"You can't get at the thing itself, the real nature of the sitter, by stripping away the surface. The surface is all you've got. You can only get beyond the surface by working with the surfce. All you can do is to manipulate the surface—gesture, costume, expression—radically and correctly. And I think Schiele understood this in a unique, profound, and original way. Rather than attempting to abandon the tradition of the performing portrait (which is probably impossible anyway), it seems to me Schiele pushed it to extremes. He shattered the form by turning the volume up to a scream. And so what we see in Schiele is a kind of recurring push and pull: first toward pure 'performance,' gesture and stylized behavior pursued for its own sake; then these extreme stylizations are preserved in form, but disoriented, taken out of their familiar place, and used to change the nature of what a portrait is."
I was disappointed with myself yesterday. Yesterday's one drawing is mediocre. I look forward to a good day in the studio today. I did have an important insight, which is described well in the quote from Richard Avedon. Often I have wondered about my affinity for the work of the artist Egon Schiele. The Avedon quote clearly expresses the reason Schiele's approach has similarity to mine. Below my drawing I show a drawing by Egon Schiele, a photograph by Richard Avedon, and a Self-Portrait by the painter Francis Bacon. Avedon appears in his photograph with Francis Bacon. Bacon is another artist whose works strongly informs my work. As with Schiele and Avedon, Francis Bacon's work is all about surface. Richard Avedon must have enjoyed making this photo with Francis Bacon because they share a way of perception.
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