape you don't read it like you are called upon to read work like yours, like Max Beckman's (although his are fairly cryptic unless you know a bunch of stuff about the time and culture in which he painted). This painting can be interpreted or deciphered and turned back into text - it may take a thousand words, but that, supposedly, is what a picture is worth.

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