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.
Not selecting a title from literature has released me. No longer must I where to consistency in a title; a painting's title will change as the painting changes. My most recent painting, (2022 No.4), is now "Uphill the Hero". This painting will change further, becoming more about going uphill.
One of my favorite books of 2019 is Ted Chiang's "Exhalation". It speaks volumes through stories that appear to be Science Fiction but are actually about human reality and decision-making. See below, the full quote from "Exhalation" that led to the title of my newest painting.
"Pretend that you have free will. It's essential that you behave as if your decisions matter, even though you know they don't. The reality isn't important; what's important is your belief, and believing the lie is the only way to avoid a waking coma. Civilization now depends on self-deception. Perhaps it always has,"
During my recent solo show at One Brooklyn Bridge Park I received one comment, over and over. Viewers wanted more verbal information regarding my paintings. I have been reluctant to give titles. My works appear as acts of visual creation without preconception. However, as I work I do feel stuff, e.g., I began the painting shown today with a feeling I was out of touch with my deepest instincts. I had been absent from the studio because of my New York City exhibition. I was aware of my distinct feelings and emotions. This painting, 2018 No.2, was me asking myself about the sanity within the research activity that is art-making. Art making is an act of faith. I fly into it with wonder. If I went ahead, took action, painted, I would feel a bit crazy, not intellectually grounded. This was a result of the distance between myself and my last act of painting (nearly a month ago). Being sane I knew I had to make art in order to re-discover the reality-gap I had lost. This is Catch-22.
I am going to make an effort to continue this, as part of my process. After all, the ultimate goal in making-art is self-understanding.
So... I feel like titles are now appropriate, but, as always, I don't want them to interfere with the viewer's emotional and intellectual response to the painting. So... "Asparagus" seems appropriate for this new painting. I think that is a sprig of asparagus the main character is holding.
Reproducing a painting at this stage has its difficulties. The grays of the acrylic marker are more accurate than in yesterday's reproduction, but the colors don't play as well as they do in the real painting. In reproduction there is so much white to consider. As colors fill the canvas the interaction of one color against the other colors will become more accurate.
To read my profile go to MEHRBACH.com.
At MEHRBACH.com you may view many of my paintings and drawings, past and present, and see details about my life and work.