Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I did, after all, go to school in Western Canada
Nearly all of my knowledge of paintings comes from books, and the reproductions they contain. It is more remarkable for me to have seen the work of an artist I invoke as influential than not. Maybe this accounts for the sway that the NNP has over my work(for that matter, this may explain the week or so of imitative work after visiting any artist’s studio, or gallery. Right now my colour work looks like Molinari, as I just saw his retrospective at he MDLC Hochelaga-Maisonneuve). I have seen a lot of their work.
My work is becoming increasingly difficult to photograph. I am making paintings that reproduce poorly. Not a concern in the studio, but one of great concern given how much sway photographs of paintings are given in jury selections, grant applications, magazine articles.
Going to see someone else’s paintings has always been secondary to the psychological and monetary weather patterns that will hasten or delay my trips to the studio to work on my own.
Out of my mouth fly statements which prop up the ideal of paintings being best, or only critiqued when one has seen them with one’s own eyes.
I wrote to Piri Halasz recently and included images of my work. She kindly and politely responded that she could not comment on any work she had not seen in person. As I am apt to do, I responded to the ill-defined question posed by the imaginary interviewer in my head: “This is the only respectable answer she could give, I would have discounted her as a critic had she given any other”. This answer positioned me in the heads of the non-existent audience as an authentic painter drowning in a sea of illiterate conceptualism. A position that is feeling shakier and shakier...no wait: more and more unwanted.
But in secret I couldn’t understand her inability to make devils or angels of paintings she had never seen. I had after all made a champion of Pia Fries(photo above) or Rosenquist(photo top left) and a hack of Dubuffet and Clifford Still without even seeing a stroke.