Finding oneself does take revisiting instincts, personal instincts discovered when young. It is easy to see self-truth when young. Youth has the distinct advantage of lacking the enormous distractions of educational and experiential learning. For me, the painting, and the drawings, I show today are satellite revisits. They exhibit me in orbit around myself. I am hoping this is me experiencing a problem solving loop, spiraling, falling out of orbit, toward true, trustful answers.
I am uncomfortable with this drawing. I will not, because I cannot, elaborate. I am annoyed. This drawing has no ability to inspire me. I don't understand. Onward I go, out to the studio; another day of work is necessary.
Oh, here's another drawing I made yesterday. It fulfilled a request from my son, Zach. Zach runs the company ZMF Headphones.
Here are three compositions playfully looking for interest and surprise. These drawings are me searching, finding; they are me uncovering, divulging, broadcasting, publishing, and confessing.
I feel different. I have changed my mind. You can see this change in today’s drawings. Art-making is the act of changing one's mind. My drawings, my recent paintings, embrace a simple approach; they embrace face-on compositions. These works are realizations. Complexity of who I am cannot be reduced. Deception occurs if complexity be ignored. Simplicity must be sought. Yesterday drawings are practice toward achieving simplicity.
Here I go! I am challenging my process. I have made this painting, “Pillar." I have made it during one studio day. This is me accepting the easy way. I am accepting me. I am clear and simple, not the person burdened by education, today's norms, or those of the recent past. I am here, I am now. I accept.
It ain't what it used to be, nor me. Uphill has now become Castle. This change is meaningful because it is big step toward real; there is no fake here. I changed. This painting changed. Reality is good. I am fully committed to truth telling. “Castle” is the real thing.
I tend to do too much, not too little. The title of this painting is down to one word. With this change I have abandoned titles using quotations. I have quoted from literary figures in order to find my own place within space and time, but I don't require that anymore. Simple is better because the paintings speak for themselves, they don't need a crutch of words to lean upon.
This painting, "Uphill", still bothers me. Perhaps I love that ball at the top of hill too much. I am trying to accommodate it, but its instability rocks my confidence. Something needs to be altered.
This one is difficult to reproduce. It reads more easily in the studio than here; in the studio it is less contrast controversial. Posting here makes me think about the limits of representation. I have to figure this out because I don't want to be alone because I am difficult to see.
“How to Look at a Basquiat” (New York Times, April 27, 2022): “One thing in particular that’s easier to see in “Art and Objecthood” than in the overwhelming visual cacophony of “King Pleasure” is how conservatively Basquiat organized the elements of his paintings. The sheer profusion of marks can be misleading, but if you recognize the scratches and scrawls of “Minor Success,” for example, as providing a texture rather than so many pieces of separate information, you’ll see that the arrangement of crown, face and car couldn’t be more straightforward.”
“Straightforward” compositional engagement is one of my annoying struggles. Right now I am working to become more “straightforward.” For me, this is acceptance. I have long fought traditional compositional norms; Basquiat did not do that; from the onset Basquiat embraced traditional graphic composition; Basquiat recognized the power of tried and true graphic composing, its power to immediately engage viewers. I am learning; the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat teaches me well.
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