Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A "History" Lesson

Doomed [from The Unreasonable Triptych] » 20"x30"

It’s a particularly daunting task setting out to create solely for the sake of creating – with no real purpose in mind. Particularly when if you allow yourself to be distracted by a lack of any obviously remunerative purpose. Purpose can be a significant deterrent to progress.

Having found the process (and result) of working on The Unreasonable Man so gratifying, I found myself briefly paralyzed by an irrational fear that I couldn’t do it again – that I wouldn’t find the tabula rasa from which to work again. The sensation of channeling something, rather than composing it was one I didn't realized I'd missed until I'd experienced it again. I very much want the work I do to be imbued with meaning I just don't want to be guilty of consciously producing something that might be viewed as precious or contrived – I don't want to be too sure of what I'm trying to say.

So, simply to keep working the “muscles” I was using I decided to use another artist’s work as inspiration. To "do an homage". So, I spent a morning looking for inspiration both online and off until ultimately finding it right in front of me (behind me, actually). I found my inspiration in a 7"x10" ink and marker "portrait" of stoic rooster incongruously dressed in a tuxedo and possessed of a gaze as cryptic and iconic for me as La Giaconda's smile. A 28 year-old piece by my Dad (an accomplished and prolific artist himself), Hol and I have a print of it framed and hanging in our kitchen. “Doomed” is a reinterpretation, a repurposing – if it was a movie it might fairly be considered a remake. So, while I tried to keep any real intent from creeping in as I worked, stealing quick glances over my shoulder to be sure I was doing the source material justice, I found myself thinking of the oft-misquoted George Santayana quote,

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Next... an apology.

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