Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Kind of Composite


I've started another series of composites. Where my Selected People are made up of many figures over time, these new portraits are composites of many extreme close ups of a single person's face woven into a single (very large) image. The other inversion (I'm big on inversions) is that these pictures look very much unlike their sitters. They are closely observed portraits that tell nothing of personality, mood, etc. They do tell you what the above person's nose, eyes, and mouth look like, however.

FM (detail)

My art historical inspiration for this is Edouard Manet, who sometimes fooled around with focus, blurring paint here and there in confounding ways that have little do with optical correctness. Click on the image to enlarge it, and you might be able to see what I mean.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phoned In

Tone Gray
(click images to enlarge)





Sorry, loyal fan or fans for my absence here. I was away at Yaddo for all of January, working on, among other things, the above.

Since I was away for so long, I was lonely for my wife, Margaret. We talked on the phone four or five times a day. I heard what she'd been up to in detail. At one point, she described a painting she'd seen somewhere. "It looks like a white blob on a blue background," she said. So Blurt was begat. I started making many more abstract pictures according to phoned in descriptions. Thus was born the Phoned In series. It's about nostalgia and longing--for a distant past where color and form was enough. And it's about translating form into words and photographing them.

If you would like me to do a Phoned In for you, I will stretch the rules. Instead of phoning me, you can leave a description here in the comments. Just describe any abstract painting as briefly and simply as you can. I'll do the rest! (I don't know when I'll get to doing the picture, but I'll post the results here when I do. I don't know where it's going, but I thought I'd try it if people write in.)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Back in the Real World...and It's Better

Things are screwed up here in the real world. But I just got back on Sunday from a month at Yaddo, and my show is opening at Gallery Kayafas tonight. So, although I did lots of work and made some friends, I'm glad to be home. The only thing troubling me today is, Should I wear a suit and tie or should I try to look hip in jeans? Dear 7 or 8 readers: I hope to see you there tonight!