Going home is going back to one's roots. I am doing this. In fact, I am returning to the roots of classical art. I have tried, repeatedly, to defeat classicism. Picasso accepted classicism as truth. Picasso gave into the reality that classicism had determined the best way to engage the viewer. Classicism was centuries old before Picasso got here, even older before I got here. Classism had challenged many ways of presenting imagery. Picasso accepted that classicism had succeeded. The invention, and the success of Modern Art, is not about compositional challenge; that had already been done. No matter the degree of distance Picasso put between his images and naturalism, the force of his compositions always accepted classicism's compositional dictates. Every image Picasso presents is "in your face," "straight ahead," composed to engage by laterally depicting his images within the defined rectangle. No matter the wildness of Picasso's forms, his compositions do not disturb the viewer's natural way of digesting an image. The wildness of Picasso's image are attenuated by his acceptance of pure compositional classism. I am now doing the same. It took me longer to get to here, to this insight, then it did Picasso (or Van Gogh or Matisse or Philip Guston or Willem de Kooning, for that matter). Those five (Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, Guston, de Kooning) are my heroes, my main mentors. Four of them were my mentors from a distance, but Philip Guston mentored me in person.
Take a look at today's drawing. I accept classical composition. Why, I ask, has it taken me so long? This acceptance frees me to invent via form, color, scale, shape, and space. It frees me because I accept the basic rules that are classical composition. No more will I fight the tenets of classical composition.
Below I show you two daring works of art. They do not challenge "Classical Composition." The do challenge how we see. Both of these paintings creating a reality that challenges our visual world through imagery, not through composition.
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