On the night stand: David Sylvester’s Interviews with Francis Bacon, essentially an entire book dedicated to interviews with FB in various states of sobriety trying to articulate how he makes things more “real” by making them less real. (something that the Queen of Pores and Hair Follicles could stand to read, n’est pas?) He talks about getting to “the magic place”, “the zone”, the place where he is working intuitively, etc., and, honestly, just paraphrases himself from there. Still, on my last trip to NY, I spent a lot more time in front of his painting than I did in front of most of the stuff at the Whitney Biennial (with the exception of Pierre Huyghe’s film, which I could have stayed and watched ALL DAY LONG). I would have given my cat to have been in Central Park the night that he was filming....
In the studio: I realize that by showing works in progress, I open myself up to comments that I haven’t heard since grad school, i.e.: “that looks really interesting just the way it is, why don’t you just leave it that way?”, but by now, you should know better than to say that to the Queen of P+HF (see above). So, after the longest break from studio work that I have ever had (not counting making wedding dresses and accoutrements), I did some warm ups:
thistle drawing in silverpoint (stems & leaves) and copperpoint (the flower) on black gessoed board, 11 x 8". This is the actual scanned image, as it is difficult, if not impossible, to photograph the metal point. At some angles, in person, it actually seems to disappear.
Then I did some really technically interesting but conceptually cheesy drawings on vellum that are bound for the back of the closet or a future unimportant art auction.
This scared me, but I had to get working, so I pulled out some sketches and photos and started a new night landscape, which is still in progress, but i am working on furiously to be able to deliver it to Chelsea Gallery when I go down to Miami in July!
this one is 36 x 48", and still has quite a way to go. But it helped me get my stride back, and I did a new hair embroidery: this one is called Ebb., and it is human eyelashes and human hair embroidery on a pillowcase, with a pillow inside. I am about to do a mass mailing featuring all of the hair embroideries, so if you know anyone who might be interested in seeing them, please drop me a line, and I will put them on the mailing list.
I have also started a new hair embroidery, and I am buying vintage oval frames with convex glass to put these new mouth embroideries in. I am in love with the title for this new series of oval mouths in oval frames, which you will have to come back to see, because I am not giving it away until one of them is officially "out there".
Here the mouth is life size, and mostly done, though I'm sure I'll tweak it a bit. You can see the beginning of the inside landscape (the black... did I tell you I dyed my hair back to its natural color?) at the bottom. So far, this piece has about 40 hours into it.
Finally, I have started another Crying Man. This will be Crying Man IV. If I keep doing them, maybe this Sam Taylor-Wood thing will just fade away. (It must have been "something in the air"... post 9-11, the other side of the bell curve after too much irony, etc., but I DO have documented proof that I sent out a mass email to solicit cryers at least a year and a half before her stuff hit the gallery walls... I will stop now before I "start", but some art historian could do some really great research on obscure artists who have done work along the same lines as famous ones, or as it says in the quote on my friend Sal LaRosa's studio wall, "For a century there have usually been two versions of each art, one real, but poor and underground, and one fake, altough rich and conspicuous. The latter ingests the former as needed." -Donald Judd ).
Anyway, this one is 24 x 18" like the others (see my website under "Paintings", towards the bottom), and it is done on black gesso as well. I am digging black gesso these days, as I am using it for a secret project, and it is creeping into my other work. Sorry for the bad photo glare.
Oh, and check out my link (to the right side of the blog, above) to the beautiful little films I found.